Mongaup - Rio Dam to Delaware River

Mongaup, New York, US


Rio Dam to Delaware River (Rio Reach)

Usual Difficulty II+ (for normal flows)
Avg. Gradient 53 fpm
Max Gradient 60 fpm


Photo by Karl Gesslein

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-01433500 400 - 1200 cfs II+ 00h49m 1050 cfs (running)
Two Turbines Running

River Description

This regional gem has regularly scheduled recreational releases, and frequent power releases from Rio Dam. For the 2015 release schedule, see Eagle Creek Renewable Energy's Release Schedule.

The only guidebook description is in Dennis Squires' "New York Exposed: The Whitewater State, Volume 2,", which (on p 140) describes the rapids as "pretty continuous class II and easy class III all the way down to the Delaware."   (There was formerly a decent description on the now defunct Inland Surfing Association website.  If anyone has access to its text, please contact the streamkeepers.) In general terms, while the gradient is fairly consistent on this reach, the rapids on the second half of the reach (below the lunch spot) are more sustained than on the upper portion. Save some energy for the rapids under the Route 97 bridge, which may be the most difficult on the river, and for the wave train at the confluence with the Delaware. If you still have energy, the Mongaup Wave is a short distance down the Delaware on river right.

There are several takeouts. The first one is on river right above the Route 97 Bridge, and avoids the Bridge Rapid. There is a good takeout along the Delaware above the confluence. To reach it, eddy out on the right at the confluence and head up the left (your right as you face upstream) bank of the Delaware. The takeout is a short distance up on your right. A path leads to the DEC Parking Lot. The takeout for the Mongaup Wave is a sandy beach on the left bank of the Delaware, visible from the wave.

This is not a beginner's run. First-time Mongaup paddlers would be well advised to hook up with friends who've done it before, or make contact with experienced local paddlers on the Lehigh Valley Canoe Club Forum or KCCNY forum.

Unscheduled Releases

Power releases occur frequently on the Rio Reach during the warmer months.  One rule of thumb that is frequently cited is that if the temps are over 100 degrees in NYC, the Mongaup will release at 870 cfs, if there is enough water in the system. Note that since 9/11, when the Homeland Security Threat Level is orange or red, the gate to the powerhouse/whitewater recreational facility will be locked. Boaters are permitted to carry down to the put-in, but at present there is no parking near the gate. According to Mirant, the previous licensee, "When the threat level is raised to 'Orange' or 'Red,' the gate will be closed to vehicular access although access via foot is permitted." Mirant was very sensitive to the high level of recreational use and, therefore, during scheduled whitewater releases had an operator on site to open the gate and allow vehicular access regardless of the threat level. Current information, from Eagle Creek, is not available at this time.

The Neighbors

Paddlers should remember that the speed limit on the dirt access road to the put-in is 10 MPH! We urge everyone to obey that limit and to respect the neighbors. We are only there a couple of days a month but they live there. Please show them respect and encourage others to do the same.

The Eagles

In order to protect Bald Eagle nesting habitat, kayaking and other activities on the Mongaup are illegal during the winter season. New York State Law prohibits "entering onto the surface of the water or ice on the Mongaup River... or entering the upland surrounding those waters as designated by posted signs from December 1 through March 31". Violation carries a $5,000 fine, and will endanger all boating on the river.

Some phone numbers and web addresses

Eagle Creek Renewable Energy

Eagle Creek Renewable Energy Phone: (855) 313-ECRE (call to check the status of releases, you will get an actual person)


Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC)1-609-883-9500



Downstate New York Area Reaches

Beer Kill                                          Beer Kill, W. Branch   

Callicoon Creek, E. Branch            Callicoon Creek, N. Branch 

Coxing Kill                                      Croton 

Delaware (1.)                                 Delaware (2. Mongaup Wave)

Delaware (3.)                                 Fishkill Creek 

Mombaccus Creek                         Mongaup 

Moodna Creek                               Neversink (1.) 

Neversink (2.)                                Neversink, E. Branch  

Peters Kill                                       Pocantico 

Popolopen Brook                           Ramapo 

Rochester Creek                            Rondout Creek (1.) 

Rondout Creek (2.)                        Rondout Creek (3.) 

Sandburg Creek                             Stony Brook (1.) 

Stony Brook (2.)                             Wallkill 

Wappinger Creek


Google Map of New York Whitewater

New York Whitewater Paddlers Facebook Group


StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2016-04-26 13:09:41


Stream team editor

Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
2.9Takeout (Upper)Takeout
3.1Takeout on the Delaware (Upstream)Takeout
3.3Takeout on the Delaware (Downstream)Takeout
3.4Beach TakeoutTakeout

Rapid Descriptions

Takeout (Upper)

Zone 18 520364E 4586243E

Takeout on the Delaware (Upstream)
The upstream takeout is at Zone 18 520250E 4585885N.  It has an NPS sign, and is designed for the convenience of the many rafters on the Upper Delaware.  It does, however, lead to the NYS DEC parking area, where most of us park.

Takeout on the Delaware (Downstream)

On the Delaware, the downstream take out is at the confluence on the east side, at about Zone 18 520493E 4586022N.

Beach Takeout

This is the same as the takeout for the Mongaup Wave on the Delaware.

User Comments

Users can submit comments.
August 22 2016 (881 days ago)
tom HartDetails
RIVER DETAILS: Tailrace is good surfing at 2 barrels but quite sticky at 1. First rapid is easiest
run right to left into the big eddy above the cliffs then left to right into the huge eddy. Next
mile or so is relatively easy compared to the last mile. The final wave train under the bridge is a
long boat chase; exiting at the 'make out' take out before the bridge also saves the long carry or
upriver paddle to the normal takeout. UNSCHEDULED RELEASES. In a wetter summers power generation
releases are common when it gets into the higher 80's (let alone the 90's)in NYC during the week.
Compare the temperatures in NYC ( with when they've
been releasing and you can guess if you're going to have water. Weekend or holiday power
(unscheduled) releases unfortunately need more heat as there's fewer offices and factories using
juice on weekends.
April 27 2015 (1364 days ago)
southgate (157321)
2015 release schedule is here:
August 8 2013 (1991 days ago)
Joshua PostonDetails
The under bridge construction at the Route 97 rapid appears to be completed.
June 20 2013 (2040 days ago)
Joshua PostonDetails
All of the websites and numbers have been updated. Safe Paddling Everyone.
April 28 2010 (3189 days ago)
hawkinnv (151773)
Hi, not really a complaint, but wanted it brought to someone's attention... The phone number posted
on the "Mongaup - Rio Dam to Delaware River" page in NY is not longer accurate. It give a response
that "the extension is no longer active" namaste, Ed
April 11 2008 (3936 days ago)
Lauren CookDetails
Releases will commence, for the first time in nearly 3 years, on April 19!


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