Who left the water running?

Wednesday Afternoon Update

It’s official – sandbars will be gone for a few days starting Friday

Dams upstream just started pumping out more than enough water to shut us down and it’s likely to go higher yet. We’ll have great conditions until early Friday morning (water will start rising overnight) but by Friday night there will be few sandbars and they’ll be getting smaller by the minute.

Current river forecasts have us getting back to normal around Tuesday though this could vary a bit based on what happens with the unsettled forecast this week. I’ll continue to post any substantial changes in the situation here. In the meantime, I’d recommend keeping an eye on the graph I’ve left down below.

For the time being, we’ll continue running day trips. While there won’t be many places to stop, the higher water levels do give you a chance to explore some of the lesser seen back channels and even paddle through the trees. I’d recommend having some basic paddling experience and (as always) wear a life jacket as there won’t be many good options for getting back in your boat if it goes over in the middle of the river.

Wednesday Morning Update

We’re definitely going to lose our sandbars. The question now is when. Overnight trips ending Sunday aren’t looking good. Overnight trips ending Saturday are still questionable.

Tuesday night update:

It just never ends this year. Northern Wisconsin got hammered by rain again today. Given that it wasn’t quite back to normal after the heavy rains last week, it’s likely we’ll get a lot more run off from this one. The Tuesday night NOAA river prediction center forecast has us out of commission late Saturday through Monday. This forecast also takes into account the predicted storms tomorrow (Wednesday) so it’s not unlikely this could change (tomorrow’s weather forecast doesn’t have a high certainty level).

It’s too soon to say which way it might go but cancelling overnight trips this weekend is a real possibility. At the very least we’ll have smaller sandbars more typical of early June than mid July. The picture will be a lot more clear tomorrow night and especially Thursday morning so definitely check back later.

The graph below will be updated roughly twice a day with the latest river forecast. We want to be at or below 13.5′ to have a decent number of sandbars. [For some perspective – last weekend was about as busy as it gets and the ~400 people on the river were all able to find something to camp on]