Gauge Description:

The Cumberland at Harlan is just a reference gauge to give you an idea of what water is looking like in the area.  If it is 2000+cfs and rising, there is a good chance the creek is running.  There is also a streamgauge right below Martins Fork Lake that reads in stage.  Martins Fork was run when this gauge was around 2.5 feet.  However, the Lake is over 10 miles downstream from the run and the gauge being below the lake creates some speculation on how useful it may be in predicting flows up on the whitewater section.  Click here to see this gauge: amazon.nws.noaa.gov/nexhads2/jsp/interactiveDisplays/createChart.jsp

Also, here is a link to the lake level graph, which in suite with the gauge below the dam, can give some insight into what the lake system is doing: amazon.nws.noaa.gov/nexhads2/jsp/interactiveDisplays/createChart.jsp.  And here is a link to a rain gauge at the same location: amazon.nws.noaa.gov/nexhads2/jsp/interactiveDisplays/createChart.jsp Look for 2 inches in the winter or 3 inches in the summer, but after good soaking rains and recent high flows, it can be done on an inch of rain.  This was the case on the first full descent.

Finally, there is a way to visuallize the level at the bridge on the road that turns off hwy 987 and heads to the put in. There is a footer on the bridge, www.americanwhitewater.org/content/Photo_detail_photoid_42191_ , and when it was first run with adequate flows, the water was 1-2 inches below the flat part of the footer. This was a good low level. If it is even with the footer to 2 inches above, this is a solid flow. More than 5-6 inches above the footer will take this creek to the next level, and considering the continuous, blind, and undercut nature of the creek, the risk of coming around the corner to strainers would increase the risk of the run significantly.

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
MARTIN'S FORK AT SMITH
hads-SMHK2 3.00 - 5.50 ft V 00h34m 0.41 ft (too low)

gauge graph
RangeWater LevelDifficultyComment
3.00 -5.50 ft barely runnable-high runnable V gauge is important or has warning Will run if the gauge is at 2 ft and rising fast.
CUMBERLAND RIVER NEAR HARLAN, KY
usgs-03401000 2000 - 8000 cfs V 00h34m 246 cfs (too low)

gauge graph
RangeWater LevelDifficultyComment
2000 -8000 cfs barely runnable-high runnable 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.

When River/Gauge Subject Level Reporter
[KY] Harlan County Two Step n/a Kirk Eddlemon
9y309d16h11m /Test Reach-here to there [KY] The Area 0 cfs Jake boggs
9y310d13h43m /Test Reach-here to there [KY] Quadrule Falls ELF 0 cfs Jake boggs
9y310d13h53m /Test Reach-here to there [KY] Put-in parking 0 cfs Jake boggs
9y313d21h20m /Test Reach-here to there [KY] Quadrule Falls 0 cfs Jake boggs