Aisling House Bed & Breakfast

B and b Waterford


Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-05545750 200 - 1200 cfs 01h09m 755 cfs (too high)
Rochester Dam likely too high/pushy for easy play, too low for 'big' play. Shalllow stilling-area rocks will interfere, and become major problem if you flip! Gauge (811 sq.mi. drainage) is 5.1 river-miles downstream (with some minor tribs contributing). More accurate info on 'Flows' tab using Burlington NOAA gauge.

River Description

Since this is one of the larger watersheds in the S.E.Wi. area (767 sq.mi. at listed gauge, vs. 696 sq.mi. for Mke/Mke, 526 sq.mi. for lower Manitowoc, 300 sq.mi. for Sheboygan, 190 sq.mi. for Root - only the Rock river is larger being 3, 340 sq.mi. at Afton between Beloit and Janesville), it may provide opportunities when all else has gone too low. Unfortunately, there is very little whitewater. However, there are a few potential playspots.

Waterford Dam (NOT ADVISED!)

The dam (just north of Hwy.20 / Main Street in Waterford, near the library and village hall) which creates Tichigan Lake has two releasable pivot-lift gates. Water spilling from these gates sheets shallow and swift across a horizontal cement slab then falls off a sheer vertical lip into the pool of the river. While it may sometimes look enticing, at virtually all times there may be great froth here, but no real play opportunity.The curtain of water is 'hollow' behind (back to the vertical slab), and the flow is mostly chaotic where it hits the pool. Far more relevantly, rom the base of the dam things are very shallow and rocky almost immediately downstream. Best advice: do not try to playboat at the Waterford dam. Flatwater paddlers may put in here for a downriver trip.

Just upstream of the dam there is a large island in Tichigan Lake (filled with condos and houses). The channel around the left side of the island has a rock-rubble dam (rather than a cement dam with release gates). In general, there is no whitewater interest here, either, as water very seldom covers enough of the rock to make this area passable with any sort of watercraft.

Rochester (Case Eagle Park) Dam (potentially some play, at some very finite flows, for skilled boaters)

About 0.38mi. downstream of CTH.D / Main Street in Rochester (and 2.25 miles downstream from the dam in Waterford), in Case Eagle Park, there is another dam. The left-most part of the dam has shallow shoulder with a series of evenly spaced (too narrow to fit any boat through) metal rods stand vertically from the cement slab. (On occasion, these support planks standing up edge-wise to increase the pool height just a bit). Between that area and the center release gates lies an area of somewhat higher cement slab. The downstream slope of this part of the dam is filled with large rocks makeing passage in any watercraft here impossible (or, at least, strongly inadvisable, as it is likely to cause boat damage and bodily harm.

There are four lift-gates on the dam (center-river, and right-of-center). Virtually all occasions I have been there, the left two gates (center-river) have flow passing through (under) the pivot-gate, and the right two gates (right-of-center) are fully closed. Under a wide range of conditions, the outflow from the gates creates what looks to be an interesting potentially playable hole. However, there are HUGE boulders just under the surface of the water in the outflow (of all four gates, so it wouldn't matter where they release from). We have to recommend that you do not try to playboat at the Rochester dam unless you have justifiable confidence that you can do so without flipping! Flips or swims will be brutal, as you are virtually guaranteed to impact rocks! Even those staying right-side-up are likely to regularly contact rock with paddle-strokes and occasionally contact/hang-up-on rock with their boat.

Burlington, Calumet Street/Dog Park (very minor opportunites)

Just beyond downtown Burlington (9.25 miles downstream from the dam in Waterford, 7 miles downsteam from the Rochester Case Eagle Park dam), the Fox River spreads wide (approximately 110 yards/330 feet) as it passes under a (defunct) railroad bridge. This area is accessible from the end of Calumet Street, where there is parking for a fenced-in dog-walk area. (Hmmm, does that make this a 'bark-and-play' spot?) The river is split into a number of channels - three more-or-less 'main' divisions made by islands before the bridge, with each of those channels then split in two or three by bridge piers. A total of 7 bridge piers make 8 possible channels (though at least one of those is exclusively a high-water/flood channel which will be dry land most of the time).

Each channel contains a different amount of the flow of the river (obviously) and has differing rock/rubble clutter creating differing potentials for play. Some channels are relatively tame (worthless) at virtually all flows. Some may offer some tame entertainment at the right flows, however don't ever expect much more than tame entertainment here.



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