Heavy rain and above average snow pack made the Kern River especially treacherous this year.
For that very reason, swift water rescue experts are getting fire recruits up to speed on water rescue training.
"There is a lot less margin for error here," said Capt. Doug Greener from the Bakersfield City Fire Department. "There are fewer shallow areas, fewer areas for people to extricate themselves if they get into a bad situation."
The water is the result of heavy rain, above average snow pack, and release of dam water from Lake Isabella.
Those three factors could spell disaster for river patrons.