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  Water levels across USA
  Posted by: willi_h2o on Oct-08-12 12:16 AM (EST)
   Category: unassigned 

Anybody switching boats because of lower water levels ?
Perhaps thinking about draft and hitting sand bars...

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Messages in this Topic


  Wisconsin River
  Posted by: jpc on Oct-08-12 12:42 AM (EST)
You may be able to walk the lower portion of the Wisconsin River. I saw at the convergence with the mighty Mississippi river.

This was the first year we crossed the Mississippi. No barges or any boats on a Friday before noon. The water was very smooth. Very strange. Crossed it in a Q17.
  Not me
  Posted by: shiraz627 on Oct-08-12 5:28 AM (EST)
I have a depth finder.
  Posted by: PJC on Oct-08-12 3:47 PM (EST)
I've been on the Wisc. for five of the last seven days. Very low. Been living here since 83 and I've never seen it lower.

In fact, I went swimming (intentionally) on Wed. and had trouble finding spots deep enough to honestly swim in... kept kicking the bottom. You could probably hike the lower 93 miles of it and use a PFD for the occasional 50yd channel swims if you didn't want to hike over to the shallower bank. Why take a boat at all?

Seems really odd since the previous two years it was so high it was sometimes hard to find a sandbar to camp on. Got everything except average.

Thursday at Wyalusing (on the Mississippi a little over a mile downstream from the confluence) the floating piers were grounded and had water lines 18" above where the water level is now - so they've likely been grounded for a long time this summer.

Leads to some amusement though... while passing by Muscoda there was a dumbass who thought it might be a good idea to drive his Silverado off the DNR boat landing. He got to a sandbar in almost mid river and got his silly self stuck. He was throwing wet sand well above his roof line before he gave it up. Dug himself in good. He had to be rescued with a farm tractor. Cops arrived, DNR, all the uniforms were present by the time he was out - calculating fines, no doubt. He's probably thinking that wasn't the brightest thing he did that day... Good laugh for us though. The Muscoda Low Water Folly Fest.

No change of boats though... If I beach I just step out and haul over to where its 3" deeper. Its all loose sand and does very little (if any) hull damage. Worth it just to be out there and get some camping in.
  what lower water levels?
  Posted by: kayamedic on Oct-08-12 9:33 AM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Oct-08-12 9:33 AM EST --

Its rained quite a bit here this summer. We are running at least 76 to 90 percentile.

You did ask about the USA.

  I did indeed
  Posted by: willi_h2o on Oct-08-12 10:58 AM (EST)
Curious to know as winter snows approach,
and sets the stage for next years adventures.
  Not sure about the winter
  Posted by: kayamedic on Oct-08-12 12:07 PM (EST)
even the weather guys are yo yoing about our future weatherwise.

You will have to keep this thread a volleyball!

Looking at the Plains where we were a scant month ago baking and seeing the arrival of winter now sure makes you wonder.

We did have some snow in the White Mountains last night.
  finally getting some water
  Posted by: willowleaf on Oct-08-12 11:03 AM (EST)
Levels dropped so far this summer in western and central northern PA that we never took out the folding boats or the canoe (would have just hung up on the gravel bars and gotten scraped up). Took out the rotomold beaters and even the old whitewater boats the few times we paddled. At one point you could walk across the West Branch of the Susquehanna a couple of miles downstream from Shawville without getting your knees wet. Some of the smaller feeder streams in the mountains virtually disappeared, becoming trickles through boulder fields and gravel. I even got hung up on sand bars in side channels of the mighty Monongahela and Allegheny back in August.

