BASS LAKE, Calif. (KFSN) --A wave of wet weather and snow fall sweeping the area is prompting water levels to rise. Bass lake levels are currently well above the spill way.
The water pouring out of the Crane Valley Dam prompted mountain communities in North Fork to evacuate.
Experts with the Friant Dam said they had to ramp up their release last week, because of the heavy downpour and runoff from the mountains. They are now releasing 6,000 cubic feet per second proving beneficial to the San Joaquin River and surrounding areas.
"When we put water back in the river it helps recharge our aquifer, and that really helps everyone in the Valley," said Sharon Weaver, Executive Director of San Joaquin River Parkway and Conservation Trust.
Weaver said this is the highest she has seen water levels since 2011.
"This is a good flow that's just filling up the channel and not creating huge flood problems downstream."
Looking at the main river channel flow almost to the top of the bank indicates not only ground water recharge but a lot of water to help create new habitats to support local wildlife.
"We have deer all along the river corridor and that means we also have some of the predatory species," said Weaver.
This is the first high flow year since salmon were added to the river, so experts are waiting to see what that means for their nests.
The steady current also means parrots feather, the invasive aquatic weed growing near Lost Lake and hindering access for kayakers and canoers, will be broken up.
"With these high flows they have probably been swept downstream," said Weaver. "It needs to be flushed out every now and then so it's not choking off the entire channel."