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Sunday, August 18, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Outdoors blog

Region’s rivers hit record low flows

St. Joe River Trail 48 occassional breaks into the open enabling hikers to get a good view of the river. (Rich Landers)
St. Joe River Trail 48 occassional breaks into the open enabling hikers to get a good view of the river. (Rich Landers)

RIVERS -- Local staff at the National Weather Services has compiled sobering data from the USGS WaterWatch on the amount of water trickling out of our mountains and into our iconic creeks and rivers.

Early melt off of our of below average snowpack in the Pacific Northwest, combined with below average precipitation since April, has pushed streamflows to record low levels for this time of the year.

The Inland Northwest generally sees its lowest streamflows of the year in late September or early October.

The table below shows the latest observed streamflow and the previous record low streamflow for June 23.

  • This year's record low flow for the St. Joe River smashes the previous record low for the iconic cutthroat stream set in 1926!

Many more streams that are not listed in this table are in their lowest 10th percentile of flow on record for June 23.

USGS Streamgage -- New Low Flow | Old Low Flow (Yr) | Years of record

NORTH IDAHO AND EASTERN WASHINGTON

Boundary Creek       58cfs  |   83cfs(1940) |  87

NF Coeur d'Alene   115cfs  |  149cfs(1992) |  64

Coeur d'Alene         576cfs | 667cfs(1940)  |  82

St Joe                      681cfs | 940cfs(1926)  | 96

St Maries                  67cfs | 73cfs(1992)     | 49

Spokane*                993cfs | 1580cfs(1992) | 124

EAST CASCADES

Similkameen       1580cfs | 1720cfs(1940) | 86

Andrews Ck          17cfs | 24cfs(1992)      | 47

Methow             1350cfs | 1390cfs(2001)  | 56

Stehekin           1320cfs | 1550cfs(2005)  | 93

Entiat                352cfs  | 377cfs(2005)     | 57

Wenatchee       1210cfs | 1410cfs(2005)   | 91

Chiwawa           401cfs | 566cfs(1941)     | 41

Icicle                235cfs | 439cfs(2005)     | 56

Some gages may have gaps in the historical record that could include historic low flows.

*Gage with a significant dam upstream.




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Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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