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USGS Streamgages Discontinued, So Just Adopt One

Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 02/20/2011 (3957 reads)
It is hard to imagine that back in my early days of fly-fishing how easily I jumped into my truck armed with just a Delorme Atlas and didn't hesitate to run across the state to find some new untested waters. This was great fun to explore many parts of the state that I heard about and fortunately had plenty of time to make these treks. The good old days had a downside to taking off for a five hour drive on some Lewis and Clarke expedition into some uncharted lands for myself. I soon learned weather and water conditions in one area of the state can be drastically different 200 miles away.

In the early days of the Internet, one of the early website sites I found incredibly useful was the USGS implementation of the Real-time Water Data and Streamflow Conditions. This website provides detailed reporting of the most recent and historical water levels for hundreds of streams and rivers across the country.

USGS StreamgageIn 1888 the US Geological Survey started the first of National Streamgaging Program with a gage on the Rio Grande River in New Mexico and have been rolling them out across the country to the delight of all those that enjoy those waterways and streams.

I utilize the USGS site time and time again before heading out on my excursions now. I have cancelled or changed my plans on many a trip due to the timely data found from these gaging stations. I huge time saver in at least knowing there is some decent waters levels to my soon be fantastic fishing trip.

With recent funding reductions many of the real-time streamgages in New York and Pennsylvania may be discontinued. In total for both states it seems there may be about 70 sreamgages effected. Gages at streams like Spring Creek, Pine Creek, the Little Juniata River in Pennsylvania and the Salmon River, the Ausable River in New York.

It appears that there are no changes are planned for New Jersey, Ohio and West Virginia. Maryland has only one stream being effected by these funding issues.

Currently both the New York and Pennsylvania USGS Real-Time Water Data sites are requesting users who are willing to help with funding to potentially keep these gages up and running. At the time of this post I had contacted and USGS for more details and had no response.

So my suggestion is for the USGS is let us anglers, boaters and conservationists, "Adopt a Streamgage". Let us know what it would take for us to put our name in support of our favorite threaten metal shed next to the stream. If we can support some asphalt, why not a section of pristine fly fishing waters?

Reach out to your local USGS contact ask how you can "Adopt a Streamgage."

New York - 27 Streamsgages listed
Contact Rob Breault or Ward Freeman of the USGS New York Water Science Center at 518-285-5658 or

Pennsylvania - 44 streams listed
Contact Bob Hainly, Assistant Director of the USGS Pennsylvania Water Science Center, at 717-730-6971 or

Maryland - One stream
Contact Jon Dillow of the USGS Maryland, Delaware, DC Water Science Center at 443-498-5524 or
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Author Thread
Published: 2011/2/21 9:33  Updated: 2011/2/21 9:33
Joined: 08/09/2010
Comments: 13
 Re: USGS Streamgages Discontinued, So Just Adopt One
Is there a list somewhere of the all the gauges that are scheduled to close?
Published: 2011/2/21 12:15  Updated: 2011/2/21 12:15
Joined: 09/08/2006
Comments: 1338
 Re: USGS Streamgages Discontinued, So Just Adopt One
Hi Wsender,

They are listed on each USGS State Streamgage page:


The dates seem to be different by state.
Published: 2011/2/22 7:33  Updated: 2011/2/22 7:33
Joined: 08/09/2010
Comments: 13
 Re: USGS Streamgages Discontinued, So Just Adopt One
Just to clarify....

The Salmon River Gauge (Pineville, 04250200) is not scheduled to close. The gauge I think you're referring to is Salmon River Gauge(South Plattsburgh, 04273700). This river has drainage into Lake Champlain, not Ontario.

I know it's strange, two different rivers with the same name in the same state, but they are definitely not the same river.
Published: 2011/2/22 10:24  Updated: 2011/2/22 10:24
Joined: 02/10/2009
From: SE PA
Comments: 1797
 Re: USGS Streamgages Discontinued, So Just Adopt One
There are some critical gauges on that list including Penns, Pine, and Spring. Thanks for the heads up Dave. A single trip to one of these if blown out or too low could cost me quite a few bucks in gas.
Published: 2011/2/23 17:52  Updated: 2011/2/23 17:52
Joined: 05/21/2007
Comments: 8
 Re: USGS Streamgages Discontinued, So Just Adopt One
I like it, Dave.

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