Kings River open for swimming and boating

The Fresno BeeJuly 2, 2014 

Dozens of people beat the heat at the Kings River at Reedley Beach on July 21, 2013.

MARK CROSSE — Fresno Bee Staff Photo Buy Photo

Rising water on the Kings River puts an end to Tulare County's ban on boating and swimming, which comes just in time for folks seeking relief from the heat wave.

Boating will be allowed starting Thursday, the Tulare County Parks and Recreation Department said.

The Bureau of Reclamation increased water releases from Pine Flat Dam starting Tuesday, causing the river to rise, said Steve Haugen, water master at the Kings River Water Association.

Although water releases will be brief this season due to the drought, the river "should be up through the first week of August," he said.

Recreation on the Fresno County portion of the Kings was never banned, but until recently there hasn't been enough water for boating, said Fresno County Sheriff's Sgt. Richard Wilhoite.

Patrol boats were put into the river for the first time only last weekend, he said.

Boats, jet skis and inner tubes are used on the river, but floating is discouraged below Cricket Hollow Park in Reedley due to safety, he said.

Kayaking is popular on the Kings above Highway 180, he said.

Temperatures above 100 are forecast through Tuesday.

The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6104, or @fb_LewGriswold on Twitter.

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