Wednesday, November 25, 2009


McCloud River & Squaw Valley Creek - California Whitewater Paddleboating Guide.

Wild and Scenic Rafting, Kayaking, IKing - Siskiyou & Shasta County, California, USA.

McCloud River & Squaw Valley Creek - locations for Kayaking, IKing & Rafting put-in.

1. McCloud River Upper Run (class III-IV, 11 Miles).
      N 41.24445 W 122.02354, Fowler's Campground put-in (A) See map below.
      N 41.15682 W 122.09141, Tarantula Gulch, Lake McCloud, take-out (B).

2. McCloud River Middle Run (class IVp, 5 Miles).
      N 41.12676 W 122.06789, Below Lake McCloud Dam, put-in (C) See map below.
      N 41.09892 W 122.11089, Road Access, take-out/put-in (D).

3. McCloud River Lower Run (class IV, 19 Miles).
      N 41.09892 W 122.11089, Road Access, take-out/put-in (D) See map below.
      N 40.93984 W 122.24650, Gilman Rd (top of Lake Shasta) take-out (E).

4. Squaw Valley Creek - McCloud River Run (class IV+, 21.5 Miles).
      N 41.14305 W 122.17037, Cabin Creek Campground put-in (F) See map below.
      N 41.04000 W 122.20634, Squaw Valley Creek - McCloud River confluence
      N 40.93984 W 122.24650, Gilman Rd (top of Lake Shasta) take-out (E).

McCloud River road map & topographic map for paddleboaters.

Instructions for online interactive topographic river maps & road maps.
Full-Screen River Map - landmarks on the McCloud River valley.
• To see the names of landmarks displayed below (A, B, etc.) - DoubleClick or point on the red markers.

McCloud River Guides, Maps & River Flow Data for Whitewater Paddle Boating.

Best Whitewater in California, Third Edition 1998. (pg. 98-101)
California Whitewater - A Guide to the Rivers, Third Edition 1995. (pg. 259)
California River Maps - Atlas & Gazetteer by Delorme, 2008.
• River flow data & online river guides: McCloud River Paddlesports Directory. Squaw Valley Creek Directory. Display options alphabetical 100. See boating guides & flows in Section 1.

McCloud River Valley paddleboating trip reports NEEDED !!

Please send your trip reports from whitewater paddleboating trips on McCloud River. Stories, pictures & videos from boating trips will be linked here.
River Lover - Middle & Lower Run McCloud River kayaking IV+ 21april2008.

Outdoor Activities & Environmental Protection in McCloud River Canyon.

McCloud River Watershed Directory - Conservation & Recreation. Websites for McCloud River valley. (Display options alphabetical 100. Section 1=kayaking, 2=rafting, 3=environment-conservation, 4=fishing, 5=hiking-camping, 6=local-websites)

More About McCloud River:
California Whitewater River Guides for Kayaking, IKing, Innertubing, Canoeing & Rafting.
• McCloud River has been protected in the California State Wild and Scenic Rivers Program.
• Nearby streams: Upper Sacramento River, Pit River, Sacramento River Valley Region.
How to use whitewater river paddleboating guides - BRT Kayaking.

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Thursday, November 19, 2009


McCloud River - support restoration of natural water flows in this beautiful whitewater river (Siskyou County & Shasta County, California, USA).

Relicensing of McCloud Dam provides a rare opportunity ensure that this public resource is managed for the benefit of all people who wish to enjoy it.

Please write letters or emails in support of water flow restoration & conservation of the wild and scenic McCloud River.

Guest Author: Dave Steindorf, California Stewardship Director, American Whitewater.

American Whitewater has been working for three years to get improved flows on the McCloud River, quite possibly the best class III/ IV wilderness run in California. In order for this to become a reality we need your support! We need to get letters off to the Forest Service and other agencies ASAP to show that whitewater boaters are interested in the McCloud River. The agencies have proposed a flow schedule that we are happy about. This flow schedule mimics the natural hydrograph by having high flows in the spring. These flows will provide two months of good boating in an above normal year and one month in a below normal water year.

Unfortunately, some of our angling brethren are not happy about this flow schedule because these flows could cut into some angling days. They have been engaged in a scorched earth letter writing campaign to all of the resource agencies. In their letters they are saying how more water will destroy the fishery and the usual nasty stuff about whitewater boaters. We desperately need to let the agencies know that there is another side to the story. Please write a letter today and tell them the following:
* Why the McCloud River is special to whitewater boaters. (25 miles, class III/IV, wilderness, etc).
* Why a natural flow regime with high spring flows makes sense and meets the needs of whitewater recreation and the river.
* You can also speak to the fact that the McCloud River was boatable 365 days a year before the dam was built. Bringing back a few days a year is not too much to ask.
* If you like to fish you can also speak to this balance from an angling perspective and that the angling groups that they have been hearing from do not represent all anglers.
* Ask for a written response.

