First off - the Wisconsin River is 100% unaffected by the flooding nearby. Well, 85% unaffected would be more accurate. The majority of the rainfall was in the Rock and Sugar River watersheds. Only a relatively minor tributary of the Wisconsin (Black Earth Creek) is affected. While this creek peaked at several thousand CFS, it is now quickly dropping through 600 CFS on it's way to a normal 50 CFS. To put this in perspective, the Wisconsin River is currently running at 7,000 cfs (normal late summer levels, i.e. low) and wouldn't affect sandbars until 15,000 CFS. Black Earth Creek enters the Wisconsin below Arena and would only contribute to water levels on the last 8 miles of your trip. Not completely irrelevant, but mostly.
Road closures are where this has caused some real headaches that we've never actually had to deal with before. Right this minute we're unable to use anything on the south side of the river as Hwy 14 is the main thoroughfare and has been shut down. Our access to the Arena boat landing has been hit and miss over the past 24 hours but I suspect it'll be out of the picture for a few days as the road to the landing goes right over Black Earth Creek (or more accurately, under Black Earth Creek right now). The Mazomanie landing is technically accessible via the long way around the river but that detour is substantial and will also be trouble for anyone trying to drop off gear ahead of time. Prairie Du Sac is operating as normal.
For now, we've made alternative arrangements for groups going out through Thursday. If your trip starts Friday or Saturday, check back here for updates sometime tomorrow afternoon. We'll also send out a text message/email update with any official adjustments in launch points.
For now, here's what we're expecting to do for the following trips:
Prairie Du Sac/VFW
- nothing has changed
- expect to use the Sauk-Prairie Canoe Launch across the river (but right off of the Hwy 14 detour) - https://goo.gl/maps/VKnPqZGJu2y
- the trip adds a mile by river (17 miles total) and there's a lot of sand from the parking lot to the river but it's better than nothing. If you don't want to drag your boats, you may want to consider switching to the 25 mile PDS trip.
- if you're going overnight, consider taking a longer trip out of the Sauk-Prairie launch. If a day trip, you'll likely have to put on at Hwy 14 for a very short 2 miles and/or paddle upstream to the railroad bridge or into Tower Hill State Park to add some time. Either way, this will be a short trip if we can't get into the Arena landing. You're also welcome to cancel the trip entirely for a full refund (not a bad option given the weather outlook for Friday). Hopefully by Saturday the creek will have dropped enough to get us back over the bridge into the Arena landing.