Weather turns wetter while river refuses to rise

Water remains low, while increased precipitation offers some hope.

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Upper St. Croix River, August 23, 2021 (Greg Seitz, St. Croix 360)

The hot and dry summer has eased somewhat recently, with cooler temperatures and more rain reaching much of the St. Croix River and its watershed.

But water levels remain stubbornly low on the river. Continued precipitation may begin to change that in the days ahead.

In data released yesterday, the U.S. Drought Monitor says the region’s situation has improved slightly. Most of the 7,700 square miles that drain to the St. Croix River are now in Moderate Drought.

U.S. Drought Monitor data, map by St. Croix 360

Parts of the St. Croix have improved for boating, according to some reports, but the river remains low for the most part.

Here is the overview posted yesterday by the National Park Service:

Namekagon River

Namekagon Dam Landing to County Road M Landing: Extremely Low
County Road M Landing to Hayward: Extremely Low
Hayward to Trego: Very Low
County Road K Landing to St. Croix River Confluence: Low

For more detailed river level descriptions and gauge readings for the Namekagon River, see Namekagon River Conditions.

St. Croix River

Gordon Dam Landing to CCC Bridge Landing: Extremely Low
CCC Bridge to Riverside Landing: Extremely Low
Riverside Landing to Norway Point Landing: Extremely Low
Norway Point Landing to Highway 70 Landing: Extremely Low
Highway 70 to Nevers Dam Landing: Very Low
Nevers Dam Landing to St. Croix Falls/Taylors Falls: Good

No access between St. Croix Falls/Taylors Falls hydroelectric dam and the Interstate State Park landings.

Interstate State Park Landings to Osceola Landing: Low
Osceola Landing to Soo Line High Bridge: Low
Soo Line High Bridge to Stillwater, Minnesota: Good

For more detailed river level descriptions and gauge readings for the St. Croix River, see St. Croix River Conditions.

River gage data from the U.S. Geological Survey shows modest improvements up and down the St. Croix in the past two weeks. But more rain will be required to keep it trending upward.


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2 responses to “Weather turns wetter while river refuses to rise”

  1. martyharding1 Avatar

    Thank you, Greg. This is very helpful information for all of us. Marty

  2. Anthony Avatar
    Anthony

    The river is up by almost a foot right now. Areas where your kayak would drag ass are now passable. Launched from William O’Brien State Park this morning.