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Stream reports USGS

Joined:
2013/4/2 12:51
Posts: 11
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Hi, everyone! This is my first official post since joining and I hopefully put this question in the right place.

I'm fairly new to fly fishing (this season) and am having a hard time reading the PA stream reports and relating the numbers to unfishable conditions.

The Yough, as an example, shows as 5.0 feet on Gage height, whereas the average is normally 2.5. Discharge is 2K cubic feet per second where the average is around 200-250.

The numbers vary significantly depending on the streams. The numbers are significantly lower at smaller bodies of water, but are nonetheless higher than averages.

How are you able to distinguish these numbers and relate them to actual fishing conditions?

Is a 5 foot Gage reading at the Yough fishable? I'm lost!

Thanks for all the help, guys. I'm really enjoying these forums.

RJ

Posted on: 2013/6/28 22:47

Edited by Fishidiot on 2013/7/21 22:41:51


Re: Stream reports

Joined:
2006/9/21 0:02
From Pittsburgh
Posts: 4299
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I'll try to simplify things.
The yough has many gauges along it. And I think it's easier to go by the CFS, which is flow rate - instead of gauge height, which is really just a reference point for that particularly gauge site.
The gauge at the yough river dam, reads the flow that is coming out of the bottom of the lake. And it's running at a flow rate of 375 CFS right now - which is definitely fishable. I like that section to be between 400 and 600 CFS for good fishing
Two miles downstream of there, the flows of the casselman river and laurel hill creek come in - nearly doubling the flow of the river at that point. And the next gauge station downstream - referred to as below confluence - reads that combined flow. And I like that section of the river to be 1,000 CFS or less for good fishing.
And the same goes for the next two gauges down - at ohiopyle and connellsville.
I know what levels are good there from experience - and on many other streams also. If you don't have that knowledge to judge flows by however, going by the averages for that certain time of year would give you a reasonable call on things

Posted on: 2013/6/28 23:22

Edited by dryflyguy on 2013/6/29 0:02:38


Re: Stream reports
Moderator
Joined:
2006/9/9 17:32
From Gettysburg
Posts: 9237
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Quote:

rj32s wrote:
How are you able to distinguish these numbers and relate them to actual fishing conditions?


There isn't a easy answer.
As Dryflyguy explained, there are different stations and you learn the water levels from personal experience. He gave you the numbers for the Yough that are ideal (write them down and put them with your fishing equipment or where you will have them next time you want to go fishing). Also, the gage readings are relative only to themselves.....there's no standard across the state that allows you to look at the gage height on one stream and apply that to another gage on another stream. My advice is pick some of the waters you like to fish and become familiar with one gage on that water (small streams usually have only one gage, but bigger rivers may have more than one).

The rivers I fish frequently - I know the gage heights that are ideal based on many visits. Some streams or rivers have historical data that is graphed showing mean discharge rates or similar stuff and you can often get a feeling by looking at the graphs whether water levels are higher than normal. In the end, if you're confused, ask us here (as you obviously have already figured out) about a specific river and there's a good chance folks will tell you the numbers to look for.
Welcome to our online community - glad you're enjoying the forum.
DaveW

Posted on: 2013/6/29 7:18

Edited by Fishidiot on 2013/6/29 7:33:48


Re: Stream reports

Joined:
2012/10/24 19:22
From Landenberg, PA
Posts: 1641
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Make a note of gage height and cfs when you fish. Add it to your fishing diary.

Posted on: 2013/6/29 14:56
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Re: Stream reports

Joined:
2009/1/7 12:19
From Glenmoore PA
Posts: 548
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As others have stated there is no standard. 1000 Cfs may be perfect for one stream, but very dangerous for another. Best to compare the current cfs with the average for that stream.

Posted on: 2013/7/2 12:11


Re: Stream reports

Joined:
2011/4/20 8:08
From Phoenixville Pa
Posts: 212
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take a look at turbidity too, it reads how much sediment is suspended in the water. High turbidity = Chocolate milk. When I check the guages I check both Flow and Turbidity. A little high and off color and fishing can be really good.

Posted on: 2013/7/2 12:43


Re: Stream reports

Joined:
2011/5/26 10:12
From Dauphin PA
Posts: 2766
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With today's technology, it much easier than when I started. If you have a smart pho e, save the stream flow gauges to your favorites. Next time you are there, look at the cfs and relate it to you wading comfort level. Jump down to the other gauge and see how that flow suits you. Very quickly you can put a number on what you deem "fishable" by a quick glance at the cfs. It's a whole lot mote user friendly than driving 3 hours hoping that it's fishable.

Posted on: 2013/7/2 15:31
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"Excelling at making people angry since 1967"


Re: Stream reports
Moderator
Joined:
2006/9/9 9:29
From Monessen, PA
Posts: 22411
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The day is coming when all stream guages will have realtime stream cameras. Talk about spoonfeeding.

Posted on: 2013/7/2 15:47
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Peace, Tony


Re: Stream reports

Joined:
2011/5/6 17:55
From Harrisburg
Posts: 460
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Not sure I see the problem with that. In fact, I'm sure I don't

Posted on: 2013/7/6 10:26


Re: Stream reports
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Joined:
2006/9/9 9:29
From Monessen, PA
Posts: 22411
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I will celebrate it, so no problem on my end.

Posted on: 2013/7/6 14:45
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Peace, Tony






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