Black (Mississippi Trib.), Wisconsin, US
|Usual Difficulty||II-III(IV) (varies with level)|
|Avg. Gradient||20 fpm|
|Max Gradient||33 fpm|
|Black at Hatfield|
|virtual-11094||240 - 3500 cfs||II(III)||01h18m||~ 0 cfs (too low)|
|Possibly E.L.F. (Extreme Low Flow) runs of 'creeky' quarter-mile run below dam. VirtGauge approximates flow below dam as ~1.722296*Neillsville minus powerplant capacity. For actual flows: http://www.weather.gov/arx/hatfield_arbutus_monitor|
See the 'Flows' tab for details of the present release agreement.
Also, as many boaters have noted, our 'virtual gauge' (as cited above) is often of rather little merit. The most relevant info is available via some extraction and interpolation of data from a NOAA gauge associated with the powerplant, which we can embed here:
We are told if you subtract 700-1200 from the 'Hatfield Hydro Plant' reading, that will approximate the flow in the natural river channel.
When the full reach is runnable, it can provide some rare "big water play" in
This may be done as either a 'park-and-play' at the put-in (where the best play waves are) or as the listed three mile run from the dam to the powerplant. The run may be extended to a landing at Hall's Creek to add three more minor drops (though most whitewater boaters forgo the added flatwater this necessitates).
The usual run (at moderate to high flows) starts about a quarter-mile below the dam (the first point reached from the carry-in from normal roadside boater parking). Between the dam and this point lie some serious drops which contains near inescapable boiling cauldrons at moderate to high flows (class IV-V+).
Note: As long as one puts in below this upper stretch, there no rapids which rise above a class II-III rating.
In times of lower flow (and during the scheduled releases) the drops from the dam to the carry-in pool are runnable, and may provide some class III-IV entertainment. In fact, according to Jeff Polzin: "the section immediately below the dam is full of fun class 2 drops at 75 to 150 cfs ... there are a couple of easy class 3 drops (at the K bridge and at the second zag of the "Z" approximately 2 miles downstream from the dam)"
Check out the following video of the upper stretch (from the dam to the 'Campground Wave':
Also at times of lower flow (I.E., when this reach is 'dewatered' due to the power plant
diverting all the flow), boaters may wish to check out the reach from Below the
hydroplant to Hall's Creek landing, as all water which had been diverted from the upper
reach will now be returned to the riverbed for these final two or three drops. Runnability will,
of course, depend upon power generation schedules.
The following YouTube video (from 'MnktoDave') includes footage of this section of river (along with others).
|Mile||Rapid Name||Class||Features (Legend)|
|0.0||Drainage at Hatfield Dam: 1290 sq.mi.||N/A|
|2.3||minor rapids #1||II|
|2.8||minor rapids #2||II|
Drainage area at the Hatfield Dam is approximately 1290 sq.mi. (as calculated via USGS StreamStats Beta software).
Downstream of the put-in waves, downstream of the highway bridge, an island splits the flow. The main channel is to the right, and the flow drops across a bedrock intrusion. At some flows a fine surf can be had here.
Rocky intrusion creates minor play.
A rocky outcropping splits the flow and allows some minor play.
A final boulder and bedrock intrusion allows minor play (though most folks don't bother, since they've played out the upper stuff).