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In a drought year, still some rivers to run.

In a drought year, still some rivers to run River-runners take heart. To date, 1988 is one of the driest years on record in several Western states, but there are still plenty of calm pools to drift in and raging rapids to shoot. We asked river experts for this year's river-running forecast and came up with the following information for areas affected by drought. Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming are enjoying a normal season, but double-check with rafting companies for latest information. California. Dam-controlled rivers have higher flows when utility companies release water for power; some rivers will be raftable only on scheduled release days--usually weekdays. Middle Fork of the American: through September, Mondays through Saturdays only. South Fork of the American: all summer, Wednesdays through Sundays only. Cache Creek: all summer. Lower Kern: all summer. Kings: through June. Klamath: all summer. Salmon: early June only. Upper Tuolumne (Cherry Creek): through June, weekdays only. Tuolumne: through June, weekdays only. The following rivers will not be raftable this summer: North Fork of the American, East Fork of the Carson, Upper Kern, Forks of the Kern, Merced. For a 24-hour recording of California river water levels (in cubic feet per second), call (916) 322-3327; to receive a written report on river flow status through June, call (800) 952-5530. Idaho. The water supply is about 70 to 80 percent of normal and won't affect recreation much. The Middle Fork of the Salmon may have a slightly shorter season, ending in mid-July. Oregon. Deschutes: all summer. Grand Ronde: through mid-July. John Day: through June. McKenzie: upper river not raftable, lower good all summer. Rogue: raftable all year. Santiam: upper not raftable, lower good all season. Umpqua: through mid-July. The Crooked and the Owyhee Rivers will not be raftable after May this year. Call (800) 547-1501 for a recording of Oregon river flows.

Booking agents These four agencies can help you find a guided river trip. The service is free, but listings include only outfitters who pay to be included. Friends of the River, (415) 771-0400. Idaho Outfitters and Guides Association, (208) 342-1438. Oregon Guides and Packers, (503) 234-3268. Western River Guides Association, (303) 771-0389.
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Date:Jun 1, 1988
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