Gauge Description:

There is now a USGS gauge on this stream, not far upstream of the listed put-in.

The majority of the upstream flow in this river is diverted to the Michigamme River via a canal at Little Bull Dam. The capacity of the diversion canal is fairly high so major snowmelt or extended rain is needed to affect levels in this reach beyond the release levels as given below.

The licensing agreement for the hydropower project provides for flows as follows (as long as inflow from upstream allows):
April 1 - May 15: 350 cfs
May 16 - June 15: 300 cfs
June 16 - June 30: 275 cfs
July 1 - November: 250 cfs
December - March: 175 cfs

Flows of 250 will provide a reasonable minimum, while higher flows will be more desirable.

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
PAINT RIVER NEAR ALPHA, MI
usgs-04062000 200 - 600 cfs II(III) 02h06m 328 cfs (running)
gauge class Good (normal, reasonable, boatable) flow. (Within various 'guaranteed' release flows.)
Gauge (631 sq.mi. drainage) is just upstream of put-in, thus very accurately reflects flow in this reach. Flow regulated by dam with scheduled releases.
gauge graph
RangeWater LevelDifficultyComment
0 - 150 cfs extremely Low-somewhat Low I-II gauge is important or has warning Too low.
150 - 200 cfs somewhat Low-barely Low I-II gauge is important or has warning Seriously bony, but possible E.L.F. (Extreme Low Flow) run.
200 - 250 cfs barely runnable-med runnable II gauge is important or has warning Below normal release levels. Boatable, but less than ideal.
250 - 350 cfs med runnable-a bit pushy runnable II(III) gauge is important or has warning Good (normal, reasonable, boatable) flow. (Within various 'guaranteed' release flows.)
350 - 600 cfs a bit pushy runnable-high runnable II-III+ gauge is important or has warning High flow (above any/all 'guaranteed' release flows).
600 -2000 cfs somewhat High-somewhat High II-III+(IV) gauge is important or has warning Unusually high flow.
2000 -9999 cfs somewhat High-extremely High III-IV gauge is important or has warning Extremely high flow.

Reports give the public a chance to report on river conditions throughout the country as well as log the history of a river.

When River/Gauge Subject Level Reporter
Paint River [MI] Horserace at high water n/a Nate Alwine
Paint [MI] Pin on the Paint (MI) 650 Mark Mastalski
> 10 years Paint [MI] Dragon's Teeth 300 cfs Brendan Hammond
> 10 years Paint [MI] Bottom of Horserace 380 cfs Mark Mastalski
> 10 years Paint [MI] Flushed :( 275cfs Nate Alwine
> 10 years Paint [MI] Horserace at High Water very high Nate Alwine