Clinton - W. Avon Road (at Livernois) to E. Avon Road (Yates Dam) (5 miles)

Clinton, Michigan, US


W. Avon Road (at Livernois) to E. Avon Road (Yates Dam) (5 miles)

Usual Difficulty I-II(III) (varies with level)
Length 5 Miles
Avg. Gradient 16 fpm

Redboat Tom blasting thru Rochester rapid - high water

Redboat Tom blasting thru Rochester rapid - high water
Photo of Redboat Tom by Rich G taken 01/13/13 @ high runnable

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-04161000 150 - 1000 cfs I-II(III) 00h34m 68.5 cfs (too low)
Too low. Gauge (123 sq.mi. drainage) lies upstream of this reach, and may slightly understate flow, especially by later part of this reach.
usgs-04161820 200 - 2000 cfs I-II 00h34m 173 cfs (too low)
Likely low/scrapey flow. We need your input! Please add comment or report about best flows here! Gauge (309 sq.mi. drainage) is downstream of this reach so might slightly lag and exaggerate actual flow in reach.

River Description

Mostly flatwater/swiftwater in-town float, but there are a couple good rips. Be very aware of the dam at Yates, which should be portaged by most paddlers at most flows. This is a classic 'killer low-head dam', and has killed unwary paddlers who underestimated the recirculating backwash.

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2015-03-23 02:30:05

Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
3.5Stony Creek ConfluenceN/APlayspot
4.8DAM! Portage!N/APortage

Rapid Descriptions

ledge/wave (Class I, Mile 2.1)

Just past the confluence with Paint Creek, look for a fine little ledge/wave.

DAM! Portage! (Class N/A, Mile 4.8)

Plan on scouting and portaging at this dam. People have died misjudging the danger here! That said, at some flows this dam may be safely run by suitably experienced paddlers, with proper precautions and careful assessment of the backwash. Have someone with a throw-rope (and the knowledge of how to use it) on shore. We do not need more deaths in classic 'low-head dams' such as this one.

Pay special attention to the boil-line below the dam as a canoe runs the dam in this video. Be aware that a shorter boat (like a play kayak) will not 'bridge' the drop nearly so well, and is more likely to get caught in the reversal!

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