Gauge Description:

The lower American River, below Nimbus Dam has boatable flows all year round.   Flows are highest in the spring ranging from 4,000 cfs in drier years to 10,000 cfs in average years and much higher in wet years.  Flows are lowest in the winter, but do not drop below 1000 cfs in most years.


Water from Folsom Reservoir is released from the dam through a powehouse to generate electricity.  Flows vary during the day according to power demand.  Nimbus dam forms a much smaller reservoir just big enough to reregulate or smooth out the variable flows from Folsom.    Water from Nimbus is also released through turbines to produce electricity.   A large portion of the water in Nimbus reservoir is sent out through the Folsom South Canal for municipal and industrial use in Sacramento and San Joaquin Counties.


Gauge info:
AMERICAN RIVER AT FAIR OAKS    Flow and Stage - 15 minute readings.
AMERICAN R AT HAZEL AVE BRIDGE   Temperature - 15 minute readings
AMERICAN RIVER AT H STREET BRIDGE  Stage - 15 minute readings
AMERICAN RIVER AT WILLIAM B POND PARK  Temperature - 15 minute readings
AMERICAN RIVER BELOW WATT AVE BRIDGE  Temperature - 15 minute readings
   temperature - 15 minute readings.  
USGS gauge #11446500   American River at Fair Oaks  Daily average flow and daily temperature readings.

Folsom South Canal is 26 miles long and has a capacity of 3,500 cfs.
Folsom Reservoir  Hourly Inflow, Outflow, Elevation and Storage readings.

USGS Schematic of Dams, diversions and gauges on Lower Sacramento

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-11446500 1400 - 20000 cfs I(II) 00h31m 3520 cfs (running)

gauge graph
RangeWater LevelDifficultyComment
1400 -3100 cfs barely runnable-med runnable I(II) gauge is important or has warning Best flows for play at San Juan Hole.
3100 -5000 cfs med runnable-a bit pushy runnable I(II) gauge is important or has warning
5000 -20000 cfs a bit pushy runnable-high runnable I(II) 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
7y324d00h14m /American-Sunrise Avenue to Watt Avenue [CA] Photos at Nimbus 4000 cfs Paul Martzen