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Public asked not to swim, kayak on Mokelumne River

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Posted: Saturday, July 2, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 10:45 am, Sat Jul 2, 2011.

The San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department and the county Parks and Recreation Department urge people to not swim or kayak in the Mokelumne River downstream from Camanche Dam until further notice because of dangerous conditions.

Due to Tuesday’s storm and late-season snowstorms in the Sierra Nevada mountains, Mokelumne River water is running extremely fast from Clements to the Delta, and the water temperature is below 60 degrees.

Public access points such as Stillman Magee Regional Park on Mackville Road in Clements and the Mokelumne River day-use area near Camanche Dam have been closed until further notice.

Due to this week’s storm, compounded by May and June snowstorms in the mountains, the East Bay Municipal Utility District, which operates the river, is releasing water at 5,000 cubic feet per second from Camanche Dam; five times as rapid as last year.

The Mokelumne remains open to those with private access, but officials urge everyone to stay out of the water.

“It’s a bad idea,” said Kent Lambert, EMBUD’s recreation manager. “Right now, the water is running so far outside its normal banks it’s a completely different river right now.”

Contact reporter Ross Farrow at rossf@lodinews.com.

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