Characteristics at select flows:
500-900 cfs: runnable but no worthwhile play. Good levels for early ww beginners needing moving
1000-1300 cfs: the maximum amount of hydraulics appear. Waves are small.
1800-2300 cfs: many enjoyable medium-sized waves. A lot of the hydraulics start to wash out. "House
Wave" is nice. Noticeably pushier;
4000-4500+ cfs: large standing waves offer fun surf. Holes are washed out, but many of the
waves break nicely. Very pushy and flood-like. Most waves are catch-on-the-fly. "Maui Wave" above
take-out is prime.
Hazards: There are two low-head dams to be aware of. The first occurs approximately 2/3
into the run above the US 23 bridge. Portage river right. A second very low small dam is located about
50 yards downstream of the first. It's broken out on river right and easily run there.
Access: Put-in: From the US 23 bridge which crosses the river south of Delaware, head
north several miles up the river right side road. Continue north on the dead-end road leading to a
Delaware Water Treatment Facility. Park along the guardrail, just in front of the newly erected fence, looking for a
trail in the weeds dropping down to the river. Take-out: From 23 near the bridge, travel south on Chapman Road, which parallels the river.
In less than a mile, look for a red ranch house on your left close to the river. Just past that, once the
left side of the road turns to woods, look for two pullouts close-by on your right, the northern one with
a mailbox. Park in the southern pullout. A trail leads down to the river where a low-head dam used to
be (removed, courtesy "Scenic Rivers" License Plate funds). Removal has revealed a new ledge! Note the
area is private, so be in good behavior mode.
Alternate access point under 23 bridge.
An upstream USACE flood-control dam largely
controls the flows. Check the USGS Delaware gauge
for dam outflow, and, to factor in runoff, add on
roughly half the difference between it and the
downstream Worthington gauge. Note that when
heavy precipitation falls evenly across North Central
Ohio, outflow is often held back a day or two to
relieve the Scioto in Southern Ohio. Outflow level and
duration is based on the strategy of returning
Delaware Lake to summer or winter "pool levels" as
quickly as possible. Summer pool level is 915ft (refill
date April 1). Winter pool is 910 (draw-down Nov 1).
Click link to get realtime level. Delaware Lake Level (Scioto basin)
Permits are not required for this reach.
We have no additional detail on this route.
Use the map below to calculate how
to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.
Maui Wave at Full Release
Maui Wave at Full Release (large)
Maui Wave Loop
Surfin' the Ole
1st ledge below 23 bridge
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