Chippewa, Wisconsin, US
|Usual Difficulty||II (varies with level)|
|CHIPPEWA RIVER BELOW DELLS DAM AT EAU CLAIRE, WI|
|usgs-05365550||2500 - 18000 cfs||II+(III)||02h25m||6240 cfs (running)|
|Intermediated/advanced play boaters (features on river left get sticky, permanent side surf, need to know how to play out of it). USGS gauge (5710 sq.mi.drainage) is at this site.|
In-town park-and-play spot.
There are a couple possible playspots, depending upon flows (See Flow Info).
For what it's worth, assuming the date on the 'feature photo' is correct, the flow would have been in the neighborhood of 6,000 cfs.
(The mean daily flow reported for 2009-05-01 was 7120 cfs, for 2009-05-02 was 6070, and for 2009-05-03 was 5370 cfs).
The following YouTube video (from 'VesperSparrow ') shows one playable part of this very wide ledge:
|Mile||Rapid Name||Class||Features (Legend)|
|0.0||Parking: Put-in/Fishing Access||N/A|
|0.2||Stairs (Fishing Access)||N/A|
|0.4||Stairs (Fishing Access)||N/A|
|0.4||USGS sampling site||N/A|
|0.5||Parking: Gravel Lot||N/A|
Access to this site is available by passing BETWEEN the two red public works buildings (past the gas pumps, etc), then taking the driveway nearest the river, heading alongside the back of factory buildings to a lot up by the powerplant and dam.
Depending on which gate(s) are open (and how much), there may be some gnarly waves in the outflow of the dam. The (relative) calm of the pool should allow you to get right alongside the wave(s) for your first ride (or attempt), though you may not be able to break out of flow and return for a second attempt other than by getting ashore and carrying up.
Numerous random scattered ledge/waves populate the right-side of the river, though they are very likely to be 'catch-on-the-fly', one-and-done. At high flows, these can be awesome.
A set of stairs provides access to the river at this location. This makes a convenient put-in for low-to-moderate flows, when only the lower 'main ledge' is playable.
At low-to-moderate flows, this is the main playable ledge. At high flows, there is little or no sign of anything here.
There is a set of stairs which provide great access at the take-out.
USGS gauge site: drainage area 5,710 square miles.
Just south of the public works buildings there is a large gravel lot, very convenient to the take-out area.