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Ehop8605

River Levels...help

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I have an upcoming trip to the Jack's Fork and am wondering if anyone has input what the gauges need to read in order to really enjoy the upper Jack's Fork. I was looking at putting in at Bay Creek and floating to Alley. I've never fished the Jack's Fork and only floated below Alley Spring. I've been going to the Current River for fishing and canoeing trips since my teens and am really looking forward to seeing the upper areas of the Jack's Fork.

Thanks!

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Upper Jacks ain't floatable now. Buck Hollow gauge is at 1.53 (as of this morning) and needs to be at least 1.80 or above for a loaded canoe. I prefer closer to 2.00. There are shallow stretches from Bay to Alley and IMO it's not a great float. I'd concentrate on the lower JF from Shawnee Creek to Two Rivers or the Current from Round Spring to Two Rivers. My recommendations are if you like to fish.

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See my post in the top thread in the Crooked Creek board. If you ignore the level in feet, and look only at the flow in cubic feet per second, you can make a very good guess as to how floatable streams like the Jacks Fork are. Essentially, you need a bare minimum of 100 cfs on the Alley or Mountain View gauges to float reasonably comfortably; you'll still do some scraping bottom at that flow, and you might have to walk a couple of wide, shallow riffles above Alley. Under 75 cfs and you'll be doing a LOT of scraping bottom and will have to drag the canoe over a fair percentage of the riffles. At 150 cfs or above, you'll float pretty much everything. That holds true for all Ozark streams that sometimes get too low to float...100 cfs is the minimum number for being able to float without doing a lot of work.

The beauty of looking at the flow instead of the level in feet is that level in feet means nothing unless you're already very familiar with the river and what it's like at different levels, but 100 cfs is 100 cfs no matter what stream you're on.

Right now the flow at the Mountain View gauge is 50 cfs, and it's 101 cfs at Alley. Alley usually flows just a bit more than Mountain View when the river is low, but the significantly greater flow right now probably means some of the small creeks between the two gauges are flowing well, instead of their usual almost dry. Given the 50 cfs at Mountain View, I'd say the river will be too low for comfortable floating at Alley. By the way, the gauge at Alley is above Alley Spring, the gauge at Mountain View is at the Buck Hollow bridge.

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