Effective today, May 4, Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux has issued temporary river closures for parts of the Kaweah, Kern and Tule rivers. Sections of the Kings and St. John’s rivers are already closed to the public.
The closure orders begin today and will stay in effect until further notice.
This year’s record level snowpack and warming temperatures have resulted in swift, cold water flowing in the Kaweah, Kern and Tule rivers, as well as the Kings and St. John’s rivers, making all the waterways in Tulare County dangerous and the banks unstable for the public. Do not enter the waterways.
Public access will be closed:
• Kaweah River at Cobble Knoll and Slick Rock recreational areas.
• Sections of the Kern River within Tulare County at all points along the Kern River beginning at Dry Meadow Creek, approximately two miles east of the Johnsondale Bridge, down to the Tulare/Kern County Line. The closure order would include all river access locations for recreational use.
◦ Currently, Mountain Highway 99 is closed at Roads End near McNally’s to Johnsondale, due to construction.
• Sections of the Tule River from the National Monument to Lower Coffee Camp. There will be no public access at all sites on the Middle Fork of the Tule River beginning at the entrance to the Giant Sequoia National Monument and extending to the Moorehouse Fish Hatchery just below Pier Point Springs. Also, river access is restricted from the North Fork of the Middle Fork of the Tule River to Wishon Campground.
Currently Highway 190 is closed at Balch Park Road due to construction.
Officials will monitor water levels and river conditions throughout the summer. When safe, access to our rivers will be reopened to the public.
Sheriff Boudreaux wants to remind everyone to be extremely careful in all of the local waterways. The water might look calm, but it is not. And a situation can turn dangerous in an instant.