Category Archives: Events

Rafting scene mild, not wild, at annual American River event

Rafting Gone Wild wasn’t quite as wild as it was last year.

Last year, one of the organizers of Rafting Gone Wild jumped off a bridge to avoid law enforcers. Park rangers made six arrests at the 2016 event on suspicion of everything from public intoxication to battery on a police officer.

This year, that level of mayhem was not equaled as of late Saturday afternoon.

At the Clay Banks off El Manto Drive in Rancho Cordova, hundreds of kayaks, rafts and other floatation devices moved across the American River early Saturday.

Participants varied widely in age, from the very young to the elderly. They also varied widely in their levels of public intoxication. Although there were signs around the river indicating that alcohol was banned, some did not heed the warning. While many rafts featured large families out to have outdoor fun on a hot day, others had large coolers, flasks and drink cups.

As of 6 p.m., there was no official report of the number of arrests made and citations issued.

While the event’s Facebook page describes the area as “the biggest party on the shores,” there wasn’t much obvious public drinking, likely influenced by the park rangers who were stationed right off the river.

“People are trying (to party) but they’re just staking it out,” said one female rafter. When her group was asked if they had been drinking, all but one smiled and shook their heads no. One member, however, gave two thumbs up.

Bill Thomas, one of the rafters, led a group of family and friends that came from as far as Santa Rosa, Lake Tahoe, San Francisco and even Florida.

For Thomas, Rafting Gone Wild is a yearly tradition. For past events, he has made a PVC pipe water-shooter and a cross-beam water balloon slingshot, the latter of which was later banned from the event. He said the number of revelers has decreased over the years.

“Each year there are fewer and fewer people here,” he said. “I think that has a lot to do with tablets and other forms of entertainment that we didn’t have back in the day.”

Still, Thomas and his group still enjoy the event. “We really love it,” he said.

More at SacBee.com >>>

Another Rafting Gone Wild event, another alcohol ban on the American River

Alcohol will be banned this weekend along the American River from Hazel Avenue to Watt Avenue in anticipation of crowds for Rafting Gone Wild.

For safety, the Sacramento County Regional Parks director issued the restriction for Saturday and Sunday in an effort to prevent problems associated with the unpermitted event.

“The event being advertised for Saturday and Sunday has a strong focus on alcohol consumption, which contributes greatly to public safety concerns,” states a county news release.

Rafting Gone Wild, which has been coordinated on social media over the years, has drawn thousands of people to the American River. County officials estimated about 3,000 showed up last year.

More at SacBee.com >>>

Folsom’s Johnny Cash Trail to be completed in early fall

Construction of the second phase of Folsom’s Johnny Cash Trail begins this week at East Natoma Street and Folsom Prison Road and is scheduled for completion by early fall.

The current portion of the project includes 1.25 miles of Class I paved trail, an undercrossing beneath Folsom Prison Road allowing trail users to avoid motor vehicle traffic, and a 190-foot wooden arched bridge providing views of the American River and Lake Natoma, according to a city news release.

The project also includes a paved trail spur for Folsom prison employees between Natoma Street and the prison employee parking lot. Two-way traffic will be maintained on Folsom Prison Road during construction, although minor delays can be expected, according to the news release.

When this phase is completed, the Johnny Cash Trail will connect to an existing trail at Rodeo Park, providing runners, walkers and bicyclists a route to Folsom’s historic district and the American Parkway Trail.

Funding for the $3.23 million project comes from various federal grants and local transportation funds, according to the news release.

Like the first section of the trail, completed in 2014, this phase will be built by Westcon Construction Inc. The firm also built the Johnny Cash Bridge. Designed to resemble Folsom State Prison’s East Gate guard tower, which is featured in a photo of Cash taken before his 1968 Folsom prison concert, the bridge spans Folsom Lake Crossing Road.

More at SacBee.com >>>

Dam manuals keep California’s water future in the past

“Sacramentans will recall how the operators of the Folsom Lake dam dumped billions of gallons of water last year at this time into the American River, never mind that the region was gripped by drought and a heat wave. The reservoir was down to 40 percent of capacity, under clear skies. But dam operators had no choice.”

The Oroville Dam crisis was about infrastructure. The scare this week stemmed from rickety spillways, not dam management.

But if other aspects seemed familiar, it may be because it again highlighted the gap between modern science and the antique flood-control manuals governing major dams in California. As The Bee’s Ryan Sabalow and Andy Furillo reported, the guiding document determining how full Lake Oroville can be in a rainy season hasn’t been updated since the Nixon administration, and is almost as old as the dam itself.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers manual, they reported, was last revised in 1970, two years after Oroville Dam’s completion. A lot can change in 47 years.

Science has advanced, in meteorology and engineering. Weather satellites, computer models and research into atmospheric rivers have made it possible to forecast storms with an accuracy previously unimagined. Climate change has upended assumptions.

Two of the biggest floods ever to hit the region have occurred since the Oroville Dam manual was written; on its sepia pages, it’s as if they never happened. The story is the same for all 54 of the state’s primary flood-control dams, whose manuals are 30 years old or older.

