People who enjoy canoeing, kayaking and other forms of recreation dependent on river levels can now get more and better information about current conditions from 120 real-time river-level gauges along many of Minnesota’s state water trails.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has been installing and interpreting river-level gauges since 1971, but the reporting service recently got some significant upgrades.
For the most current statewide river level map—updated hourly—check out the website at www.dnr.state.mn.us/river_levels/index.html.
Color-coded dots indicate water levels ranging from “scrapable” (so low paddlers may have to get out of their watercraft to avoid rocks) to “very high” (where paddling is considered dangerous and not recommended).
“Since weather events can vary significantly throughout Minnesota, paddlers should always consider this tool to verify river level conditions and to make an informed decision,” said Stan Linnell, DNR boat and water safety manager.
Upgrades to the river level map include:
• More accurate information for highly-visited water trails.
• The addition of river-level information for the recently designated Cedar River and Shell Rock River state water trails.
• River-level readings for a larger number of gauges.
The Red, Red Lake and Otter Tail rivers in northwest Minnesota offer river trails, as do the Big Fork, Little Fork and Vermilion rivers in northeast Minnesota.
For statewide water trail facilities map, go to www.dnr.state.mn.us/watertrails/interactive_map.
For a list of all state water trails and maps visit www.mndnr.gov/watertrails.