The Placer County Water Agency releases water from its upstream dams on the Middle Fork of the American River, causing river levels above and downstream of the confluence to change at any time and without notice. River level increases are especially likely during the afternoon hours.
Visitors may think they are enjoying the river in a safe spot along the river but once the water release reaches their location, higher and faster water may make it harder to return to shore - often requiring a rescue. On occasion, recreators attempt to reach the shore on their own and end up getting caught in the swift current and drowning.
This year’s river flow is swifter and colder than in years past and the lives of more visitors are likely to be claimed if recreators do not realize the flows increase drastically in the afternoon once the water release reaches the confluence.
Always use extra caution when recreating in and around the Middle Fork American River and below the confluence.