Reading the USGS site, cornfused....

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BigCliff
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Reading the USGS site, cornfused....

Post by BigCliff » Wed Jul 15, 2009 11:53 am

Alright y'all, I'm betting I'm not the only one that checks this site thrice weekly or better to check on flows of our favorite trickles- http://water.usgs.gov/waterwatch/?m=real&r=tx

I'm hoping someone can supply clarification on what some of the numbers mean. For instance, for both the Guad at Comfort and the Llano at Junction, flows based on "Percentile" are currently in the ballpark of 15%. However, when one compares them at those same locations based on "% of normal (median)" the Llano is at about 55% and the Guad at 15%. Comparing "% of normal (mean)" one sees the Llano at 38% and the Guad at 9%.

What number do y'all think is the one to focus on when trying to figure out if a given river is just too low to fish, or too high to wade safely?
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Ron Mc
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Re: Reading the USGS site, cornfused....

Post by Ron Mc » Wed Jul 15, 2009 12:23 pm

what I always find in droughts is that headwaters will be running at a higher percentage of their median flows than downriver - the middle and lower rivers. This is because the headwaters are typically more rural and there are less demands on the local water table.
As you move downriver, there is more population and more groundwater gets pumped out.
If you consider the Llano at Junction vs. the Guadalupe at Spring Branch, the population differences, and the different demands on the water table and direct pumping from the river itself are astounding.

What is safe?
I've been doing this long enough to know what flows look like at which crossing, but I've also been doing this for 35 years in both droughts and monsoons...

Imageabout 350 cfs
same chute - different years and shot from opposite banks
Imageabout 50 cfs
Last edited by Ron Mc on Thu Jul 16, 2009 12:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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BigCliff
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Re: Reading the USGS site, cornfused....

Post by BigCliff » Wed Jul 15, 2009 12:50 pm

Ron, your points about the water demands of the public make alot of sense. I have noticed that the Guad at Spring Branch has been in the saddest shape the longest. I take it you're also saying that the Median flow figure is the one to look at and compare one spot to another?

I won't even say what a "safe flow" is, because it varies so much depending on one's ability. I myself have crossed the Guad right below Canyon Dam when flows were 1000 cfs, but I wouldn't dare suggest anybody try that. (I was also a 20 year old 250lb college football player at the time, and wouldn't attempt it now myself.)

All I know is I would like our rivers to get back to the point to where flows "too high" was an issue.
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Ron Mc
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Re: Reading the USGS site, cornfused....

Post by Ron Mc » Wed Jul 15, 2009 12:58 pm

it's only a matter of time.
Spring Branch was running 4 cfs in 2005 - I caught a 22" Guadalupe bass then, but I'm not going to say exactly where
Image

In 2007 it was running about 800 cfs most of the year.

BTW, the Guadalupe stopped in 1955, with zero flow at Spring Branch.


Image
My experience with the hill country - Median Flow only exists on paper
Image
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Re: Reading the USGS site, cornfused....

Post by BigCliff » Wed Jul 15, 2009 3:07 pm

Ron Mc wrote: Image
Jimbo, you should have this framed, cuz there's likely to never be a prettier picture with you in it. :lol:
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Jimbo Roberts
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Re: Reading the USGS site, cornfused....

Post by Jimbo Roberts » Wed Jul 15, 2009 6:27 pm

That was a couple of years ago, a wet year, on a small creek that will remain secret. Ron and I had talked about fishing this little creek as we drove over it many times on our way out west. What was so cool about that day was walking down the creek and seeing the sinkholes where the water went underground.
Image
I mean most of the creek was about a foot deep and then you would see this dark aquamarine colored hole where in most cases you could not see the bottom. A lot of these were probably going straight into the Edwards Aquifer. The further you go downstream the smaller the creek would get as the water went underground. Then miles downstream some of the water would reemerge adding water back into the creek. That was one of the most senic fishing trips of that year.

BigCliff
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Re: Reading the USGS site, cornfused....

Post by BigCliff » Wed Jul 15, 2009 9:35 pm

Jimbo, I recall seeing that report on that gorgeous creek when I was scouring this site before I started posting and I'll be nagging you for info on that creek if we ever get enough rain. I might even be willing to barter....
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Re: Reading the USGS site, cornfused....

Post by Jimbo Roberts » Wed Jul 15, 2009 10:42 pm

I will consider your offer, but you should know that Ron will also have to be bribed as he has as much right to this creek as me and you know he is into fine split bamboo rods.
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Re: Reading the USGS site, cornfused....

Post by BigCliff » Thu Jul 16, 2009 1:17 am

Alright then, I'll just have to barter with him too. I'm betting any two of the dozen flies I tied up tonight would be more than enough.
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Alex Argyros
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Re: Reading the USGS site, cornfused....

Post by Alex Argyros » Thu Jul 16, 2009 1:31 am

I wasn't with Jimbo and Ron that day, so I have no right to be part of this exchange, still, when bribes are in the air, I get interested.

Not being somewhere does not necessarily mean that you don't know where that somewhere is (actually, the inverse can also be true: you can be somewhere and not know where you are).

But, two flies for that gorgeous water?
Last edited by Alex Argyros on Thu Jul 16, 2009 7:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Reading the USGS site, cornfused....

Post by mickmcco » Thu Jul 16, 2009 6:17 am

Yeah! Now that Ron and Jimbo are National Media Stars (see TU's "On the Rise"), the price has gone up considerably!
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BigCliff
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Re: Reading the USGS site, cornfused....

Post by BigCliff » Thu Jul 16, 2009 9:09 am

Alex Argyros wrote:Not being somewhere does not necessarily mean that you don't know where that somewhere is (actually, the inverse can also be true: you can be somewhere and not know where you are).
I think you now owe me something for making my head hurt.

Mick, if they can get that channel added to my already ridiculously priced cable selection, I'll be more willing to barter based on national celebrity.
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Jimbo Roberts
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Re: Reading the USGS site, cornfused....

Post by Jimbo Roberts » Thu Jul 16, 2009 9:49 am

I could bring the DVD they sent me to the meetings and play it again sometime. I never did hear back if they would make the DVD available for our members to purchase, copywrities and all you know.
That creek seen in the above pictures really only flows in the wet years and I bet you the creek bed is bone dry right now, with only the biggest pools holding any water. Anyway shortly after Ron and I fished it the owners strung some barbed wire across the mouth of the creek at the access, so you would probably need their permission to access it now without a hassle. But like I said it is not fishable now, try again some wet year when it would be worth the price of admission.
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Ron Mc
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Re: Reading the USGS site, cornfused....

Post by Ron Mc » Thu Jul 16, 2009 11:34 am

hey Ron, what fly did you catch that on?

I actually think this question made Mad Magazine's 1000 snappy answers to stupid questions.:mrgreen:

Bribe me with flies?
Image
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BigCliff
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Re: Reading the USGS site, cornfused....

Post by BigCliff » Thu Jul 16, 2009 12:29 pm

Ron Mc wrote:hey Ron, what fly did you catch that on?

I actually think this question made Mad Magazine's 1000 snappy answers to stupid questions.:mrgreen:

Bribe me with flies?
Image
If you were fishing my flies, you'd be catching fish that would require modern tackle.

(ooooooohhhhhh, that'll spark some grumpy!)
I'd rather hunt fish than bait deer, and I practice moderation in moderation.

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