The floods are finally starting to recede.
Water up and down the river is at relatively normal stages and should be good for paddling, boating and swimming. Here’s the round-up:
The new Highway 70 gauge data, which is now available online thanks to a partnership between St. Croix 360 and Wild River Paddling, is right at the sweet spot for paddling on the upper river around Grantsburg. Wild River Paddling says they consider “normal” levels to be at 3.5-4′, and above 4′ the Kettle River Slough and Sandrock Cliffs channels are floatable, so it might be a little tight for those two routes.
Tweets by @Hwy70Gauge
The gauge at the St. Croix Falls Dam shows a discharge of 4,170 cubic feet per second (cfs). “Normal” is around 3,000 cfs, but below 5,000 usually means there are ample sandbars available. At Stillwater, the gauge height is 79.7′ — finally having dropped from the 83′ level which required a no-wake zone over the Fourth of July. This is still a little high — the Stillwater levee is flooded above 78′. The Norway Point Gauge, above 15 miles upstream from Highway 70 and above the confluences of the Kettle and Snake Rivers, shows a gauge height of 5.04′. On the Namekagon, the Leonards Bridge dam gauge is at 2.11′. This is on the low side and, especially on the upper reaches of the river, might mean some dragging for paddlers. Getting closer to Hayward and down, it should be floatable. The Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway might update its river levels page today. It’s a great resource with data and interpretation along the length of the river. The information presented here should not be used to determine safety or any other aspects of your trip. River levels are subject to rapid change, and many hazards exist in the river. No part of this post is intended to advise you on your trip planning. Check with local authorities, including the helpful folks of the National Park Service or area outfitters for up-to-date data and advice.