Outdoors

Spokane River has shot at reaching record flow

Stan Miller looks classic in the cedar strip solo canoe he paddled in the Sunday event.  (Rich Landers / The Spokesman-Review)
Stan Miller looks classic in the cedar strip solo canoe he paddled in the Sunday event. (Rich Landers / The Spokesman-Review)

 RIVERS — Stan Miller has retired from Spokane County’s water resources program, but he still keeps an eye on the Spokane River and the snowpack left in the mountains. 

In his educated opinion, the river has a chance of reaching an all time high flow:

From May 19 - May 21, 1997 the Spokane River was flowing at 42,000 cfs.

That is about 6,000 cfs more than today.

Only flows on May 31, 1894 (49,000 cfs), Dec. 26, 1933 (47,800 cfs), and Jan. 20, 1974 (45,600 cfs) were higher than the 1997 flow. We could set a record if we get a good dump of rain up high.

If the forecast for cooler weather for the next week is correct, we will probably just see this level for a week or until most of the snowpack is gone.

Remember this level of flow is normally not seen until the end of May or early July.




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Rich Landers

Rich Landers’ Outdoors blog


Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.


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