Please send your letters to:
Ms. Victoria A. Whitney
Deputy Director
Division of Water Rights
California State Water Resources Control
1001 I Street, 14th Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814

Tristan Leong
Environmental Scientist
State Water Resource Control Board
1001 I Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
J. Sharon Heywood
Forest Supervisor
Shasta-Trinity National Forest
3644 Avtech Parkway
Redding, CA 96002
Mr. Gary Stacy
Regional Manager
Northern District
California Department of Fish and Game
Redding, California 96001
See below: the American Whitewater letter and a letter from AW ambassador Sage Donnelly. Please encourage others to write letters as well. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Dave Steindorf, California Stewardship Director, American Whitewater
4 Baroni Drive, Chico, CA 95928
Office 530.343.1871 Cell 530.518.2729

BR Thomas letter in support of McCloud River restoration:

Sent via separate emails to: Ms. Victoria A. Whitney, Tristan Leong, J. Sharon Heywood, & Mr. Gary Stacy.

McCloud River - I support restoration of natural water flows.

I support restoration of natural water flows in the McCloud River. A flow schedule that mimics the natural hydrograph by having high flows in the spring will be good for the environment, good for the wildlife and good for whitewater paddleboating recreation. Healthy ecosystems, fishing opportunities and whitewater paddleboating opportunities can all coexist under natural river flow regimes. Paddleboating is one of the best ways for people to enjoy this beautiful river canyon. It seems only fair that paddleboaters should be able to enjoy the river for a few weeks every year, while the lower flows that the fishermen prefer are still available for many months per year.

I would appreciate a reply with your thoughts on these issues.

American Whitewater letter in support of McCloud River restoration:

November 16, 2009

J. Sharon Heywood
Shasta-Trinity National Forest
3644 Avtech Parkway
Redding, CA 96002

Re: McCloud/ Pit Relicensing

Dear Supervisor Heywood,

American Whitewater is a national river advocacy organization dedicated to the preservation protection and enhancement of America's Whitewater Rivers. American Whitewater has also been extensively involved with the relicensing of FERC hydroelectric projects across the country. In California, American Whitewater has participated in over twenty relicensing and signed six settlement agreements. We fully understand the challenging task that faces resources agencies, such as the Forest Service, in working to bring an appropriate balancing between the various uses of these river systems including, power generation, recreation and ecosystem needs.

Natural river systems do an amazing job at providing for a variety of needs. Healthy ecosystems, angling opportunities and whitewater boating opportunities all coexist under natural flow regimes. The Cal Salmon, Rogue River and Upper Sacramento River, are all classic examples of how well all of these interests can be met on one river.
Hydropower generation and the water that it extracts from river systems certainly put additional strains on the other uses of the river. The McCloud River has ninety percent of its water removed for hydropower. What is more important is that natural flow patterns have been replaced with a flat line flow below the dam that is only interrupted for relatively short periods when the dam spills during wet years. While this flow pattern works well for the needs of power production it has not worked well to meet the other ecosystem needs of the river or provide whitewater recreation opportunity.

We understand that this current flow regime has also provided the maximum number of days for wading based angling and some anglers are upset at the prospect of having this change. While we agree that wading based angling is a very important use of the McCloud River it is by no means the only interest that should be considered in the balancing that must be done as part of this relicensing. For American Whitewater’s part we have acknowledged this angling use by not advocating for flow releases specifically for whitewater recreation. It has been our view from the beginning of this relicensing process that a flow schedule that mimicked natural flow patterns would bring ecosystem improvements as well as provide for whitewater recreation.
We believe that the flow proposal crafted by Forest Service Staff and the other resource agencies meets all of these needs. This flow schedule, which has high flows in the spring that gradually taper off, is similar to other flow schedules that have been adopted on FERC projects on other rivers including the North Fork Feather and the San Joaquin.

The McCloud River is a truly amazing resource that deserves protection. The river journey from McCloud Dam to Lake Shasta is one of the most beautiful river trips in California. We hope that you will support your staff in insuring that all forms of recreationist will have access to this fabulous resource.

