| Environment | July 24, 2020
ILLINOIS RIVER BASIN CONDITIONS – JULY 25-26 WEEKEND
ISSUED: 9:30AM - FRIDAY, JULY 24, 2020
Hello Scenic Rivers Neighbors, Friends and Team,
THIS WEEKEND BE PREPARED WHEN HEADED OUTDOORS TO DEAL WITH MUGGY CONDITIONS AND TRIPLE-DIGIT HEAT INDICES… THERE’S ALSO A SLIGHT CHANCE FOR “POP UP” THUNDERSTORMS.
WIND DIRECTIONS ARE FORECASTED TO BE FROM THE SOUTH AT SPEEDS OF 5-15MPH WITH OCCASIONAL GUSTS OF UP TO 22-25MPH.
ILLINOIS RIVER BASIN WATER LEVELS AND FLOWS WILL BE GOOD FOR FISHING, FLOATING AND SWIMMING.
FLOATERS AND SWIMMERS SHOULD ALWAYS WEAR U.S. COAST GUARD-APPROVED LIFE JACKETS WHILE OUT ON THE WATER.
IT’S RECOMMENDED THAT ADULTS AND CHILDREN LACKING PADDLING SKILLS SHOULD BE PAIRED WITH EXPERIENCED PADDLERS UTILIZING RAFTS.
ALWAYS CONSULT WITH YOUR COMMERCIAL FLOTATION DEVICE OPERATOR BEFORE LAUNCHING ON A FLOAT TRIP FOR THE MOST UP-TO-DATE RIVER AND WEATHER CONDITIONS.
CURRENT CONDITIONS (as of 9:00am, Friday, 07/24):
CFS = Cubic Feet Per Second (Each CFS = 450 Gallons)
GPMPG = Gallons Per Minute Passing Gage
• WATTS GAGE-US59 Highway Bridge, 3.28 FEET at 524CFS Flow/235,800 GPMPG (Normal 211CFS/94,950 GPMPG, based 64 years of record);
• CHEWEY GAGE-Hampton Bridge, 4.61 FEET at 661CFS Flow/297,450 GPMPG (Normal 327CFS/147,150 GPMPG, based 10 years of record);
• TAHLEQUAH GAGE-US62 Highway Bridge, 5.93 FEET at 1,050CFS Flow/472,500 GPMPG (Normal 248CFS/111,600 GPMPG, based on 84 years of record);
• ELDON GAGE-Barren Fork Creek/SH51 Highway Bridge, 6.46 FEET at 119CFS Flow/53,550 GPMPG (Normal 58CFS/26,100 GPMPG, based on 71 years of record); and,
• KANSAS GAGE-Flint Creek/US412 Highway Bridge, 6.22 FEET at 63CFS Flow/28,350 GPMPG (Normal 36CFS/16,200 GPMPG, based on 60 years of record).
PROJECTED WEEKEND WATER LEVELS:
• WATTS Gage-US59 Highway Bridge
- Saturday: 7:00am/3.1ft
- Sunday: 7:00am/3.0ft
• CHEWEY Gage-Hampton Bridge
- Saturday: 7:00am/4.4ft
- Sunday: 7:00am/4.3ft
• TAHLEQUAH Gage-US62 Highway Bridge
- Saturday: 7:00am/5.6ft
- Sunday: 7:00am/5.3ft
• ELDON Gage-Barren Fork Creek/SH51 Highway Bridge
- Saturday: 7:00am/6.4ft
- Sunday: 7:00am/6.4ft
• KANSAS Gage-Flint Creek/US412 Highway Bridge
- Saturday: 7:00am/6.2ft
- Sunday: 7:00am/6.2ft
IMPORTANT WATER RECREATION CONSIDERATIONS:
1. Wear life preservers, protective footwear and other suitable clothing.
2. It’s always recommended that you wear U.S. Coast Guard-Approved Life Jacket while out on the water.
3. By chance do you own USCG-Approved Life Jacket that you’re more-comfortable wearing… if so, please bring it along as
commercial flotation device operations only provide the USCG-Approved Life Jacket, Type II, orange-colored Horseshoe PFD
(commonly referred to as “Mae West PFD”).
4. Never swim or boat alone. Stay within sight of companions.
5. It’s paramount that you have/use suntan lotion, wear sunglasses, hat and cover-up apparel… there’s very few things more agonizing than a
sunburn and headache caused from exposure to direct sunlight and its’ glare reflecting off the water.
6. Always take along thirst-quenching drinks like water and lemonade. Alcohol impairs judgment. Soda drinks and alcohol can contribute to
7. Ice chests must have a strap around them to prevent spillage in case of capsizing. Maximum capacity per flotation device is 48-quarts totaled.
8. Tie on food and extra clothing in a watertight container.
9. Glass and Styrofoam containers are prohibited.
10. Don’t tie canoes, kayaks and rafts together.
11. When winds are from the south at speeds 15-20mph or higher, consider taking a shorter float trip… particularly, when floating in inner
tubes and rafts.
12. Don’t take anything along on a float trip that you wouldn’t want to lose… check your vehicle keys with the commercial float
operation for safe keeping.
13. Pack out all trash… recycle empty water bottles and other beverage containers (FYI, float operations provide trash bags
“free of charge”, grab up one or two for your trip).
14. Respect the rights of other floaters, fishermen and private property owners.
15. Always inform family members what stream reach you’re floating and when you plan to return.
16. Floaters beware, a number of flood events have occurred since the last float season.
Fallen trees and debris may have accumulated in turns and runs that may pose navigational hazards.
If in doubt about the stream reach to be floated, stop and get out on land to scout a safe pathway
to float through around meanders and other areas where debris and fallen trees present
strainers that let water pass through yet will trap and hold a boat/swimmer.
In areas with swift water, portage your boat around navigational hazards.
17. Don’t swim in stagnant (unmoving) water.
18. Don’t ingest water.
19. Don’t dive into the water.
20. Wash cuts and scrapes with soap and water after swimming.
21. Shower with soap and water following your time on the water.
22. Please adhere to COVID-19 Guidance from Oklahoma State Department of Health and CDC when
enjoying Scenic Rivers Areas.
Attached above is a listing of water levels and flow/discharge for Illinois River Basin Stream Gaging Stations (as of 9:00am, Friday, 07/24).
Additional updates will be published as river conditions warrant.
Be safe, healthy and happy
Vice-President for Rivers Operations and Water Quality
Office Phone: 918-456-3251
Work Cell: 918-323-6825
P.O. Box 292
Tahlequah, OK 74465-0292
15971 N. Highway 10
Tahlequah, OK 74464
Please take pause daily to pick up two pieces of trash and properly dispose or recycle the materials… the synergy of our efforts will help preserve and protect our state’s aquatic and terrestrial environments. Thank you!