Gauge Description:

Many locals reference the flow by the staff gage painted on the pipes at the take-out at the confluence where the North Fork joins the Middle Fork. For a first time class 3/4 boater 9.5 to 10.5' is an ideal level. Rapids are pool drop and swimmers and gear can be easily rounded up; you'll have time to look at the scenery and there are still 8 or so class 4's and lots 3' to 4' high wave trains with the rare 5'-6' high wave to spice things up. Above 12 things start to get big and fast, missed rolls at that level and above could result in long swims, lost gear and a epic hike out.


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The gauge graph below is for the main Smith River. Flows on the North Fork will be on average about 33% of the flow represented on this gauge.  However, the actual ratio varies dramatically with different weather patterns. 

NOAA Flow Prediction page estimates flow on the main fork for the next 4 days.


Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
No. Smith At Gasquet
dream-162 600 - 4000 cfs III-V 67d22h48m 500 cfs (too low)
gauge graph
RangeWater LevelDifficultyComment
600 -4000 cfs barely runnable-high runnable III-V gauge is important or has warning
usgs-11532500 2000 - 7000 cfs III-V 01h03m 286 cfs (too low)
Actual flow 1/3 +- the flow at Crescent city
gauge graph
RangeWater LevelDifficultyComment
2000 -7000 cfs barely runnable-high runnable III-V gauge is important or has warning

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