Monday, April 02, 2007

Running the Musconetcong River...

Christopher Myers shoots a fishing weir during the Outdoor Club of South Jersey's first Musconetcong trip.

Enjoyed the honor of leading the Outdoor Club of South Jersey on an 8-mile run down the Musconetcong between Hampton Borough and Bloomsbury (Rt. 173 Bridge). To view the OCSJ photo gallery just click on the above link and go to the canoe section phto gallery.

I've gotten a bit fussy about how low I am willing to go in terms of water level. But despite the misgivings it was a pleasant trip with only one or two rock kissing moments, and that was at a paltry 2.10' at the Bloomsbury gage. And of course it helped to have someone else's canoe (George and Leona's Blue Hole), since the Howler is getting very thin underneath, and thus my aversion to scratchy creeks and rivers.

We has a total of ten boats (7 kayaks and 3 canoes), and most of the group had never paddled the Musconetcong, which made it a bit more fun since I enjoy answering questions and dispensing unsolicited trivia about the river. But then again I wrote the book -- literally.

It was a nice group and they really got a taste of just how fine this river truly is -- a National Wild & Scenic River at that. Water clarity was great and we observed several blue heron, common merganser, wood duck, black duck and various newly arrived song birds, especially the king bird, a bug-eating river loving resident of the flood plain forest.

The Hampton to Bloomsbury run is the best river segment to run during low flow as it tends to be narrower and deeper. Above Hampton a 2.25' and higher is really preferred, and above Hackettstown 2.50' as low as one wants to run the boulder field in Stevens State Park.

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