Rafting season looks promising for Kernville

Posted at 2:02 PM, Mar 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-31 19:20:06-04

Kern River Valley is one of the areas that was hardest hit due to the drought. With warm temperatures and low water levels, many rafting companies had to make modifications or offer alternatives.

However, things are looking up and some Kernville rafting companies say this rafting season looks promising.

We're definitely seeing earlier signs of a healthy rafting season. In fact, we've already been doing trips this week," said Vice President of Mountain and River Adventures, Rhonda Stallone.

SoCal Rafting is right next to Stallone's company, and agrees this rafting season is off to a strong start.

"Right now I've already done 10 trips and we've been open for a week," said SoCal Rafting Trip Leader, Tyler Walters.

With that brings more hope, compared to what they've experienced in year's past.

"The last 3 years has been a really quick, short season for rafting in the Kern River," said Stallone.

Walters agrees.

"Last season was a little easier on us because we had the experience of the low water, but it was just so low anyway that it kind of hurt go out as a guide," said Walters.

Fast forwarding to this rafting season, there are early signs of hope.

However, while there is improvement, some still believe there's a long way to go.

"The snowpack is going to be closer to 75 percent. It'll double what it was last year, but still well below average," said Richard Arner, a Trout Educator for Kern County schools. 

Arner is also an avid fly fisher and said the drought caused extremely warm water temperatures. So warm, it was deadly for trout.

He also looks forward to a stronger season for water activities, and encourages those seeking adventure to go rafting before the warm summer months.

"The spring melt is going to be on right about now. There's about 700 cubic feet a second coming out of the mountains up by Mount Whitney, and it'll ramp up to about 2000 cfs," said Arner.



Good Afternoon! I'm here in Kernville to find out what they expect for the upcoming rafting season

Posted by Kelli Johnson 23ABC on Wednesday, March 30, 2016