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Re: Intrepreting stream flow numbers

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2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
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Only some gauges have it. A minority. Scroll down.

Posted on: 3/13 18:32


Re: Intrepreting stream flow numbers

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2013/7/30 17:16
From Fairborn, OH
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Ah, ok - I'll check some of the larger Utah waters and see what's up. I'm sure that several have temp readings.

Posted on: 3/13 22:23


Re: Intrepreting stream flow numbers

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2013/5/28 12:09
From Lilly, PA
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You may also have to check some boxes to get different parameters. Height and cfs are the default parameters that are displayed.

Also, some stream data is not displayed on the USGS website in real time and is periodically downloaded.

Posted on: 3/13 23:27
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Re: Intrepreting stream flow numbers

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I did notice the parameter check boxes that let you add or subtract info as needed. I also saw that the red start appears on some of the graphs indicating an actual measurement being taken at that time. What's baffling to me is that, thus far I haven't found a single Utah stream that I've fished that appears to offer temp data. I've checked at least 10 rivers/creeks and haven't found any temp data available.

Posted on: 3/14 0:40


Re: Intrepreting stream flow numbers

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Very cool thread, with some really great answers. Time is what's needed to figure it out for sure.

Posted on: 3/14 13:52
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Re: Intrepreting stream flow numbers

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lv2nymph -

I agree - these are exactly the kind of replies I was hoping for. I hope other folks who may have been thinking about the same thing actually catch sight of the answers folks were kind of enough to give.

Posted on: 3/14 21:35


Re: Intrepreting stream flow numbers

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I know from experience that the more parameters you add, the insturmentation gets exponentially expensive. Flow meters and level indicators are relatively cheap, as you add water quality probes for parameters such as pH, temp, Conductivity, and so on they get expensive in a hurry and are also more difficult to maintain.

Many of the water quality probes need frequent cleaning and calibrating to maintain accuracy. With the cost cutting and budget cuts, its not suprising that many stations dont have the additional insturmentation.

Posted on: 3/15 0:12
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Re: Intrepreting stream flow numbers

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PAgeologist -

I never thought of that, but it makes a lot of sense. It might also explain why Utah only has flow and gauge height available for most of the water reports. Like PA, there's a ton of fishable water there but population density in many of these area simply may not merit the added expense of additional parameter monitoring since they simply don't serve enough people or agencies to justify the cost.


Posted on: 3/15 11:49


Re: Intrepreting stream flow numbers

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I've learned a good bit in this thread. Thanks for the info guys.

Posted on: 3/15 13:05
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Re: Intrepreting stream flow numbers

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2013/7/30 17:16
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Good to hear it, BrookieChaser. I'm glad that I'm not the only one who could gain something from these questions on streamflow data. Up until now, it's been a pretty mysterious topic for me.

Posted on: 3/16 2:08


Re: Intrepreting stream flow numbers

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Been the same for me I look at it and without seeing the stream to match up with the graph it really doesn't mean a whole lot.

Posted on: 3/16 8:58
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Re: Intrepreting stream flow numbers

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Just to add to the confusion:

When the large freestone streams in PA, such as Kettle, Loyalsock, Pine etc. get heavy rains and the gauges show they are too high to fish, the small streams in those watersheds are often at IDEAL flow levels to fish.

And when the gauges are showing that big streams are at ideal flows to fish, the small streams are at lower then optimum flows.


Posted on: 3/17 22:52


Re: Intrepreting stream flow numbers

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2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
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TB, I tried to show that in post #8. I didn't have a location way up in the headwaters. But even so, it shows the general trend clearly. Everything happens upstream FIRST. It's not really upstream/downstream, it's based mostly on the total size of the watershed above you, which, for freestoners, correlates to stream size. Even then, there are other variables. If that watershed is developed with lots of storm drains, it rises and falls much quicker than other streams it's size. If the watershed has a whole lot of pine, it rises and falls slower.

But, as the small streams rise fast, the big streams remain largely unaffected. By the time the big stream blows out, the small streams are already fishable again.

What it means: Generally, if I'm fishing DURING a rain event, or immediately following, I try to do it on bigger water, as there is a delay before it sees many of the effects.

When it does start to show, I flip and head for the headwaters. Generally (there are exceptions), the best fishing is after the rain event. Not chocolate milk and raging, but still solid flows with some color. The pink region in one of the earlier posts is around the start of these conditions. These conditions may only last a day or less in any one spot. But it happens first on the small streams, and progresses to larger waters. And you can follow it, progressing to larger and larger waters, and keep in the prime conditions for 4 or 5 days straight.

If you get a real soaker that lasts multiple days, well, everything is generally blown out. Cept tailwaters, which will be low, as these are the conditions where they're trying to prevent flooding downstream. And tailwaters generally fish best when low IMO.

Something is nearly ALWAYS in very good shape. Find em.

Posted on: 3/18 8:32

Edited by pcray1231 on 2014/3/18 8:51:18


Re: Intrepreting stream flow numbers

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2013/7/30 17:16
From Fairborn, OH
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Well, that sucks. I fished a place yesterday that produced excellent results during the summer only to completely forget that it's one of the streams that is not monitored by USGS at all. Fishing was great again yesterday despite lower water conditions and the fact that every single one of the 10 or so fish I hooked yesterday got off before I cound net it (remind me to never cheap out on fly tying hooks again). So, I'll have to start paying attention next week when I go back to the other river I usually frequent with good luck. Hopefully, it will all go well and I can track the water levels as we've discussed.

Posted on: 3/18 19:29


Re: Intrepreting stream flow numbers

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Quote:

So, I'll have to start paying attention next week when I go back to the other river I usually frequent with good luck. Hopefully, it will all go well and I can track the water levels as we've discussed.


Some of the things you might want to track in addition to just whether fishing was good or not:

1) At what level is it no longer safe to wade?
2) At what level can you ford the stream in most places?
3) What levels make one part of the stream a better choice than another? (As in, are there stretches where it's safe to wade some stretches but not others?)
4) At what level are streamers you only real option -- it's always good to come prepared.
5) At what level is it so low that only long, fine leaders and small flies the only real option -- again it's good to know before you go.

There are probably other things that are particular to your stream, but those are the types of things to take note of. You won't get all the answers in one trip, it will take several years to get the experience for any one stream.

Posted on: 3/18 20:01



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