Per Tom Kaylor:
This is a very scenic stream, it's hard to catch without a reliable internet gauge. A good place to take aggressive beginners if they have basic eddy hopping-ferrying skills and have a roll.
Many high rock bluffs, 90 degree turns and mostly class II stuff. Some places are no more than 10' wide and there is one dog leg turn that Tom Kennon rated as a Class III (not compared to class III on the Ocoee though).It's very remote and walking out may be difficult. Watch for downed trees around the bends. A heron rookery on the left about midway and some huge boulders is good place for a lunch stop.
About 2 miles below the put-in is a Girl Scout camp that anyone having problems can get out. Beyond that, there is no convenient way to make this run any shorter so be sure all paddlers can handle 10 miles.
This is actually the closest real whitewater to Memphis (115 miles) You will have to rely on posts on the Arkansas Canoe Club message board for level info.
Use USGS gauges for the Salado.
Minimum levels but rising should yield 10.5 stones or higher. Middle Fork of the Little Red at Shirley 8.0' Little Red at Judsonia 8.5' Strawberry at Poughkeepsie 3.5'
Try 8.4'-9.6' at MFLR @ Shirley + rain near Pleasant Plains for a good level. Keep in mind that "leaf on" season will soak up water quick.
There is no online USGS gauge on this stream. For a reference gauge, we are using Little Red Middle Fork at Shirley. Keep in mind this may give false reads (show 'runnable' when not, show 'not runnable' when it is runnable). Tom Kaylor offered (2007-04-16): Use the following USGS gauges as estimation for the Salado. Middle Fork of the Little Red at Shirley 8.0' Little Red at Judsonia 8.5' Strawberry at Poughkeepsie 3.5' Try 8.4'-9.6' at MFLR @ Shirley + rain near Pleasant Plains for a good level. Keep in mind that "leaf on" season will soak up water (therefore need more rain for runnable levels). No online gauge. Look for recent 1+ inch rain in the area. Visual inspection at Hwy 167 bridge South of Batesville. Look at the number of stones/blocks showing on the old bridge support. 10.5 stones is pretty boney 8-10 stones is good II+ fun <8 stones getting high.
Permits are not required for this reach.
We have no additional detail on this route.
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