“California’s flood infrastructure is based on the hydrology of the past,” Jeffrey Mount of the Public Policy Institute of California told The Bee. “I don’t know a scientist anymore who thinks the future is going to look anything like the past.”

This isn’t just some clerical issue. The owners of those 54 dams cannot deviate from the manuals’ old models in determining water levels. That inflexibility has become a problem in both wet and dry years.

Sacramentans will recall how the operators of the Folsom Lake dam dumped billions of gallons of water last year at this time into the American River, never mind that the region was gripped by drought and a heat wave. The reservoir was down to 40 percent of capacity, under clear skies. But dam operators had no choice.

The installation of a new spillway at Folsom this year has triggered an update, finally, to its manual. Oroville’s problems, and ensuing repairs, could eventually mean a new and improved manual for it, too.

More at SacBee.com >>>

Tarantulas looking for love near Folsom Lake

Tarantulas are out looking for love and hikers are being warned to look out for them.

Last weekend, while hiking along the Darington Trail near Folsom Lake, ABC10’s John Bartell came across one of those hairy arachnids. A group of mountain bikers warned John and his girlfriend, who were on the trail at the time, of a tarantula. A surprisingly large tarantula. If you listen closely to the video, you can hear John’s girlfriend warn him about picking up the eight-legged creature.

Wade Spencer, a member of the UC Davis Entomology Department, works with spiders. He said tarantulas can bite, but only if they are only aggressive when agitated. Though they have fangs and carry poison, tarantulas are not considered a serious threat to humans.

More at ABC10.com >>>

Why are salmon dying? (Hint: It’s a good thing…)

Dead salmon are washing up on banks of the American River. It sounds gruesome but it’s actually a good thing.
The annual salmon run is underway and the fish have traveled thousands of miles to spawn then die in our waterways.
“Within the last decade we have seen a downward trend,” said Department of Fish and Wildlife researcher Jeana Phillips. The DFW keeps a close eye on the salmon population. Every year a team of researchers count dead salmon after they have spawned.
The American River Nimbus Fish Hatchery in Rancho Cordova is full of salmon right now. A number of salmon in the American River were released from the Nimbus Fish Hatchery. Salmon hatch in rivers then make their way to the ocean where they spend 3 to 4 years. When they are ready to breed. Salmon leave the ocean, head back to the area they were born, lay eggs, then die.
More at ABC10.com >>>

 

The salmon are jumping up the fish hatchery ladder

Today was the first day of the fish ladder opening for the fall run of Chinook Salmon at the Nimbus Fish Hatchery.

More at SacBee.com >>>

Nimbus Hatchery Fish Ladder to Open Nov. 2

The salmon ladder at Nimbus Hatchery in Rancho Cordova will open Wednesday, Nov. 2, signaling the start of the spawning season on the American River. California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) hatchery workers will open the ladder gates at 10:45 a.m. Hatchery employees may take more than a half-million eggs during the first week of operation alone in an effort to ensure the successful spawning of the returning fall run Chinook salmon.

There are eight state-run salmon and steelhead hatcheries, all of which will participate in the salmon spawning effort. Over the next two months, the three major state-run hatcheries in the Central Valley – the Nimbus Hatchery in Sacramento County, the Feather River Hatchery in Butte County and the Mokelumne River Hatchery in San Joaquin County – will take approximately 24 million eggs in order to produce Chinook salmon for release next spring.

More at CDFW News >>>

12 tons of trash pulled in Great Sierra River Cleanup

More than one thousand volunteers in the Sierra Nevada Region helped pull 12 tons of trash from rivers, lakes, and streams on Saturday.

The event was all a part of the 8th annual Great Sierra River Cleanup.

Estefan Galvan, 25, is a diver with seven years experience who helped cleanup Saturday.

“Diving is a whole different world. It’s an entirely different world,” Galvan said. “When you get under water it’s a completely different feel, your away from everything at the surface.”

Galvan joined a crew of a dozen divers in Folsom, California who pulled several items from the American River.

“Our main focus is going to be under the cliff diving spots and under the bridges where people tend to be looking over the edges or jumping off or throwing things over,” Galvan said.

The group pulled a bicycle, fishing rod, cans, glass, anchors and more from the American River.

More at ABC10.com >>>

Great American River Clean Up – Saturday, September 17th 2016

Great American River Clean Up – Saturday, September 17th 2016 from 9am-12pm

Great American River Clean Up Sep 20, 2014 2015 RESULTS:

25 sites cleaned.
1,550 volunteers participated.
20,000 lbs. of trash removed.

Come join us for our annual Great American River Clean Up! Bring your coworkers, neighbors, friends and family. Help us reach our goal of 2,000 volunteers!

There are 20+ Clean Up locations spanning the Parkway.
Click here for a map of Clean Up locations.
Click here for driving directions.

Click HERE to Register!

For more information please do not hesitate to contact the ARPF office at (916) 486-2773, or send email to volunteer@arpf.org.