Gauge Description:

Contoocook USGS gage is located at the bottom of S-turn rapid. The river generally peaks about 36 to 48 hours after a rain event. Forecast

Level interpertation
 

USGS Gauge       CFS            Intepretation

5.6'-6.6'      233-563          Minimum to scratchy level
6.6'-7.8'      563-1230         Low
7.8'-8.4'      1230-1680        Low to medium
8.4'-9.5'      1680-2900        Medium
9.5'-11.0'     2900-5300        High
over 11.0'     >5300            Very high

Estimated chance (%) of finding the river runnable.
 

Month............% chance....comment
January .............3%....Frozen
February.............3%....Frozen
March...............35%....Especially  late in month during early thaws.
April...............90%....Most dependable month
May ................60%                
June................20%
July.................5%      
August...............5%
September...........20%....Tropical storms and their remains
October.............30%....Trees go dormant less water being absorbed by them
November............60%      
December............50%....River starts freezing up around Christmas.



Be aware this is averaged out over several years. The % chance refers to the probability of finding the river running on any given day. For instance a 5% probability for July means on average you can only expect 1.5 days of water. One year there could be 3 days in July with water other years none. Spring levels are usually higher than fall levels.

Why does that gauge level go up and down?

On occassion a regular up down or "sawtooth" pattern will be noticed when looking at the USGS 7 day graph. This is caused by releases well upstream of the gage. Releases come from several hydro and flood control reservoirs upstream including Nubanusit Lake, Edward MacDowell Reservoir, Highland Lake, Lake Franklin Pierce, and other reservoirs upstream. However, releases from the Monadnock Paper mill located 22 miles upstream in Bennington are usually responsible for the most notable rise and fall of the gage. This is most noticable at low botable levels betweeen 5' and 7' on the gage. Releases from the Paper mill reservoir can raise the level 300 cfs. If the gage is a 6' for a baseline, the added 300 cfs can bring levels up to 7'. Because of the distance upstream daily releases do not start to reach the gage until the afternoon, then usually peak in late afternoon to early evening. Note that this occurs rather frequently and usually for a number of days in a row, but almost never occurs on weekends unless the mill is behind with their customer's orders.

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
CONTOOCOOK RIVER NEAR HENNIKER, NH
usgs-01085000 12.00 - 14.99 ft III+ 00h37m ~ 9.17 ft (running)
gauge class Very pushy for III's. IV's love this level.

gauge graph
RangeWater LevelDifficultyComment
6.00 -7.49 ft barely runnable-med runnable II(III) gauge is important or has warning A bit boney, but enjoyable.
7.50 -7.99 ft med runnable-a bit pushy runnable II-III gauge is important or has warning Great level for III boaters.
8.00 -8.49 ft med runnable-a bit pushy runnable II-III+ gauge is important or has warning Pushy III, minimum for IV boaters.
8.50 -9.49 ft med runnable-a bit pushy runnable III+ gauge is important or has warning Very pushy for III's. IV's love this level.
9.50 -11.99 ft a bit pushy runnable-high runnable IV gauge is important or has warning Pushy IV. Expect long swims.
12.00 -14.99 ft a bit pushy runnable-high runnable IV+ gauge is important or has warning High water experience necessary.
15.00 -99.99 ft barely High-extremely High 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
Contoocook River [NH] S-Turn map n/a Mark Lacroix
9y313d03h18m Freight Train [NH] 8.23 on the gauge about 1700 cfs n/a n/a
9y313d03h21m Freight Train [NH] Account of 06/16/09 n/a n/a
> 10 years Contoocook [NH] Boof that boat 8.5 feet Patrick Rogers
> 10 years Contoocook [NH] 2600 CFS Patrick Rogers
> 10 years Contoocook [NH] Middle Drop at Frieght Train 7.7 Feet Mark Lacroix
> 10 years Contoocook [NH] Entrance playhole 8.1 Mark Lacroix