Difficulty II
Length Miles
Flow Range 500 - 15000 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 55 minutes ago ~ 12800 [CFS] ℹ️
Reach Info Last Updated 04/02/2019 12:50 am

River Description

Local training grounds and work-out water for Madison area boaters. Rocky outrun from dam/powerplant creates some potential for play. At times of high flow it may provide some excellent "big water" practice, with powerful swirls and boils.

You can get fairly recent readings by visiting the Alliant Energy website for this location: FlowRate

An anonymous contributor provides (2008-11-02):
Just paddled this today around 5,000cfs and its good fun! You can put in right [near] the dam and paddle down. There is a rather big wave in the middle of the right channel, very hard to catch. Then its just turbulent and pushy water till you make it down to the big eddy on river right.

There is a surprisingly nice wave at the top of the eddy that is a cake walk to paddle into. Its pretty fast and can allow some ends and wavewheels, flatspins maybe. What's nice is that soon as you get washed out just head back for the big river right eddy. There you will find a train of whirlpools on the (quite long and super deep) eddy line. SQUIRT CITY! (reminds me of the Gauley -- well, minus the huge ugly dam taking up the entire view.) It also has magnificent eddy service. A few paddle strokes and you're back in the wave.

I didn't find much else to play around in. Everything is either too swift or too rocky. But the one wave on river right made it well worth the trip and I paddled all day.

Here's a note: There were a lot of local fishermen out. Most were friendly and came over to talk and watch, others offered scowls. A lot of people were really surprised to see a kayaker and I drew quite an audience. Just smile and wave.

I may be making another trip back up here, especially if the water is higher. I can only imagine that what that wave would be like at 10,000cfs! Oooh Boy!

Rapid Descriptions


Class - N/A Mile - 0
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

Check out the following video (no boaters, just water) from when flow was in the 11,000-12,000 cfs range:

Or ... this video (level unknown) of some UW-Madison Hoofers boaters enjoying the spot:


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Mark Nejedlo
9 years ago

Alliant Energy provides outflow data on their website. With Muscoda so far downstream, this avoids the long delay in flow change information. http://alliantenergy.com/Environmental/HydroFlow/index.htm

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10 years ago

Heres a quick vid of the rapids at 11,000-12,000cfs. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMZo9PGgO0g

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10 years ago

Matthew Cooper here. I rode my bike here yesterday and played all night and morning. At around 11,400 - 12500 cfs there is only one surfable wave/hole on rivber right that is medium-large and deep, no eddy though. However, i finally gathered the courage to play in the dam hole and it was incredible at 12,500. Putting in is tricky cause you have to carry over a wall, but the dam hole allows all sorts of moves at high water, loops, spins blunts, cartwheels. And though the dam hole looks a bit scary and sticky, its really not, as the water washes down stream into the rapids below. I took some cell phone pics and video and will try to upload soon. Oh yeah, the eddy is piroutt-tastic too.

Gage Descriptions

Visual. Cited USGS gauge is in Muscoda, about 44 miles downriver. No dams intervene, but be aware that significant changes in flow from the Prairie du Sac dam will not be reflected on this gauge until many hours later.

You can get fairly recent readings by visiting the Alliant Energy website for this location: FlowRate

Features reportedly wash-out above 15,000 cfs, otherwise this area is "almost always playable."


Directions Description

Since this is a PnP (Park-and-play), we have set directions to show routing to this feature from your home zipcode. You can use the text-entry box to provide other/specific address or starting location to get time/distance/direction info to this playspot.

No Accident Reports






Matt Muir


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1203036 01/28/14 Rob Minor edit
1208356 10/08/17 Rob fix broken link
1211684 04/02/19 Rob updated image position
1196706 11/23/09 Rob Fix/remove broken links.
1202799 10/22/13 Rob add Alliant Energy flow link
1192723 01/21/09 n/a n/a
1195428 06/10/09 Rob