Monday, March 23, 2009

Toh Trip...

Photos by Steve Miller

Joined an ad hoc group of 11 solo paddlers for the spring Tohickon Creek release and there were only three kayakers in the mix, which is an unusual ratio these days. It was a classic March day and the river was running just over 3.00 ft' or about twice the pre-release flow.

We didn't encounter any major strainers on the upper section and we only encountered a few other paddlers since the vast majority of the hundreds who paddled the Toh were there for the Class III section between Stover State Park and the Delaware River. We put in just below the Lake Nockamixon dam. This is a really pretty and fairly easy paddling section of the creek through classic Bucks County countryside.

Check out the Tohickon at Pipersville gage to observe the uber-undulating flow curve during the weekend release.

I didn't begin my drought buzz in this blog any too early (been buzzin' boudit' for a month now) as we're well on the way if we experience the below normal precipitation that has been predicted for our region over the next three months. NJ Fish & Wildlife is doing a record number of acres of controlled burning in the Pine Barrens and brush fire alerts are in effect for parts of Southeastern PA.

The DRBC Hydrologic Conditions Report says we're 2.00" below normal precip for the year in the Upper Delaware and 2.73" below normal between the Water Gap and and Trenton. That follows below normal precip for most of the previous fall and summer.

Of course it's also possible I'll be grilling crow for dinner if the Delaware River floods next month. But it's sure not trending that way. Indeed, so far this century we have had at least two mini-droughts that were ultimately broken by major flood events.

None of this bodes well for any of us.