Category Archives: Video

Water flow great for rafting on the American River

For the first time in three years, the rafting industry has a chance to make a comeback. Water flow on the South Fork of the American River has returned to normal levels.

Drought seriously reduced the amount of water on the South Fork in previous years. Chili Bar Dam controls the water flow on the South Fork. Three years ago water released from the dam was reduced. Rafters could only float the South Fork five days out of the week for only three hours a day. This year Chili Bar Dam is releasing a steady flow of water seven days a week.

The higher water flow is also boosting business along the South Fork of The American River. Sierra Whitewater Rafting says when there is steady flow of water coming out of the dam, the company can now book multiple trips every day. This reduces crowding and allows flexible raft trip times for travelers looking to do a day trip.

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Gold Miners Rescued via Helicopter near Lake Tahoe

Two gold miners were rescued via helicopter from the rugged wilderness near Lake Tahoe Wednesday, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Three friends had gone panning for gold Tuesday in the Sawtooth Ridge area, near the north fork of the American River, the Placer County Sheriff’s Office said. One man returned to camp early, leaving the other two at the river.

The next day, investigators say the man was unable to contact his friends, Denny McCloud and Denny Jr.

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Law Enforcement Gears Up For Fourth of July On River


Sacramento County Park Rangers and the Sacramento County Marine Unit cruised the lower American River today to get ready for a crowded July Fourth weekend.

Flows are nearly triple what they were a month ago and they want to prepare for swifter currents and hidden hazards that might affect rescues.  They also need to warn rafters and swimmers about danger areas.

The biggest concern is still illegal alcohol use on the river, which is banned on the four-day holiday. Alcohol can contribute to violent fights.

“With deadly weapons, cobbles, sticks, whatever they can get their hands on,” said Ranger Randy Lewis.

But there are more families on the river since the holiday alcohol ban took effect several years ago. Jose Vasquez makes sure his son Gabriel uses on at Discovery Park where he knows about the history of drownings.

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Shallow Parts of American River Pose Unusual Safety Risk

While parts of the American River are shallow enough to scrape the bottom, others are safe enough to jump from nearby bridges even though it is illegal.

“You just have to swim to the bottom and if you can touch the bottom, you really do not want to jump there,” said Josh Harding, who swims in the river.

Over the weekend, one teen broke their leg from jumping in the river.

Rather than use a boat to rescue them, Metro Fire said the water was too shallow so they walked.

Now Metro Fire is cautioning others on safety, suggesting swimmers find a swimming hole or an area without fast-moving water that is also deep enough.

Normally, the Folsom Dam and Nimbus Dam release water at 4,000 cubic feet per second, but a drier than regular season has them releasing at 1,000 CFS.

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Hundreds Of Volunteers Join In 18th Annual American River Cleanup


Hundreds of volunteers were out scaling the American River on cleanup patrol.

The annual Great American River Cleanup in Rancho Cordova had thousands of volunteers on land and water Saturday.

“It’s mostly people dropping their stuff and not bothering to pick it up,” said a volunteer.

For 18 years in a row, the Great American River Cleanup covered a 23-mile span along the river in efforts to beautify the parkway.

“We have roughly 2,500 volunteers today,” said Stacy Springer, a volunteer manager.

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