Gauge Description:

Scheduled Release Days:

Baseline release is 1300 cfs for 3 hours (Saturdays and Sundays during the summer will have longer releases and except in Super Dry years the flow will be higher).
 
Super Dry Year -
 
Saturdays - All Year
Sundays - April 1st through September 30th
Mondays - April 1st through Labor Day
Thursdays - Memorial Day through Labor Day
Fridays - Memorial Day through Labor Day
 
No scheduled releases on Tuesday and Wednesday
 
Critically Dry Year -
 
Saturdays - All Year
Sundays - April 1st through September 30th
Mondays - March 1st through Labor Day
Thursdays - Memorial Day through Labor Day
Fridays - Memorial Day through September 30th
 
No scheduled releases on Tuesday and Wednesday
 
Dry Year -
 
Saturdays - All Year
Sundays - All Year
Mondays - March 1st through Labor Day
Tuesdays - March 1st through Labor Day
Thursdays - Memorial Day through Labor Day
Fridays - March 1st through September 30th
 
No scheduled releases on Wednesday
 
Below Normal:
 
Saturdays - All Year
Sundays - All Year
Mondays - March 1st through Labor Day and October 1st through October 31st
Tuesdays - March 1st through Labor Day
Thursdays - Memorial Day through Labor Day
Fridays - March 1st through September 30th
 
No scheduled releases on Wednesday
 
Above Normal: (Summer baseline release increases to 1500-1750 cfs)
 
Saturdays - All Year
Sundays - All Year
Mondays - March 1st through Labor Day and October 1st through October 31st
Tuesdays - March 1st through Labor Day
Wednesdays - March 1st through Labor Day
Thursdays - Memorial Day through Labor Day
Fridays - March 1st through September 30th
 
Wet: (Summer baseline release increases to 1500-1750 cfs and the duration of the release increases)
 
Saturdays - All Year
Sundays - All Year
Mondays - March 1st through Labor Day and October 1st through October 31st
Tuesdays - March 1st through Labor Day
Wednesdays - March 1st through Labor Day
Thursdays - Memorial Day through Labor Day
Fridays - March 1st through September 30th
 
 

Boatable flows can also occur on other days of the week and are not always predictable.

Notes

Information is summarized from SMUD "Minimum Recreational Flow for SF American River below Chili Bar Dam by Water Year Type, Duration and Flow in cfs"
 
Water Year Type is determined by Department of Water Resources. Search for Bulletin 120 Summary of Water Conditions.
 
Additional Information
Check dreamflows.com Chili Bar Schedule for current information

The flow gauge at Chili Bar is maintained by PG&E. Flow information is distributed and stored by CDEC. You can obtain daily flow information in numeric form at CDEC website, but the gauge home page is at Chili Bar Gauge info. If there is no graph visible above, click on this link to a CDEC graph. Convenient flow information for almost all rivers in California and many other western states can be found at Dreamflows.com. You can also call the River Store (530) 626-3435 or the El Dorado County Flow Phone at (530) 621-6616.

Chili Bar Reservoir can only release water that it receives from Slab Creek Reservoir, which is operated by SMUD.   At the bottom of the SMUD page is a link to a pop up page with an 8 day and hourly release prediction.   PG&E can shape and alter the timing of their release at Chili Bar, but the total volume of the release has to be the same as what comes from Slab Creek.   Use the information below to convert the acre feet readings into cfs.
1 cfs = 1.983 acre-feet per day which is close enough to 1 cfs = 2 acre feet per day. 1,000 cfs for 24 hours = 2,000 acre feet per day.
100 acre feet per hour = 1210 cfs for that hour.  50 acre feet per hour = 605 cfs for that hour.  120 acre feet per hour = 1450 cfs.
Bill Center reports that boatable flows are most likely to occur when daily release from Slab Creek is 1,000 acre feet or more and when hourly release is predicted be be higher than 100 acre feet.

 

 

 

 

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
RIVER AT CHILI BAR
cdec-CBR 800 - 8000 cfs III+ 01h39m 1234 cfs (running)

gauge graph
RangeWater LevelDifficultyComment
800 -8000 cfs barely runnable-high runnable III+ gauge is important or has warning

Reports give the public a chance to report on river conditions throughout the country as well as log the history of a river.

When River/Gauge Subject Level Reporter
American, S. Fork [CA] Chili Bar n/a Matt Muir
5y76d11h58m @American, S. Fork 6. Chili Bar (Route 193 to Coloma) [CA] SMUD Flow Schedule n/a Matthew Henry
> 10 years [CA] 2009-Labor Day Weekend 1600 cfs Paul Martzen
> 10 years Troublemaker Rapid [CA] Foot entrapment location below Troublemaker Rapid 1600 cfs Paul Martzen
> 10 years SF American [CA] First Threat Smile 1800 John Hefti
> 10 years American, S. Fork [CA] Troublemaker overview 3 1400 cfs Paul Martzen
> 10 years SF American: Chili Bar [CA] No Trouble 1500 cfs n/a
> 10 years American, S. Fork [CA] Sean in Double Trouble 1300 cfs n/a
> 10 years American, S. Fork [CA] Brandon in 1st Threat 1800 cfs n/a
> 10 years American, S. Fork [CA] TroubleMaker IV 1500 Andrew and Dorian Goldstein
> 10 years SF American [CA] SF American - Triple Threat 1900 CFS Tim Perry