Clarification on water levels

Our “current river conditions” graphs are a little misleading as they measure water levels 30 miles downstream of where all of our trips end. The local rainfall that we got is filtering in through all of the tributaries and the vast majority of that increase is happening at or below our location which is why you’re seeing the graph spike straight up. In particular, both the Pine River and the Kickapoo River dump into the Wisconsin below Spring Green whereas we’ve really only got a small handful of streams worth a couple hundred cubic feet per second (the Pine will top several thousand and the Kickapoo will likely top 10,000cfs). While the water is certainly higher than usual, we still have plenty of sandbars on our stretch between the dam and Spring Green.

The best number to look at is the Prairie Du Sac flow rate (seen on the “next 4 days” tab) for a more accurate idea of what’s happening in our immediate area. This reading is taken a mile upstream of our 25 mile trip. The dam output is responsible for 85%+ of our water levels and right now it looks fine upstream for at least the next few days. Things could get interesting in the middle of next week but that’ll depend on what happens with the rainfall tonight.

All this is to say that trips are happening this weekend and I’m confident there will be sandbars to camp on. Of course I could be wrong so it’s still worth sticking a branch or paddle at the edge of your sandbar and checking it against river levels every few hours.