But we are finally getting some steady rains. Haven't looked at the gauges lately (can't paddle anyway with my broken wing) but they have to be coming up some.
  Nope - Sea Level Rising
  Posted by: seadart on Oct-08-12 12:21 PM (EST)
A whole lot for the next 40 -50 years.
  eyeing cliffs for future rock gardening
  Posted by: jcbikeski on Oct-08-12 2:34 PM (EST)
  No water
  Posted by: djo on Oct-08-12 12:58 PM (EST)
We have a river trail dedication and float trip schedduled this weekend on a river with no water flowing through it. Maybe we can skateboard it.
  Depends on the moon.
  Posted by: magooch on Oct-08-12 1:10 PM (EST)
Around here and where I paddle, it still depends on the tides, but even at low tide there's still plenty of water to float any of my boats.
  I like draft
  Posted by: redmond on Oct-08-12 1:13 PM (EST)
and sand bars. No, wait, that's beer. Sorry 'bout that.
  Sure. GA is still the droughtiest
  Posted by: ezwater on Oct-08-12 2:26 PM (EST)
state in the east. We went to the Florida panhandle to run the Coldwater, and fortunately we left the ww tandem at home and took our 17 ft Bluewater, with its low rocker and very shallow-arched bottom.

We just sailed over sand-and-gravel bars that my other boats would never have cleared. Seeing was not believing, because with the clear water and bright sand, it *looked* impossible that we were clearing and not running aground.

Usually, I would have taken the whitewater tandem, because I can also solo it easily, while the Bluewater is difficult to solo.
  haven't paddles since I dunno when.
  Posted by: daggermat on Oct-08-12 2:48 PM (EST)
Connecticut, levels for ww are anemic and I found other things to stay entertained. We have the New Boston release the next 2 weekends, so I'll be poling saturday, and if the gage can get to 4.5 feet or close to it, I'll paddle Sunday.
Let the season begin. I prefer winter paddling anyways, get the ya-hoos off the river.
  Michigan is hurting
  Posted by: willi_h2o on Oct-08-12 4:15 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Oct-08-12 4:19 PM EST --

Headwaters of Shiawassee River in Holly/Fenton area
were "mediocre" for a 7 mile Fall Color Tour Oct 6th.

Lakes Michigan and Huron are now approaching
their 14th year in a row of below-average levels

It causes havoc for commercial navigation, marinas,
could render private docks useless,
triggers weed growth on beaches
and have effects on wetland zones.

  USGS national map
  Posted by: Glenn_MacGrady on Oct-08-12 4:26 PM (EST)
  The drought map covered most of USA
  Posted by: willi_h2o on Oct-08-12 7:24 PM (EST)
Tough to tell if water is covering rocks/sand on USGS
-- big big smily :-)
  SC is hurting also.
  Posted by: string on Oct-08-12 8:22 PM (EST)
We've been getting a little rain all along so the plants have stayed green ,but the lakes and rivers are down.
  Thats the advantage of local knowledge
  Posted by: kayamedic on Oct-08-12 9:41 PM (EST)
The USGS maps don't tell you the depth of the water. For a river that routinely runs dry in fall a 100th percentile could still leave you banging scraping and cursing.
  Anyone link fanciful predictions?
  Posted by: ezwater on Oct-09-12 12:19 AM (EST)

Actually they aren't wildly off over a 30 day span.
  Sandy River, Oregon
  Posted by: Cascadians on Oct-10-12 8:15 AM (EST)
Have been walking down the middle of the Sandy River, last mile before Columbia River confluence, near Portland, Oregon for the last month.

Easy 'clean' sand. Too low for paddling. Never seen it this low.

Feels peculiar to walk it, but fun. Using my hydroskin socks and Keen Gorge kayaking boots. Good adventure and exercise for my Newf. Land trails too dusty, everything parched tinder dry. Extreme fire danger.
  No coastal rain forest effect ?
  Posted by: willi_h2o on Oct-10-12 9:54 AM (EST)
Weather systems seem to be changing lately
  don't confuse weather and climate
  Posted by: slushpaddler on Oct-11-12 4:23 PM (EST)
Levels are low this year, but two years ago they were up.

One interesting thing is that the great lakes recharge cycles have actually changed but the volumes are relatively unchanged. But as you know the great lakes don't affect inland river and lake levels, that's due to the summer drought. And we've had these before.

Thing seem to even out over the long run when it comes to precip. Right now we're getting our payback. Last summer we had two 100-year storm events within two weeks!

I am betting on a snowy and rainy winter here.
  Move a dam or two or three
  Posted by: willi_h2o on Oct-12-12 8:26 PM (EST)
One way to change water levels :
make the ancient archaic dams of yesteryear go away

Shiawassee River near Durand, Michigan


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