It’s that time of year again. The weather has been unseasonably warm, the kids are out of school and everyone is eager to get to the river and start enjoying their favorite river activities. It is important to keep in mind that while we received a significant amount of rain this winter and the best snowpack in years, rapidly increasing warm days can cause snowmelt to fluctuate and water levels and water temperatures to be unpredictable. Although air temperatures are hot, water temperatures are cold. Be mindful that hypothermia is a real hazard, and take precautions to protect yourself from the effects of cold water. The Yuba can be deceptively fast-moving and underwater objects can pose threats to swimmers, boaters and pets. Like any river, people should always consider the risks when entering the water.
Local water and energy agencies are advising river-goers to be cautious when using Northern California waterways for recreation this summer. The California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways and Pacific Gas and Electric Co. recently released a statement warning citizens to be alert because of the high level of snowmelt pouring into the Yuba River.
While you are at the river you may see our River Ambassadors, a dedicated team of volunteers who spend summer weekends at the four main Yuba River crossings. With an estimated 700,000+ people visiting the South Yuba River State Park every year and the thousands of pounds of trash removed during SYRCL’s Annual Yuba River Cleanup, the River Ambassador program was developed to prevent the South Yuba River from being “loved to death.”
Working to promote an ethic of responsible, non-polluting use of the river, River Ambassadors speak one-on-one with visitors at crossings, beaches and on trails to educate folks about the polluting impacts of trash and dog waste, the dangers of broken glass, and the catastrophic potential of wildfire.
- Glass is the number one cause of injury at the river. Leave it at home.
- Dog waste can cause algae blooms in the river. River Ambassadors always carry extra dog bags if you should need one.
- Pack it in, pack it out! Take out what you bring in.
- A fire in the canyon would be catastrophic. Please don’t start camp fires. If you smoke, River Ambassadors have mint tins for cigarette butts.