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Difficulty I(II)
Length 19 Miles
Flow Range 100 - 400 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 26 minutes ago ~ 184 [CFS] ℹ️
Reach Info Last Updated 06/16/2014 11:36 am

River Description

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.

Rapid Descriptions

Comus Lake Dam; Drainage ~32 sq.mi.

Class - II+ Mile - 0
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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 sampling site: 83.3 sq.mi.

Class - N/A Mile - 0.4
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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.

Memorial Park Dam

Class - II Mile - 0.56
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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.

Jackson Ck. confluence, Gauge, and possible ledge

Class - N/A Mile - 0.58
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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.

Three Culverts at Klug Road

Class - I Mile - 2.71
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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.

Meander Maze

Class - N/A Mile - 5.6
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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.

Little Turtle Creek confluence

Class - N/A Mile - 14.4
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Listed mostly as a 'progress marker', this tributary will (usuallY) add fairly subtantial flow for the rest of the run.

Spring Brook confluence

Class - N/A Mile - 17.2
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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.


Gage Descriptions

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.

Directions Description

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.

No Accident Reports






Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1196405 11/02/09 Rob
1196401 11/02/09 Rob n/a
1196403 11/02/09 Rob
1197389 03/13/10 Rob Add mileage on waypoints/'rapids'.
1196409 11/02/09 Rob
1197585 04/20/10 Rob Clean up a couple typos.
1203482 06/16/14 Rob Minor edit