Gauge Description:

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As of 2006, Edison is reporting real time flows in Chawanakee Gorge as San Joaquin River Above Willow Creek-Spi.  

Other reaches are linked at:  Flow and Reservoir Elevations

This is the spill over dam #6 at the entrance to Chawanakee Gorge and is usually the total flow.  There is a 3 cfs fish flow release from the base of the dam that continues at all times.  The fish flow is not shown on the gauge.  Several minor side streams add to the scenery but little to the flow. The exception is Stevenson Creek which enters the gorge about 2/3 of the way through. During spring spill periods, SCE often releases up to 350 cfs from Shaver Lake into Stevenson Creek. This will increase the flows in the last third of Chawanakee by that amount.   The rapids are said to be easier below Stevenson, so the increased flow may not be a problem.  During most of the year, releases into Stevenson are minimal.  
Optimum flows of 400 cfs to 700 cfs may occur at the beginning and end of spring spill periods, and during certain maintanance operations. Spills of 300 to 400 cfs also occur during some peak power generation periods.

Historical flow data for this reach can be found at USGS 11238600 Note that this data is daily averages, so some short low flow spikes could be boatable flows but only for a short portion of the day.

Flows in this reach may be erratic and boaters assume increased risk when they enter this gorge. Flows could cease unexpectedly or might rise beyond the boatable range. Boaters must have the skills and mental preparation to deal with either possibility in a sheer walled canyon with few escape routes.

 

Edison Big Creek Office phone #: 559-???????   Edison changes their phone number when it is posted here.

This USGS pdf schematic of the dams, diversions and gauges is helpful for understanding the plumbing system in this basin.  A similar USGS pdf Schematic of SF San Joaquin is also helpful. 

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
San Joaquin Chawanakee Gorge
dream-441 280 - 1000 cfs V 01h56m 0 cfs (too low)

gauge graph
RangeWater LevelDifficultyComment
280 -1000 cfs barely runnable-high runnable V gauge is important or has warning Latest estimate
450 - 750 cfs med runnable-a bit pushy runnable V 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
San Joaquin [CA] Chawanakee n/a Paul Martzen
San Joaquin [CA] Chawanakee Narrows 350 cfs ?? Paul Martzen
7y300d00h26m @San Joaquin 2. Chawanakee Gorge (Dam 6 to Reddinger Reservoir) [CA] Account of 02/17/12 n/a Thomas Moore
7y300d00h27m @San Joaquin 2. Chawanakee Gorge (Dam 6 to Reddinger Reservoir) [CA] Account of 02/17/12 n/a Thomas Moore
7y300d00h27m @San Joaquin 2. Chawanakee Gorge (Dam 6 to Reddinger Reservoir) [CA] Account of 02/17/12 n/a Thomas Moore
7y300d00h29m @San Joaquin 2. Chawanakee Gorge (Dam 6 to Reddinger Reservoir) [CA] The Damn n/a Thomas Moore
7y300d00h33m @San Joaquin 2. Chawanakee Gorge (Dam 6 to Reddinger Reservoir) [CA] Account of 02/17/12 n/a Thomas Moore
8y245d10h44m @San Joaquin 2. Chawanakee Gorge (Dam 6 to Reddinger Reservoir) [CA] Account of 04/12/11 n/a Thomas Moore
> 10 years San Joaquin [CA] Put-in on Dam#6 Reservoir n/a Paul Martzen
> 10 years San Joaquin [CA] Chawanakee, 1st Portage 660 cfs Paul Martzen
> 10 years San Joaquin [CA] Stairway to Chawanakee Gorge 650 cfs Paul Martzen
> 10 years San Joaquin [CA] Chawanakee 6 n/a Paul Martzen
> 10 years San Joaquin [CA] Chawanakee 5 650 cfs Paul Martzen
> 10 years San Joaquin [CA] Chawanakee 2 650 cfs Paul Martzen
> 10 years San Joaquin [CA] First Rapid 650 cfs Paul Martzen
> 10 years San Joaquin [CA] Probe! 600 cfs Paul Martzen
> 10 years San Joaquin [CA] Spill ! 600 cfs Paul Martzen