Dangerously high river flows along the South Yuba are expected through June and July. Right now, the Bureau of Land Management estimates a 167% above normal snowpack and have estimated a peak river flow for May 21.
“It’s actually higher than the average right now,” Belshe said. “So right now we’re sort of telling people to stay out of the water.”
Over 700,000 people visit the South Yuba River through the state parks river crossings at Bridgeport, Highway 49, Purdon, and Edwards Crossing each year and SYRCL is planning on ramping up its river ambassador program to help alleviate the impacts.
Now in it’s second year, the river ambassadors volunteer to help educate visitors about safe river recreation. “We were seeing a lot more trash over the year,” Belshe said. “There was a need for more of a presence at the river. We basically want to remind you to pick up your trash, no glass at the river, be fire safe, and the dangers of water safety right now with high waters, that’s one of our biggest talking points this year.” Despite warnings against entering the waters of the South Yuba River during high flows, Belshe and SYRCL staff still want people to get out there and enjoy the great outdoors.
“There’s still so many things to do down there,” Beshe said. Thats what I’m trying to encourage, we still want people to go down there. It’s beautiful, hitting the trails down there, the wildflowers are blooming, the water is really pretty to look at, it’s flowing really hard and sounds beautiful, but be safe.”
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