Low water flows mean small boats


I’ve really been surprised by the flows on the Owyhee and Bruneau Rivers lately. Pretty low for this time of the year because of low snow pack. The Owyhee River is 297 cfs. Can you believe that?


The Bruneau has been in the 400 to 500 cfs range.


The Main Payette is running around 2,800 cfs, which is low for this time of the year.


The John Day and Grande Ronde rivers in Oregon have been coming off all spring with flows around 4,000 to 5,000 cfs as mid-elevation snows melt. We won’t be floating the Grande Ronde in May at 15,000 cfs like past years.

It won’t  be a high water year.

I’ve been watching the Salmon system, too, which is flowing lower than most years in spring. Flows in that system seemed to have been peaking earlier than normal. And, there wasn’t much of a peak.

It’s going to be a strange summer float season. It will be a time for small rafts and inflatable kayaks. My whitewater play canoe will also come in handy.

Fishing cats will be the rule on some rivers.

Photo by Paul Collins

Posted in Into the Outdoors