Determining safe water levels for boating is a tricky task. The river changes from one point to the next. You may start out at a landing where the river is wide and slow, then downstream the river narrows, the current picks up. The current catches you by surprise and before you can react your boat is sideways up against a deadfall and close to taking on water. This has happened to many a boater. The information below will hopefully allow the boater to avoid any surprises and have a safe trip.
Because everyone’s abilities are different, the levels listed here should only be used as a guide.
Criteria for determining Safe High water level for boating:
The river is mostly within its banks.
The word “mostly” allows for the occasional low bank that allows high water to spill over.
- River Level Gauges read below the “Action Stage” and if close to the action stage the level should be steady or falling, not rising.
- Current should not be so strong that you cannot paddle against it for a short distance.
Similarly, lowest boatable water level means you’ll probably be dragging your boat if there is less water. Of course, if there are new deadfalls, you could be dragging your boat over or around those anyway.
|River||Gauge location||High water level||Lowest boatable water level|
|Little||SR 37 aka Adel||181|
|Little||SR 122 (Hahira)||144||d 4.25 feet, 137 NAVD|
|Withlacoochee||U S 84||94|
|Withlacoochee||CR 150 near Pinetta||59|