Mississippi Delta Current?

I am considering kayaking the very end of the Mississippi River delta here:


I am a ham radio operator and have a very specific reason for wanting to do this (6M Grid Square hunting if anyone is interested) but have no idea of whether I can actually kayak out to Burrwood Bayou on the Southwest Passage of the delta (http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=28.962417,-89.376869&spn=0.036872,0.109863&z=14) from Venice, LA…and back.

I have read that there is a scour hole just north of Burrwood Island and imagine that any channel from the actual river to the gulf has a high flow rate. In addition, I have no idea whether I could actually paddle back up river, even in the side channels.

Does anyone have any idea if this can be done?

ok but
Please clarify “miss delta” MOST 99% people think the Miss delta is the mouth of the Mississippi where it empties into the Gulf. WRONG!!!]

It much further UPSTREAM near HELENA MISS—

Here is map:



Quapaw Canoe Company in Clarksdale Miss…my friend John Rusky owns this and know more than anyone about the delta.

have fun.

Mississippi River Delta
Indeed you are correct - the Mississippi Delta area is a region in the state of Mississippi while the Mississippi River Delta is the end of the river. I would think that all but the most strident pendants would know what I am referring to.

Thanks for the lead, I will check it out.

Meanwhile, does anyone know where I can find online data about current/flow in the Mississippi River Delta?

It can be done. I paddled the Mississippi in '09 and hit Venice in August. I wanted to go to mile 0, Venice is mile 10. The channel is basically riprap on both sides from Venice to mile 0. The current is not bad maybe 1 - 2 mph in the middle of the channel, much less along the banks.

The problem for me was there is no place to get out. You will be in the boat for a long time.


– Last Updated: Feb-22-11 11:13 PM EST –

Thanks for your feedback, I really appreciate it.

I have done a bunch of research that seemed to indicate that the current is about what you state when the river is at a normal stage.

For reasons connected to the ham radio portion of the trip I have to end up below 29.000 N latitude and have a place to set up a portable radio station operating position.

I am going to try to land here:


I worry about two things: The current in the main channel being difficult to paddle back against and the outflows where there are breaks in the bank.


Definately harder . . .
. . . mid-channel but you probably don’t want to be mid-channel anyway because of the ocean going ship traffic. As you get closer to mile 0 there are breaks in the river bank but I don’t think there is much if any current. You might want to consider a hand held VHF to monitor ship traffic.

Believe me, I have every intention of avoiding the large ships. My head is going to be on a swivel.

So what I hear you saying is that I am not going to get sucked out into the gulf by paddling near the breaks? I am sure I don’t want to be out in the channel but I am also concerned about outflow current if I come near a break by staying near the banks.

There will be . . .
. . . no perceptable current near the breaks. If you are in a kayak ships are a problem because you can’t see behind you. They are also pretty fast and very quiet. The river below Venice is also pretty narrow.

Thank you very much for your help, I appreciate your time.

The gauge table for Belle Chasse has
stream velocity, but at the gauge down by Venice they do not report velocity.


The velocity at Belle Chasse will be higher than what you would encounter down at the mouth, because the river is pinched and deep at Belle Chasse. However, you might encounter patches of high stream velocity down where you want to paddle, due to sills or other local variations.

I noticed a way to contact Louisiana about river conditions not monitored by USGS or the Corps. You have to submit an email letter. Maybe you will spot the link. I found it while perusing the USGS site for the Venice gauge.