Sunday, November 30, 2008

Rising Rivers...

Patching a leak with duct tape prior to a Musky trip.

Sure wish we had this kind of storm in early November, that would have ensured superb paddling conditions instead of the wimpy flows we saw all month.

This storm hit this morning with the Musconetcong River around 1.72' (160 CFS) and the Delaware at just over 4 feet. Looks like both will rise at least a foot if not more.

If the daytime temps remain in the 40's there might be a mid-week trip down the Musky if I can find another willing paddling partner or three.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


The Finesville dam pictured above is the first dam of consequence in the Musconetcong River upstream from the Delaware River confluence. Photo taken today with cell phone camera.

We almost did a trip on the Delaware River today between Riegelsville and Upper Black Eddy, but Fred had to stay home with an ill child, and that was probably a good thing as there was a wicked cold wind blowing out of the north. Tailwind yes...but temps would have felt like 18 deg.

I took a 40-mile ride up River Road to drop off the Howler at Wally's barn and found the nation's most beautiful road to be open above the Indian Rock in BOTH directions for the first time in years (since the 2nd flood). PennDot and the contractor did a 'heckuva job' restoring the canal wall and roadway along the Nockamixon Bluffs. They're making progress on the heavily damaged canal path below Easton and the stretch below New Hope. Now that we live along the canal I'd love to have water flowing in it again for some local lazy addling...make that Paddling.

The Musconetcong Watershed Association and partners will be having a public meeting on the Finesville Dam Removal on December 2. Just might attend as I started the Musky dam removal ball rolling 6 years ago - they just completed the first project with the removal and restoration at the Gruendyke dam, a project that was absent any controversy.

In terms of controversy this one will be different, but the bottom line is that the landowner (dam owner) wants to take it down so he can sell his property to NJ Green Acres. The dam is next to an historic mill, the mill owner is a historian, and the locals generally don't want any pubic access. The state doesn't want the property with the medium hazard dam in place. And that dam is a killer for sure. Stay tuned.

I will sit in back of room wearing a disguise.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Boney River Trip

Led another Musconetcong Watershed Association group of about 14 paddlers from Point Mountain Bridge to Hampton Borough Park.

The water level was only about 2.07 cfs (1.89') at Bloomsbury and I don't believe that I've ever done this stretch at this low of a level. It looked completely different in places and that is one of the nice aspects of paddling. You can do the same section repeatedly but at different levels it can present different challenges and looks. The 200-300 cfs level is a good place for novice paddlers who want to shorten the learning curve for river reading skills. Only downside is that this time of year the westward flowing Musky presents severe glare problems - it's difficult to read the nuances of rocky shoals and gravelly shallows in the blinding sunlight.

This as a great group of paddlers, most of whom have never paddled this part of the river and a few have never been on the Musky. We had but two impromptu swimmers, one of whom had an encounter with a rock while turned broadside to it, the other just suddenly fell in for no apparent reason, which is usually how I do my "swimming." (we fortunately had Chris & Sue running sweep and they made the first swimmer's experience much less traumatizing)

This was a relatively warm day and surely the cold weather will set in and make for fewer paddling opportunities. This time of year we take what we can get and with elevated river levels likely as we enter the wet season I expect that there some of us will be carving the water at least once or twice each of the upcoming winter months.