Kings River Off-Limits to Floaters; Stifles Camping Too

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June 20, 2011 by   - () Leave a Comment

As the waters rise, business is sinking at spots along the Kings River in California's Fresno County. Fewer people are visiting campgrounds and other sites. This, as officials are preparing to close the entire river off to recreational use, KMPH-TV, Fresno, reported.

The Stollmeyer family has been traveling to the Kings River from all over California for generations.

"We've been coming to the Kings River for 55 years," said Tom Stollmeyer, from San Luis Obispo.

But there's one part of their annual trip they won't get to enjoy.

"We can float from one end of the campground to the other, that's about it," said Stollmeyer.

Just recently local law enforcement has begun telling floaters, the Kings River is off-limits.

"We just floated down to the park, and we were just informed by the police department that we can no longer float," said Stollmeyer.

News like that gives employees at Kelly's Beach Campground in Reedley a sinking feeling.

"It hurts us for the floaters, floaters can't go out. It's too dangerous, it's too cold, too swift, and can cause a loss of life and that's just not worth it," said Juanita Ferguson, a store clerk.

She says several people have called, concerned about the water levels.

Now that people can't float down the river, this business expects to see fewer customers.

"It hurts us tremendously, we're all at jeopardy. Some of us will either not work hours or not work at all," said Ferguson.

The Fresno County Sheriff's Department has closed the Kings River, north of Highway 180, to recreational use.

Deputies have not officially closed the entire Kings River in Fresno County but are considering it.

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