Mongaup, New York, US
|Usual Difficulty||II+ (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||53 fpm|
|Max Gradient||60 fpm|
|MONGAUP RIVER NEAR MONGAUP NY|
|usgs-01433500||400 - 1200 cfs||II+||01h44m||148 cfs (too low)|
|No Turbines Running|
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.
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.
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.
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 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
|Mile||Rapid Name||Class||Features (Legend)|
|3.1||Takeout on the Delaware (Upstream)|
|3.3||Takeout on the Delaware (Downstream)|
Zone 18 520364E 4586243E
On the Delaware, the downstream take out is at the confluence on the east side, at about Zone 18 520493E 4586022N.