Lower Kern River Valley waters reported, activities remain

KERNVILLE, Calif. - A river still runs through the Kern River Valley, but it will just be lower this summer.

That isn't floating well with business owners in Kernville, however.

At Mountain and River Adventures the rafting season on the upper Kern River is running from May into June, which isn't their usual schedule.

"In years past we've run the Upper Kern from April to probably into the beginning of July so this is a little bit different this year," said Rhonda Stallone, the co-owner of Mountain and River Adventures.  "We are going to have a shorter season."

The news gets worse for rafting on the lower Kern River.

"In fact, we aren't even going to have a lower Kern season this year," Stallone said.

Less people rafting means less people coming to the Kern River Valley and less people staying at the Kern Lodge.

"We had so far this week, this was only through Thursday, over $20,000 worth of cancelations from the rafting community," said Sue Wiruth, the owner of Kern Lodge.

And there isn't much optimism that a steady rain will come to the rescue.

"I've been praying.  But that is up to higher power than me," Wiruth said.

This comes as downtown Kernville was preparing for a busy summer, putting the finishing touches on a nearly $2,000,000 facelift, with new sidewalks, crosswalks, streetlights and roads.

Low river and construction aside, the Kernville Chamber of Commerce wants people to know that Kernville is open for business this summer.

"Get your camping gear and come up to the Kern River Valley," said Cheryl Borthick, President of the Kernville Chamber of Commerce.  "There is fly fishing, there is playing in the river, there is tubing, there is all kind of activities, camping...all sorts of good stuff that can be taken advantage of here in the Kern River Valley."

Back on the shores of the river, Mountain and River Adventures also offers more than just rafting to visitors.

"We also offer biking, climbing, we do lake kayaking, and we do stand up paddle boarding on the lake as well," Borthick said.  "So we have some other adventures to add to their menu options for them as well this year."

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