Chippewa - D) Downtown EauClaire (PnP)


Chippewa, Wisconsin, US

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D) Downtown EauClaire (PnP)

Usual Difficulty II (varies with level)
Length 0.4 Miles

Side Suring Galore....


Side Suring Galore....
Photo of TC by BB taken 05/02/09

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
CHIPPEWA RIVER BELOW DELLS DAM AT EAU CLAIRE, WI
usgs-05365550 2500 - 18000 cfs II+(III) 00h59m 5400 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.


River Description

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:


StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2017-04-04 15:59:31

Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
0.0Parking: Put-in/Fishing AccessN/APutin
0.1Outflow Wave(s)III+Playspot Photo
0.2Random ledge/wavesN/APlayspot Photo
0.2Stairs (Fishing Access)N/AAccess
0.3Main LedgeN/APlayspot Photo
0.4Stairs (Fishing Access)N/ATakeout
0.4USGS sampling siteN/A
0.5Parking: Gravel LotN/ATakeout

Rapid Descriptions

Parking: Put-in/Fishing Access (Class 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.



Outflow Wave(s) (Class III+, Mile 0.1)

Dam Outflow

Dam Outflow
Photo by Rob Smage taken 05/31/16 @ 12700 cfs

(Click photo to see full-size!)

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.



Random ledge/waves (Class N/A, Mile 0.2)

View of Dam to Bridge

View of Dam to Bridge
Photo by Rob Smage taken 05/30/16 @ 12700 cfs

(Click photo to see full-size!)

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.


Stairs (Fishing Access) (Class N/A, Mile 0.2)

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.



Main Ledge (Class N/A, Mile 0.3)

View Downstream of Bridge

View Downstream of Bridge
Photo by Rob Smage taken 05/30/16 @ 12700 cfs

(Click photo to see full-size!)

At low-to-moderate flows, this is the main playable ledge. At high flows, there is little or no sign of anything here.


Stairs (Fishing Access) (Class N/A, Mile 0.4)

There is a set of stairs which provide great access at the take-out.



USGS sampling site (Class N/A, Mile 0.4)

USGS gauge site: drainage area 5,710 square miles.



Parking: Gravel Lot (Class N/A, Mile 0.5)

Just south of the public works buildings there is a large gravel lot, very convenient to the take-out area.




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