We’re very lucky to have had a year with ample precipitation, and this sure is a big water year—Sierra Nevada Snowpack is at 202% of average. However, this also means that water will be high, fast, and cold well into June and July.
Yesterday, the South Yuba was flowing at 4,000 cfs. In the summer swim months, flows are closer to 50-100cfs. This means it is not safe to swim, and the old adage of “stay alive by staying out” is in full effect.
The weather is warming now, and people are flocking to the river. With 800,000 visitors/year to the Yuba River, it’s important we get the word out ahead of a busy season of river use. On average, five lives are lost to tragic Yuba river-related accidents annually.
Please stay safe by practicing good judgement and stay out of the water.
Yesterday, SYRCL, Nevada County, California State Parks, Nevada County Supervisor Sue Hoek, Nevada County Sheriff’s Office, Nevada County Consolidated Fire, Cal Fire, and Nevada County Search & Rescue, convened at the Highway 49 Bridge, in the South Yuba River State Park, to hold a press conference about the deadly river conditions at the Yuba.
Tragic deaths as in past years under similar Yuba River conditions and a need for a united public message that clearly communicates the risks swimmers face, prompted the gathering of these agencies and public safety officials. See photos from the day below and read more about the coverage here.