Middle Fork American River at French Meadows Inlet

Recreational Releases

Flow Schedule

During the summer recreation season, PCWA coordinates its Middle Fork Project operations and water release schedule with the California Department of Parks and Recreation and designated commercial whitewater boating representatives.

The whitewater release schedule varies from year to year based on water year type designations, but generally runs from Memorial Day weekend in May through Labor Day weekend in September.

Whitewater recreation releases are scheduled on a voluntary basis so they do not compromise power production, maintenance activities, or consumptive water deliveries.

PCWA's 2022 summer release schedule can be found here.  Note that PCWA recently updated the 2022 summer release schedule to include additional whitewater boating days. Specifically, except for August 1st, PCWA will provide recreational releases on Monday's in August and on all Mondays and Thursdays in September, meaning whitewater boating flows will be available 7 days a week during August and September of 2022.

Real Time Flows

The Water Year Type is a designation used to determine stream flows for water projects everywhere in California including the Middle Fork Project. Check out the 2020 whitewater boating water release schedule on:

Hydro Release Travel Times

This matrix assumes a base flow of 200 cfs (cubic feet per second) at Oxbow Powerhouse, ramping up to a peak flow of 1,000 cfs over an approximate two-hour period.

Whitewater Release Travel Time Matrix
Note: Travel time is 2.5 mph and assumes a base flow of 200 cfs and a peak flow of 1,000 cfs. Travel time is faster when either base flow or peak flow increases.
Release TimeIndian Bar Rafter AccessOXB GageFords BarRuck-a-ChuckyPoverty BarMammoth BarConfluenceBirdsallOregon Bar Access
12:00 AM12:00 AM12:30 AM4:04 AM6:03 AM7:13 AM8:53 AM9:44 AM11:12 AM11:52 AM
2:00 AM2:00 AM2:30 AM6:04 AM8:03 AM9:13 AM10:53 AM11:44 AM1:12 PM1:52 PM
4:00 AM4:00 AM4:30 AM8:04 AM10:03 AM11:13 AM12:53 PM1:44 PM3:12 PM3:52 PM
6:00 AM6:00 AM6:30 AM10:04 AM12:03 PM1:13 PM2:53 PM3:44 PM5:12 PM5:52 PM
8:00 AM8:00 AM8:30 AM12:04 PM2:03 PM3:13 PM4:53 PM5:44 PM7:12 PM7:52 PM
10:00 AM10:00 AM10:30 AM2:04 PM4:03 PM5:13 PM6:53 PM7:44 PM9:12 PM9:52 PM
11:00 AM11:00 AM11:30 AM3:04 PM5:03 PM6:13 PM7:53 PM8:44 PM10:12 PM10:52 PM
12:00 PM12:00 PM2:04 PM4:04 PM6:03 PM7:13 PM8:53 PM9:44 PM11:12 PM11:52 PM
2:00 PM2:00 PM2:30 PM6:04 PM8:03 PM9:13 PM10:53 PM11:44 PM1:12 AM1:52 AM
4:00 PM4:00 PM4:30 PM8:04 PM10:03 PM11:13 PM12:53 AM1:44 AM3:12 AM3:52 AM
6:00 PM6:00 PM6:30 PM10:04 PM12:03 AM1:13 AM2:53 AM3:44 AM5:12 AM5:52 AM
8:00 PM8:00 PM8:30 PM12:04 AM2:03 AM3:13 AM4:53 AM5:44 AM7:12 AM7:52 AM
10:00 PM10:00 PM10:30 PM2:04 AM4:03 AM5:13 AM6:53 AM7:44 AM9:12 AM9:52 AM
12:00 AM12:00 AM12:30 AM4:04 AM6:03 AM7:13 AM8:53 AM9:44 AM11:12 AM11:52 AM
Travel Time (hour:min)00:304:046:037:138:539:4411:1211:52

Oxbow Powerhouse Daily Flow Schedule

PCWA publishes a daily schedule to manage water resources (e.g. maintain environmental flow requirements, water deliveries and recreation activities) to optimize energy production to the electric grid.

The schedule will become null and void if there is a change in the CAISO energy scheduling rules or protocols that dictate altered scheduling practices by generation asset owners. These schedules are subject to change based on:

  • Electrical demand and market conditions
  • Changes in inflow to Ralston Afterbay due to project operations
  • CAISO instructions
  • Weather events
  • Unforeseen events that affect energy production or energy dispatch planning

Users should use the information on this website with caution and do so at their own risk. The Placer County Water Agency accepts no liability for the accuracy, availability, suitability, reliability, usability, completeness or timeliness of the data or graphical depictions rendered from the data. The information on this website consists of estimates of stream flow and reservoir levels based on field instrumentation. Actual stream flows may vary significantly from the estimates provided. Many factors affect stream flows and reservoir levels, including weather, snowmelt runoff, and the operating requirements of the hydro project. Reservoir and river recreation can be hazardous. Users have the sole responsibility to determine whether conditions are safe to enter the water, and they thereby assume full risk of serious bodily injury and/or death.

Note Regarding Units - All river stage heights and reservoir elevations are in Feet. All river flow values are in Cubic Feet Per Second (CFS). All reservoir storage values are in Acre Feet.

Oxbow Day Ahead Flow Schedule
TimeFlow (cfs)

144 Ferguson Rd.

Auburn, CA 95603

(530) 823-4850

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