‘Rage On The River’ Makes Busy Day For Emergency Crews

A large fight at the Swabbies bar caused quite a commotion – just one of the many incidents authorities responded to Sunday.

At one point, there were more than a dozen police cars at the scene. Officers say no one was seriously injured. Law enforcement was already out in force along the river for the alcohol-filled “Rage on the River” event that takes places every year.

In more scary moments, two women had to be rescued near Discovery Park.

Sacramento firefighters rushed to the area to perform CPR. While they couldn’t say what led up to the emergency, witnesses say the person fell off a boat.

“Then when she fell off the boat, the policeman just came over there, they took her over here and they were just pumping her heart,” said witness Latina Dawson. “They were just pumping and pumping for like 10 or 15 minutes.”

It happened around 5:30 p.m. – the same time crews had to react to another person who was unresponsive.

Both were taken to the hospital.

“I have kids and grandkids, and I don’t want to see that happen to no one,” said Iris Garner, another witness.

But it’s something emergency responders were prepared for. Rage on the River attracts tens of thousands to the Discovery Park area every year.

And the alcohol was flowing.

“Last year we had the same event. We did over 20 rescues in a two-hour period.  And this year we were very well prepared,” said Roberto Padilla with the Sacramento Fire Department.

With three Sacramento Fire boats out on the water and multiple law enforcement agencies from surrounding areas keeping watch, there was a major effort to prevent drownings.

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California Drought Forces Fish Evacuation

State officials announced some fish hatcheries in California are being evacuated due to the drought.

Water temperatures at the American River hatchery were approaching dangerous levels for the rainbow trout, putting their lives in danger. So, for the second year in a row, they will have to be evacuated.

“We’re going to move about 330,000 steelhead and probably 500,000 trout,” said Jay Rowan.

But a smaller number will be able to stay, thanks to a high-tech indoor facility built with $700,000 in emergency drought funds. It uses purified water chilled by large cooling units.

“These fish will stay in this building for the next eight to nine months where they’ll grow out and then they will be taken out and planted on the east side of the Sierra,” Rowan said.

The hatchery problems will create some short-term benefits for the recreational fishing industry already hit hard by four years of drought.

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Officials warn Folsom Lake could be 96% empty

Sacramento-area water officials warned Wednesday that Folsom Lake could be 96 percent empty by next January under a federal plan to increase water releases.

t’s just bad. It’s just bad,” said Tom Gohring, executive director of the Sacramento Region Water Forum, a coalition of water agencies.

Gohring spoke at a meeting of the State Water Resources Board about a proposal by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

Reclamation officials have said they plan to begin releasing more fresh water from Folsom Lake and Lake Oroville in order to push back the saltwater that infiltrates the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta during drought conditions.

“We are having to make a lot of difficult decisions,” said Erin Curtis, a Reclamation spokeswoman. “And releasing extra water from Folsom right now is one of those.”

A historically low snowpack has already left Folsom and several other California reservoirs at below-average levels.

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Boats to be out of slips at Folsom Lake by Monday

The time for slip renters to pull their boats out of the water at Folsom Lake has come earlier than usual, due to the drought.

As of Sunday, the water level was at 413 feet, one foot away from the lowest point at which boats are permitted in the slips. After that level, it becomes dangerous to try to pull boats out.

Over the weekend, Jason Rutherford set out to enjoy the clear sky weather out on the water with his family for the last time this summer.

“We’re going to go out and come in this evening and pull it out this evening and wrap it up for the season in Folsom Lake,” Rutherford said.

And they were just getting started.

The Rutherfords got to use their slip for just one week before they had to take their boat back home.

“We’re two minutes from the lake so it’s great to come out on the evenings when you get off work,” Rutherford said. “It’s a bummer but we have a water issue. What are you going to do?”

On Sunday, the wind was perfect for sailing which made for a good father’s day for the Benjamins.

“It’s my husband’s special day and sailing is his passion,” Laura Benjamin said.

Even when they can’t use their slip they will continue to bring their boat to Folsom Lake, it just won’t be as convenient.

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Bear seen swimming in Folsom Lake

In this heat, everyone could use a nice cold swim to cool off, animals included.

An El Dorado Hills man was on Folsom Lake Saturday morning when he spotted an animal swimming in the water.

It wasn’t a dog. Or a coyote. Or a pig for that matter. Swimming casually in the cold lake water was a bear!

