Slowing the flow: Water level has dropped along the Yuba |

Slowing the flow: Water level has dropped along the Yuba

Swimmers flocked to the South Yuba River this Fourth of July weekend and continue to soak up the sun and enjoy the water this week. The Yuba is now significantly warmer and calmer than it was during the month of June.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company has closed the spill gates that control water flow from Spaulding Reservoir into the Yuba. Water is currently flowing into the river from the dam at Spaulding at a rate of 10 cubic feet per second. At the height of this winter’s storms, water was flowing out of Spaulding at a rate of 14,000 cubic feet per second. The highest flow in June was recorded at 1,200.

The flow from Spaulding is expected to stay at current levels until the rainy season returns, according to Brandi Ehlers Merlo, a spokesperson for PG&E. The only potential change to outflows, she said, would be in the unlikely event of a major summer rain storm.

But Merlo still warns swimmers to be careful.

“PG&E recommends anyone recreating near rivers and streams to be aware of the current water conditions and take appropriate precautions,” she said.

Caleb Dardick, executive director of the South Yuba River Citizens League, said conditions can change quickly depending on heat and snowmelt.

“Just be really aware and look out for one another,” he said.

Following this winter’s extreme levels of precipitation, rivers throughout California have been flowing quickly. Three swimmers have died at the Yuba River this year, and 17 deaths were reported at rivers across the state.

To contact Staff Writer Matthew Pera, email or call 530-477-4231.

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