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River & Lake Information

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It's no secret that the Kern River Valley had been impacted by the drought that hit California from 2012-2016. Many had been confused as to why the lake has been low in the past; we can tell you that it had nothing to do with the Army Corps of Engineers and the Dam reconstruction. When a drought happens here, it is purely because of dry winters. The Kern River thrives on snow from Mt.Whitney that melts and then makes its way south. With the drought over, 2017 looks to be like a great year! Check out the videos at the top and bottom of this article and see for yourself!

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Swimming: It is NOT a good idea to swim in the Kern River in 2017 as snow pack further north is still melting, causing the currents to be far more rapid than previous years. Please read up on River Safety! Always respect the water and never underestimate the river currents.

Fishing: It is recommended to fish during the cooler seasons of the year as fish will be more active. Check out the Kern River Fly Shop and their weekly Fishing Reports!

Rafting: March - July 4th weekend (Upper Kern), March - September (Lower Kern) with Whitewater Voyages.

Lake Isabella: The annual Fishing Derby has happened every year since the drought. The marinas are also open for business during the spring and summer months.

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Panning for Gold: In drier years, the lack of water holds an advantage; the search for precious nuggets!

In the 1850's, the Kern River Valley blossomed due to Gold Rush Fever! Today, gold can still be found in the Kern River if you look close enough. They say that when one door closes, another opens for a reason. Check out this video for more information!

For more Natural Attractions, Activities and Water Sport fun, check out our "Local Guide" and "Events"!

River Video Credits: Jon Feldschau & Kern River Conservancy

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