Tony Mygatt said he was sitting in his boat in a little cove and reading his book when he saw something swimming toward him. He grabbed his phone, snapped a photo and then began to film the bear.

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Firefighters urge caution over dangerous river conditions

Sacramento Metro Fire Captain Randy Gross was about to lead News10 on a tour of the American River and it’s potential dangers when a call for an injury at a rope swing suddenly sent his four-man crew of Rescue Boat 65 into action.

“The rope swing’s a very popular spot. We go there probably every weekend for a call,” Gross said. “Just last Sunday, we went for a pretty severe fracture of the arm.”

In minutes, his low-draft rescue boat is skimming the water at nearly 40 miles an hour, as his engineer deftly dodges rafts, kayaks and swimmers.

“People are adventurous. They want to try things that aren’t the smartest thing to do,” Gross said. “And here’s a perfect example, 21-year-old male who had not had anything to drink.”

The man lost his grip on the rope swing, plunging onto the river bank and nearly slipping into the water before a friend was able to pull him back.

“If somebody wasn’t there and he would have slid off into the water, even though it seems pretty calm, he could be gone – they’re not going to find him,” Gross said.

The young man was clearly in shock, but resisted having a C-spine neck collar put on. Firefighters left it off, explaining that trying to force one on can do more harm.

“Not exactly knowing what’s going on, we provide whatever care we can,” Gross explained, pointing out the man does not seem to have head or next injuries. But, internal injuries are not yet ruled out.

“Very tough impact. And we don’t know what kind of impact on him for the next month or the rest of his life,” Gross explained.

In minutes, the young man is taken across the river to a waiting ambulance for a trip to the emergency room.

“This river is extremely dangerous,” Gross reflects. “Snags, slips, people hitting their head — it just takes your ankle getting twisted with the force of the water against it and, you know, you’re gone.”

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Man injured in fall from rope swing into American River

A 21-year-old man was injured Friday afternoon when he fell from a rope swing into the American River.

The incident occurred about 3:30 p.m. near Hollister Avenue in Carmichael. Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District boats responded and found the man, who had suffered injuries to his head and torso, according to a district news release.

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Cave Valley near Auburn drawing climbers 7 days a week

Surf Tower, Tilting Vertex and Wreckage Wall may sound like roller coaster rides at a favorite amusement park, but these routes along the limestone cliffs at Cave Valley climbing area provide a different kind of adrenaline rush for local enthusiasts.

Cave Valley reopened to allow daily access to climbers last year, but a few climbing routes are off-limits this summer as the California Department of Parks and Recreation works to protect a nearby aerie, or nest, of peregrine falcons. The partial closure is an experiment to strike a balance between providing recreational activities to the rock climbing community and fostering local wildlife.

“It’s exciting and interesting that they were able to find a compromise between industry, recreation and the environment,” said Eric Peach, board member of Protect American River Canyons.

Jason Flesher, Sierra marketing manager for REI, an outdoor company that contracts with the Parks Department to teach classes in the canyon, said the partial closure has disrupted only one of REI’s classes so far. That class was moved to another location and subsequently was rained out.

“We were worried the whole area would be closed,” Flesher said “We’re glad it’s only a partial closure. REI is also interested in (protecting) the environment.”

The closure doesn’t seem to have slowed down activity in that area of the canyon. It was 90 degrees on a recent Sunday, but the quarry was full of climbers, coiled ropes and clinking carabiners. One experienced climber scaling the cliff face that day was Gordon Ainsleigh, founder of the Western States Endurance Run. Ainsleigh rides his bike from the trailhead to the climbing site a couple of times a week in preparation for a Yosemite climb later this summer.

“The falcons are usually noisy in the morning,” Ainsleigh said. “That’s when they’re hungry.”

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Regulator: Roseville, Folsom Could Run Out Of Water By September If Folsom Lake Releases Continue

A water regulator is warning Roseville and Folsom could run out of water in just a few months if officials continue to allow water releases from Folsom Lake.

Andrew Fecko with the Placer County Water Agency is concerned and frustrated after learning the Bureau of Reclamation has increased releases from Folsom Lake. He warns those increased releases won’t just expose ruins where water should be.

“If this lake behind me goes below 100,000 acre feet, in the September time frame, that’s a you-can’t-turn-on-your-tap moment, and that’s something we haven’t faced here before,” he said.

He says about half a million citizens use water from Folsom Lake, including the cities of Folsom and Roseville, as well as the San Juan Water District.

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