Dave Steindorf
California Stewardship Director
American Whitewater

Sage Donnelly letter in support of McCloud River restoration:

November 16, 2009

J. Sharon Heywood
Shasta-Trinity National Forest
3644 Avtech Parkway
Redding, CA 96002

McCloud River

Dear Supervisor Heywood,

My name is Sage Donnelly and I am nine years old. I have been whitewater kayaking since my Dad put me in a tandem kayak with him when I was two. Kayaking with my Mom and Dad is my favorite things to do.

I am hoping to boat the McCloud River some day. It sounds like just the kind of river that I would like, very beautiful and not too difficult. Because it is a long trip, 25 miles, I think it would be a great over night river trip.
I understand that some fishermen are not happy with having whitewater boaters on the McCloud River. I think it is unfair of them to expect to have the McCloud River, or any river, all to themselves. I think they need to learn how to share.

I think the people that you work with understand that the McCloud is an important river and should be shared. I think they are also trying to do what is best for the fish, frogs and other river creatures. I think that having flows that are more natural will help them and make it so I can kayak with my family.

Sage Donnelly
Carson City, Nevada

More about McCloud River & California River Conservation issues:
River Conservation & Water Supply Policy Issues in California - BRT Insights.
• McCloud River has been protected in the California State Wild and Scenic Rivers Program.
McCloud River wild & scenic whitewater paddleboating guide - BRT Insights.
McCloud River Upper Run trip report, BRT Insights July 28, 2007.
McCloud River Recreation & Conservation Directory. (Sort alphabetically. 1&2=paddleboating, 3=conservation, 4=fishing, 5=camping-hiking, 6=local-info)

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Friday, November 13, 2009


Organic sports drinks made from healthy natural fruit juices for kayakers, rafters and other extreme athletes.

Homemade sports drinks help to prevent dehydration and provide the nutritional value from the fruit.

High quality organic fruit juices can be diluted with high quality pure water to produce great tasting sports drinks. The recipe for Hydration Fruit-Ade shows how to dilute any bottled organic fruit juice to the precise sugar concentration needed in a sports drink.

Organic juices that still taste great when diluted in the Fruit-Ade recipe:
• Zola Brazilian Superfruits - Acai Blueberry.
• Woodstock Farms - Pure Pineapple.
• R.W. Knudsen - Orange Carrot.
• Lakewood - Pomegranate Blueberry.
• R.W. Knudsen - Just Tart Cherry
• Santa Cruz Natural - Red Tart Cherry.
You may grow to like the light refreshing taste of these diluted organic juices and adopt the Fruit-Ade sports drink recipe for all of your daily fruit juice consumption as I have. This has the added benefit of stretching your fruit juice costs over a greater volume of drinks.

If the diluted organic fruit juices need a little more sweetness or flavor enhancement to satisfy your sweet tooth then you can add stevia natural sweetener.
More about:
Go Green with Homemade Sports Drink Recipes - Succulent Wife 02nov2009.
Hydration Fruit-Ade natural fruit sports drink - BRT Insights.
Paddle boaters need good hydration for optimum performance - BRT Insights 09sept2009.
Food & Drink for Outdoor Activities - BRT Insights.

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Monday, November 02, 2009


Use the Buddy System for Safety Teamwork on Whitewater River Kayaking, Innertubing & Canoeing Trips.

While talking with a kayaking friend recently he described a large kayaking group that spread out while going down the river. At some point he realized that none of the nearby boaters were paying any attention to his safety, so if he had a swim or an entrapment it would have been a very long time, if ever, before anybody would have come to help.

Safety skills & teamwork for small kayaking, innertubing & canoeing groups.

In a small paddleboating group everybody should be everybody else's buddy. Every buddy is responsible for watching out for everybody else's safety - every minute, all day, no exceptions. Even boaters who don't have the skill or strength to be primary rescuers should at least be watchful and raise the alarm as soon as they see somebody needing help. Everybody is responsible to stick together with the group, to watch out for the safety of others and to enable others to watch out for you. Solo boaters who drift apart from the group and don't participate in this teamwork for safety are simply not welcome in my boating group.

Safety skills & teamwork for large kayaking, innertubing & canoeing groups.

Big groups of paddle boaters inevitably spread out so it is not possible for everybody to watch out for the safety of everybody all day on the river. If the safety awareness of a big group or many individuals in the group is not so good, then it may not be easy for an individual to change that. Individuals on a group trip can nevertheless improve their own safety on the river by teaming up with a buddy or a small group of safety-minded individuals. If your small group sticks closely together while boating, then you can improve your own safety despite the other paddleboaters in your big group who may not be so safety conscious.

More about: Safety Skills & Techniques for Whitewater River Paddleboating.

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