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Difficulty I(II) at this flow (II normally)
Length 0.12 Miles
Gauge Maquoketa River at Manchester, IA
Flow Range 200 - 2000 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 1 hour ago 104 [CFS] ℹ️
Reach Info Last Updated 08/19/2019 2:30 pm

River Description

Downtown Manchester now features a whitewater park! Removal of a dam allowed replacing it with stone wingdam structures to create 6 features. 

Rapid Descriptions


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Robert Szczesniak
2 years ago

The flow was around 270-280 cfs on 8/5/17. Excellent beginner work for moving water, approaches, and eddies. All the eddy lines were strong and squirelly. Requiring attention to position and technique.The eddies were flowing almost as strong as the main current and at time required an effort to get out of. The first three drops are smooth chutes with easy to see tongues with a little splash at the end. There were small spots for front surfing, but not really any room for any kind of moves. The fourth drop required more effort to line up. The conflicting main and eddy currents had to be navigated through some rocks to get lined up. A little bigger splash at the bottom. The fifth and sixth drop each increased slightly in complexity and splash size. These pools were just as strong but smaller. The most efficient walk up would be from bottom to the top of the fourth drop as these are closer and have more play options. Four and five had a large front surf opening with some carving and maneuvering possibilities. The sixth had front and side surf possibilities - you could move around on the river left side without losing the wave. The side surf was a little sticky and if I had more time I might have been able to try some spins. My friends got tubes at the Watershed slightly upstream and enjoyed the day. The crowd was a mix of tubers, kayakers, and swimmers. The kayakers coming out early in the afternoon with most leaving before the crowds increased. Be careful around the tubers as they don't have much control. A group got upset at me when they dropped in on me while I was surfing and I couldn't get out of the way in time for them. There are a good range of options for food and groceries in Manchester (except on Sunday when the grocery store is closed). Nice tent accommodations in nearby Bailey's Ford. Sorry if there is a duplicate post, I had an issue with my browser.

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Andrew Meyer
3 years ago

The flow was about 700 cfs on 6/18 and the first hole was loopable/spinnable/cartwheelable for more advanced boaters. The fifth (I think) feature was a good, fast front sufer that was spinnable too. It was a lot fun.

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Hannah Ray J
4 years ago

Update. The project is underway. Construction of 6 features has started and is ongoing. Completion is anticipated spring/summer 2015. Check out Manchester Whitewater on Facebook for more frequent updates. You can also contact me, Hannah Ray J, a Manchester native, for more details. I can be reached via Facebook or email

Gage Descriptions

Gauge/flow analysis (based on USGS data for years 2000-2010)
Drainage area at gauge: 275 sq.mi.
Minimum daily mean flow (2002.12.04): 23 cfs
90% of time flow exceeds: 66 cfs
10% of time flow exceeds: 663 cfs
Maximum daily mean flow (2010.07.24): 26,600 cfs
10/90 ratio ('flashy-ness'): 10 (under 3 is quite steady, over 10 is quite 'flashy')

We do not know the flows at which the course would be designed to provide reasonable entertainment. Generally speaking, flows under 200 cfs seldom provide adequate 'ooomph' for much more than tame beginner-level play.
Based upon USGS historical data, one should expect flows to exceed that cut-off from March through August (on average), as well as random times in other months.

Directions Description

This is a 'park-and-play', so 'shuttle' will be carrying up on foot. We default the directions below to route you from your home zip. You can use the text-entry box to input your home address or other starting location to get drive time, distance, and directions to this location.

Date Flow Result Factor  
2018-05-22 Medium Near Miss/Rescue Inexperience Read More






Hannah Ray J


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1199224 02/21/11 Rob n/a
1199226 02/21/11 Rob Add link to newspaper story.
1199225 02/21/11 Rob Initial add of this PROPOSED playpark.
1201772 01/19/13 Rob Update link.
1203928 12/16/14 Rob Underway!
1204694 06/05/15 Rob update for project completion
1208797 01/27/18 Rob minor edit (gauge info)
1213509 08/19/19 Hannah Ray J updated description
1213508 08/19/19 Hannah Ray J updated name