How Low Can You Go?

New River Dries in WV on a trickle or why I’ll never completely get rid of my tennis elbow.

I paddled the Chatooga at that level one year.

Thanks for the video. Good to see people getting out at low water.
In the West, only large rivers and those with dam storage and release can be paddled in the summer. Many great rivers are run from March to early June. The weather can be cold and water is always cold requiring wet suits and/or dry suits. I have paddled and rowed rafts plenty of times in the snow because that is when the good flows are. Some years the flow is only suitable for 2-4 weeks or not at all.

Low water is a fact of life. Height on the gauge is useful if you paddle the same rivers a lot. The discharge or Q in cubic feet per second is a much better piece of information. Most rafts need about 900-1000 cfs, canoes and kayaks can make it around 400 cfs, rarely lower. There is a relationship for each river between gauge height H and discharge Q. A hydrograph is interesting to look out so you know when to paddle. This is especially important for trips that require long range planning and travel time.

Looks like the right level for me on that section. I might be able to get the Rival down & stay alive. Nothing like boat assisted hiking.

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You can go low enough to beat the crap out of your boat in one trip.

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Love that description, “boat assisted hiking.”

I’ve done my share of that