Difficulty II-III
Length 0.3 Miles
Flow Range 500 - 2000 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 1 hour ago ~ 736 [CFS] ℹ️
Reach Info Last Updated 04/02/2019 12:46 am

River Description

Pelican Rapids is a normally dewatered reach of about 1/4 - 1/3 of a mile with several low ledges that create waves and some nice play spots. At the 600 cfs release level it is a somewhat pushy class II, though class III comfort level is recommended due to the continous nature of the whitewater and vegetation in the river at points. (Since the channel is normally dewatered, there are small trees growing off to the side of the main channel in several places that will have flow through them. Much of this will be remedied with the channel modifications and enhancements which are planned.) The run feels steeper than it actually is as there are few obstructions to hinder downstream flow.

The usual put-in is on a narrow channel that will put you into the main flow without having to mess with some inconvenient rocks in the main channel below the dam. Once into the main channel, you will notice a decided downhill tilt to the river.

One of the more popular spots is the second ledge. There is a decent eddy on the left here. Shortly below this, some more benign play will be found, although there are not many convenient eddies.

The 'big' drop is located under and just past the second railway bridge. The main flow comes down the right side and strikes a rock ledge just below the bridge, diverting much of the flow to the left. The fun move here is to come down the right and grab the eddy below the bridge pier then peel out into the flow on the left. The drop can also be taken straight on by going left through some gaps in the vegetation perhaps 30 yards upstream of the bridge. Below this point is one more ledge and then the bobble to the take out.

Pelican Rapids could be likened to a pushier (relative to flow), more continous Wausau but with smaller drops. Or, think of Boy Scout's (on the Wolf, Section 3) at a similiar flow (about 12''), subtract some eddies, add some push, add some play spots, and place it in an industrial setting.

Instream work is being done as part of a whitewater course improvements project throughout the summer of 2004. Eddies are being added and play areas being developed so features will change as the summer goes on.

For more information you can contact Scott Watson: watsons@newnorth.net

Rapid Descriptions


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Andrew Meyer
6 years ago

Does anybody know if this thing actually runs? Is this virtual gauge actually worth something?

Gage Descriptions

At the 600 cfs release level it is a somewhat pushy class II, though class III comfort level is recommended due to the continous nature of the whitewater. The gauge listed shows flow upstream of this section. If there is not sufficient inflow, releases will not take place.

Directions Description

Shuttle will be on foot, carrying up to re-run this short park-and-play reach.


Ignore the directions below, and instead, use the text-box to enter your home address or other starting location and press "Calculate" to get time/distance and driving directions from there to this watercourse.

No Accident Reports



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Midwest Hydro Successes

Thomas O'Keefe & Angie Tornes

Working in close partnership with AW since the first flow study on the Pine River in 1991, the Rivers and Trails Program has assisted us in obtaining significant benefits for whitewater recreation through the FERC licensing process. Several projects in the midwest have benefitted from this productive partnership.
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Special Whitewater Release Canceled--Rhinelander Wisconsin

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Rhinelander Whitewater Trail - Course Improvement Campaign

Scott Watson


M. Scott Watson


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1192722 07/22/08 M. Scott Watson n/a
1211680 04/02/19 M. Scott Watson updated image position