This section rarely has boatable flows and it is diffucult to know what the flow is when it does have water. If Union Valley Reservoir spills into Silver Creek, those flows will pass through two small reservoirs befor passing through this reach. Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) controls the reservoirs and powerhouses and monitors flows in this section. Find flows by having connections at SMUD, or drive to the put in and look.
Typically flows only in high water years based on dam releases. Flow into this stretch comes from releases from Camino Reservoir. Note: this dam chooses to release water and does not "spill" (there is no spillway). Flow into Camino comes from Jaybird Power House (estimated capacity of up to 2000 CFS), releases from Union Valley Dam (~6 miles upstream), and some natural accretion.
3 -4 rapids are commonly portaged on Silver Creek proper. Some boaters may not have any. All portages were simple and easy. Note there is one "mandatory" portage below the confluence w/ SF American ( “F-111”)
Other Information Sources:The Best Whitewater in California, Holbeck & Stanley, 1998 - Reports a descent in 1983 with good quality and around 7 or 8 portages.
As of 2010 there is no online gauge on Silver Creek or on the SF American below Silver Creek. However, if flows below Slab Creek Reservoir are significantly higher than at Kyburz, then flows are probably coming down Silver Creek.
Historical records are available for several gauges in these reaches. Silver Creek -USGS #11442000, just above the SF American confluence, was operational from 1922 to 1961. This gauge shows pre-dam, natural flows. Silver Creek below Camino - USGS #11441900, shows flows since the construction of the dams and powerhouses SF American near Kyburz - USGS #114395. Operated by El Dorado Irrigation District, below their diversion. SF American below Silver Creek-USGS #11442500 was operational from 1969 to 1993. Silver Creek below Junction Dam- USGS #11441800, only operated from 1987 to 1991, and only shows minimum releases from the dam. Spillway flows bypassed this gauge.
Permits are not required for this reach.
Silver Creek Put in
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