Water Levels

USGS Leonore Gauge

Dividing the Leonore Gauge by 2 generally gives a rough (okay, very rough) estimate of the Lowell bridge gauge. This website has a graph with one theory of river level translation.

Level quality varies. The dam gets touger as the water comes down. It makes the left side life-threatening, and forms a huge hole on the right. Otherwise, like most rivers, as the level goes up, the rapids get faster and pushier.

When the river is running high, water quality is generally marginal. Floating debris, and chocolate colored water is typical. Watch out for floating TREES. (5 foot diameter 40 foot long trees have been seen)

2.5 feet
500 CFS

Minimal water in my opinion. Not much exciting, even cat is just a little wave. Nice float if that is what you are into.

1,500 - 2,000 CFS

Fun level. Play at every major rapid (put-in - s-turn - hole, etc.)

5-5.5 feet
6,000? CFS

GREAT Surfing waves at the Narrows, big and regular.

8 feet
10,000 CFS

Fun level. Most of the put in is irregular washed waves. Beauty wave @ S-Turn ( catch it on the way down tho... hard to get back up to it. Hole in the rock is a real jem. The river right channel, river left hole. A good 8-10 foot wide surfing hole forms that is perfect for a day of play. Cat is a wash on river right - big stuff on the left, but because of the underlying rocks I wouldn't recommend that side. Narrows are big (I mean BIG) waves that are to irregular to surf...

2006, River's End