Water levels across USA

Anybody switching boats because of lower water levels ?

Perhaps thinking about draft and hitting sand bars…

Wisconsin River
You may be able to walk the lower portion of the Wisconsin River. I saw at the convergence with the mighty Mississippi river. http://waterdata.usgs.gov/usa/nwis/uv?site_no=05407000

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
I have a depth finder.

what lower water levels?

– 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
Curious to know as winter snows approach,

and sets the stage for next years adventures.

finally getting some water
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.

Not sure about the winter
even the weather guys are yo yoing about our future weatherwise.

You will have to keep this thread bumping…like 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.

Nope - Sea Level Rising
A whole lot for the next 40 -50 years.

No water
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.
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
and sand bars. No, wait, that’s beer. Sorry 'bout that.

Sure. GA is still the droughtiest
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.

eyeing cliffs for future rock gardening

haven’t paddles since I dunno when.
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.

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.

Michigan is hurting

– 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

The drought map covered most of USA
Tough to tell if water is covering rocks/sand on USGS

– big big smily :slight_smile:

SC is hurting also.
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
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.