Friday, February 10, 2017


Photo by Gareth Tate
The might and power of water are on display once again this winter as another series of storms blow through California dumping rain and snow across the state's northern tier.
A large portion of the Oroville Dam Spillway unexpectedly eroded away during this week's rain Department of Water Resources employees noticed pieces of concrete during a water release from Lake Oroville, the release was halted and water officials discovered about 200 to 300 feet of the spillway disappeared. Officials say Lake Oroville has enough storage to handle storms over the next three days. There is no imminent danger to the public

Meanwhile, the flow out of the Nimbus Dam was increased to 15,000 cubic feet of water per second earlier this week and is scheduled to more than double to 35,000 cubic feet per second from Lake Natoma by the end this week.
"The increased releases are based on changing conditions and are necessary to maintain space in Folsom Reservoir for projected Sierra runoff," the Bureau of Reclamation said in a news release. "Current storage in the reservoir is around 158 percent of its 15-year average for December."
Low-lying portions of the American River Parkway will likely be closed for a second time this winter, due to flooding, along with the Campus Commons golf course and Discovery Park.

At the rain-swollen Lake Clementine near Auburn, the cascade over the North Fork Dam roars like a mini-Niagara Falls of aquatic force echoing through the canyon and drawing river watchers like Gareth Tate.

"After seeing the amount of overflow going over the dam," wrote Truckee based photographer and kayaker, Tate in an email to Outside Adventure to the Max, "I decided to take out my drone and go for a flight. Quite a beautiful perspective of this rare scene."

The lake is a four-mile-long and narrow waterway in the popular Auburn State Recreation Area, fed by the North Fork American River. It was formed in 1939 when the Army Corps of Engineers built the dam to prevent gold mining debris from flowing downstream. A short hike upstream from the 730-foot-tall Foresthill Bridge, the highest bridge in California, the lake is popular for boaters and water-skiers during the summer months. However, like many of state's flooded waterways, this winter visiting the lake is not advised till the water resides.

"Although the flooding can be damaging," wrote Tate, "It is hard not to feel a sense of relief for California with this record-breaking snow and rain season. My fingers stay crossed that temps will stay cold for the rest of the storms this year so that the water can stay stored as snow and released gradually but after the last few years it is awesome to see the rivers so full."

You can check out more about Gareth Tate and images and videos on Facebook

Over the Bow is a feature from Outside Adventure to the Max, telling the story behind the image. If you have a great picture with a great story, submit it to us at