Saturday, December 25, 2010

Watching the Water

Posted By on Sat, Dec 25, 2010 at 6:00 AM

whitewater.jpg
Winter seems to have hit us with a heavy hand this year. The storms have been frequent and substantial. I shoveled more snow this month than all of last year already, and while we often lament the fact that the heavy snow accumulation makes for added work and effort, it also brings great rewards for many of us who look to the rivers and streams and Idaho’s whitewater.

Many of the whitewater opportunities in our state are dependent on the snow pack that accumulates during the winter. The desert is extremely sensitive to this pattern. The entire Owyhee complex of canyons and rivers are all snow-pack dependent and run-off is what the spring flows are made up of.

The start of the winter season has brought fantastic water to our dry and thirsty desert. The latest snow-pack reports from the state show that the Jarbidge basin is at 177 percent YTD, the Bruneau basin is at 172 percent YTD and the Owyhee basin is at 170 percent YTD.

As the boating season gets closer, I'll visit waterdata.usgs.gov for river flows in specific areas and plan for warm-weather play in the desert waters.

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