This run will be interesting mostly as a scenic, rural float trip with a few shoals, riffles, and rips. Some locations may offer minor whitewater (possible 'park-and-play' opportunities -- scroll down for the 'Rapids' list below; also check the "Map" tab for locations), but serious whitewater boaters should probably look to other listed rivers.
A dam at this location (to create Comus Lake) spills under a road bridge. The dam consists of vertical gates which are raised by a center-screw. This whole apparatus (multiple gates, slides, and screws) blockades any possibility of running the dam.
As the flow sheets across the concrete splash-apron (under the road) and drops into the pool downstream, it creates a bit of a hole. At some flows it is possible some play potential arises, but generally this area is more likely to disappoint. At high water, the recirc will be nasty, and will be between the vertical cement walls.
The pool is decent sized, and flow exits at the side, spilling over rock (and probably cement slab) rubble. Again, at high flows, this will be 'washed out'. At lower flows, it will be just too rocky.
By our listed take-out the drainage area increases to ~202 square miles.
USGS lists a sampling site with drainage area 83.3 square miles. That is just over 0.4 times the active gauge on this river.
This is not on Turtle Creek, but on Jackson Creek (a tributary) not far upstream from their confluence. It is being listed here primarily to point out it's proximity.
This site was rumored to possibly provide some play opportunities at times when the dam (at the outlet of Delavan Lake) is releasing (to control lake levels). Unfortunately, it appears far more likely to completely disappoint. When there is adequate flow to create a (potentially surfable) wave at the base of the spillway of the dam, the current rips through the short pool and drops over a small cement ledge, leaving precious little time or space for a paddler to stay in the short pool for any repeat play.Immediately downstream, there is almost always a dreadful tangle of deadfall. And, beyond that, more strainers and sweepers, then a low street-bridge which will not allow boater passage at any good (paddle-able) flows.
The gauge on this reach is quite near the confluence with Jackson Creek. (Not far upstream, that creek has a small dam, the outflow from which may provide some play at adequate flows, when the dam/outflow from Delavan Lake is releasing.)
From the aerial views, it appears there may be a small ledge near this gauge location. It is unknown at this time whether it may provide any play at any flows.
This road crossing spans the creek with three culverts. Snags are likely to block some combination of (one, two, or all three) culverts. Approach with caution to carefully assess whether any are passable! The outflow (downstream side of the road/culverts) may contain some strong currents and small waves at certain flows, as the stream hits a fairly good deep pool. Minor play may be possible in whitewater boats at some flows. Primarily this would consist of bow-stalls or stern-squirts into the currents. (If anyone still has a squirt boat, there could be some decent 'down time' here. Since there are dams (and corresponding ponds) upstream, water generally appears to be pretty clear for an upper Midwest stream.
FWIW, USGS lists another sampling site at this location, citing drainage area here as 84.7 square miles.
Starting about this area there is a series of switch-backs, overflow cut-through channels, and dead-end backwaters which form an interesting 'maze' of sorts. You can follow the main flow, or try a few cutoffs.
Listed mostly as a 'progress marker', this tributary will (usuallY) add fairly subtantial flow for the rest of the run.
Just after Carver Rock Road, a small creek enters from the right. Before or after your run (while running shuttle), you may find it interesting to take a little side trek to enjoy Carver-Roehl County Park. Through this area, Spring Brook rushes (or trickles) past pretty rock outcroppings (short 'bluffs'), making quite picturesque scenery. There is a small 'turnoff' just north of the intersection of E.Creek Road and S.Carvers Rock Road, as well as the larger Carver-Roehl County Park area further to the north on S.Carvers Rock Road. Very pleasant trails (and a few bridges across the brook) meander through the woods.
Gauge is at upper end of reach, at confluence with Jackson Creek.
There may be regulation of flow via dams on Comus Lake, Delavan Lake and Delavan Mill Pond.
Drainage area at gauge is 83.3 square miles.
Permits are not required for this reach.
Very few whitewater boaters are likely to opt to run the entire length of river detailed here. Various access points are available to check out shorter runs and/or to access possible playspots.
Use the text entry box below to enter your home or other starting address to get drive time, distance and directions to the listed put-in for this reach.
If someone gets hurt on a river, or you read about a whitewater-related injury, please report it to
American Whitewater. Don't worry about multiple submissions from other witnesses, as our safety
editors will turn multiple witness reports into a single unified accident report.
Log into the American Whitewater website and you can contribute to river descriptions,
flow and access tips, and maps associated with runs you've done. You can even add new
runs to the inventory!