St Joe Gage

is an excellent indicator of the middle and lower half of the Buffalo.

100 is a enough to put in at Tyler Bend.

200 cfs makes for great fishing and camping when put in at Gilbert.

230 cfs is barely enough for loaded canoe to get thru the wide shoals above Mt Hersey

250 cfs is min for put in at Woolum, and difficult to get loaded canoe thru most shoals.

270 cfs is low but enough even with loaded canoe to put in at Carver

500 cfs at St Joe may be optimum for put in the area around highway 14.

1500 cfs indicates min amount of gravel bar showing at Carver and Mt Hersey. River is pretty wide open all the way to Woolum, multiple lines thru the few rapids, current still strong in the rapids. This is about max level to paddle thru the eyes at Skull Bluff, requires ducking down but canoe can go thru.

NPS will close access when this gage shows about 10,000 CFS. However, this river can be very dangerous well before this gage indicates this much flow. Be especially wary when the river is rising, when the current has floating debris, and when there is possibility of rain storms upsteam.

Best reference book for floating, hiking and general information of the river is "Buffalo River Handbook" by Kenneth L Smith and is coordinated with Trails Illustrated Topographic Maps/ East Half from Woolum downstream and West Half from headwater to Woolum.

need more to interpret and develop more comment about St Joe gage....

Map of Buffalo National River

Use this NPS Guide of Buffalo River Levels with care. NPS uses 1900 cfs as flood at Ponca, but upsteam at Boxley is not labeled as flood until it reaches 6500 CFS. While quite possible that this is technically correct, it could be a very dangerous mis-interpertation of actual conditions not far from the gage.

Back to Flow Rates Page.

Book of Bowie Front Page.