River Immersion: Favorite Summer Past-time and Extraordinary Youth Camp

rocktunnel The season for swimming in the South Yuba River is at its peak, and SYRCL wants to make sure that the most adventurous of us will have great experiences of immersion while remaining safe. Take your mask and snorkel to the river next time you go, and see what aquatic life you can find. If you enjoy swimming in the current, learn something about hydraulics and river safety. If you have a teenager, send them to Immersion Camp!

What is the most common fish that you will see? Learn about the amazing pikeminnow. If you swim in the cooler stretches of the South Yuba above Edwards Crossing, see if you can find a rainbow trout weathering through the heat of summer. Consider how SYRCL is restoring the river for native trout by securing greater releases of cold water from upstream dams. Can you find evidence of aquatic insects and amphibians? Consider that SYRCL evaluates the health of the river by monitoring the condition of invertebrates and amphibians. Can you tell the difference between a native foothill yellow-legged frog and an invasive bullfrog? Consider reporting observations of invasive species to SYRCL’s River Monitoring Program Coordinator.

Immersion Camp was created by a former SYRCL River Scientist to provide local youths with the experiences and knowledge that would allow them to adventure in the river, make discoveries, and remain safe. The day camp spans 3 days, and is geared towards youths 12-17 years of age. The mission of Immersion Camp is to provide river education opportunities, river safety training, and build environmental leadership capacity through personal challenges, team-building activities, and scientific investigation of the natural world. Skills gained and experiences acquired through participation in Immersion Camp include:

A local twelve year-old gets ready to explore the currents of the South Yuba River.
A local twelve year-old gets ready to explore the currents of the South Yuba River.

• techniques for investigating aquatic ecosystems

• important river safety skills for assessing dangers and moving through the river

• personal leadership skills and opportunities for teamwork

• environmental stewardship opportunities

• hands-on scientific investigation

While snorkeling the river, participants observe and experience amazing hydraulics while crossing currents and swimming through eddy lines and “bubble curtains.” They come to understand an array of river processes while noticing pools and riffles and observe river habitat while watching fish feed on insects in eddies or dart into cover. For more information on Immersion Camp, see the Facebook page, or contact Katrina at katrina.schneider@sbcglobal.net, (530) 470-8680.

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