BWCA Water Levels? Boundary Waters Quetico Forum
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tuscarorasurvivor
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05/28/2022 11:18AM  
Planning on entering Nym in a few days and making our way to Sturgeon, Kawnipi, and Agnes. I'd appreciate any thoughts on current water levels and if those areas will be safe to travel. Thanks.
 
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AdamXChicago
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05/28/2022 01:21PM  
John,

Have a safe and enjoyable trip. We’ll be entering Nym on 6/13. Would appreciate any feedback from you as to conditions when you return. Thanks in advance.

AdamX
tuscarorasurvivor
distinguished member (155)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/28/2022 06:25PM  
AdamXChicago: "John,


Have a safe and enjoyable trip. We’ll be entering Nym on 6/13. Would appreciate any feedback from you as to conditions when you return. Thanks in advance.


AdamX "


I heard back from the outfitter we're getting gear from. No early first hand recon, but said water levels are coming down and thought we should be OK. We get home on the 11th, so I'll let you know!
Gaidin53
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05/28/2022 08:59PM  
Will definitely like to hear some feedback. I enter at Stanton July 3rd and hit through all those lakes. I’m sure by then things will be fine. Probably a really nice water level by then. Will be great to hear reports though.

Ryan
05/29/2022 09:19PM  
Just out today; water levels seemed to be 2-3, maybe even 4 feet high in some places. Have video from Chatt falls that is illustrative. Fishing great.
I’d take anything you hear with a grain of salt. We got intel that was spot on, and some that was 100% wrong.
Pickerel Dam boom is broken and the spillway raging. Parks recommending (& therefore the outfitter) not to travel Pickerel to Bisk.
However I walked the portage there, and it would have been more effort but doable…for me. 3 areas where you have to walk in water, one of those with some moving water. Not for everyone, but most could probably make that with nothing more than cold legs.
Russell rapids to Sturgeon was also a ”no-go”, so we avoided it going in, but we decided to go all-in returning, and it too was passable with an extra portage; in fact, it was runnable all the way through if you packed your courage. A bit nerve-wracking since we were told not to try it, but it was ok. That said, not for beginners.
Great trip…looking forward to the next one.
Waterboy
member (27)member
 
06/02/2022 04:57PM  
Just returned yesterday from Russell (Stanton Bay - Russell route). Water is about 3’ above normal. Level dropped 5” from 5/25-5/30 but came back up over an inch with the heavy rain on 5/31. Water temp was 50°. Mosquitos hatched several days ago and gnats followed suit a day after - bring a headnet. Walleye are still spawning but fishing is pretty good if you fish near moving water. Here’s a photo of Chatterton Falls and a photo of the campsite at the nose of the moose shaped island.
tuscarorasurvivor
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06/11/2022 11:49AM  
Gaidin53: "Will definitely like to hear some feedback. I enter at Stanton July 3rd and hit through all those lakes. I’m sure by then things will be fine. Probably a really nice water level by then. Will be great to hear reports though.


Ryan"


Just came out yesterday. Great trip. Nym, Sturgeon, Russell, Kawanipi, Pickerell.

It was a bit dicey going in with stiff headwinds and whitecaps spilling over the bow a bit on Batchewaung Bay and Walter Lake. Fortunately it was for short stretches and 3 decent paddlers in the boat. We've paddled in these conditions before, but not fun and not something I would recommend to anyone.

Water were still very high - probably 3+ feet up from ordinary high water. Seemed to have come down maybe 6" based on shoreline pollen by the time we came out. Trees standing in 3+ feet of water, blueberry bushes masquerading as reed beds, islands you literally would not know were there were it not for the stand of pines on them - completely submerged. We could often paddle easily between large (8-10") pine trees. One campsite had a pine sapling the top of which was a good 12" under water. That said, travel and camping were not impaired. Just use a bit of extra caution around the large falls as there is significant current on both ends of the portage trails and either extend the portage a bit or have a very solid plan on the upstream side before you get into the boat or approach the landing depending on direction of travel. I'm assuming people who travel these areas have some experience dealing with currents and eddies around these falls.

Temps were cool enough most nights that the bugs settled down and were not a significant nuisance. That was nice.

I did catch the largest Northern of my life - about 40" based on my paddle shaft as a ruler. After fighting it for what seemed like 10 minutes and several times had it along side the boat at the end it shook one last time and spit out my lure - and then it just sat in the water next to the boat. We paddled up along side it and we (my son) grabbed it with both hands and pulled it up to the gunnel - I wasn't sure if it was going to flop back into the water or land in the boat. Fortunately it landed in the boat. After it settled down a bit we got a few pics and released it easily. Then caught another more appropriate to keep for dinner.

portagedog09
senior member (94)senior membersenior member
 
06/11/2022 06:44PM  
Just back in on Wednesday from a 10 day BW loop from LISN, so not Q. South Lake was about 3-4 ft . high. Had to paddle 50 yards thru the trees to get to the lake. Most spots were high but not biblical. Except LLC. Paddled out of Takucmic into LLC. Tried to duck into the lee of an island to get a wind break and found there was NO island...waves coming through the trees! In another area, Magic Paddler dropped his double blade beside a small tree and didn’t touch until half up his forearm, so we figured about 10 feet high. Just before Gebeonequet creek, we paddled over a fire grate that was 3 feet down according to my paddle. There was a beaver dam blowout on the portage b/w Shell and Lower Pauness. The previously ~150 foot long, 8 foot high dam was missing about 20 feet that appears to have catastrophically failed, judging by cleanly washed couple hundred feet of bare granite below it. Those beavers have some serious work ahead. The pond was down about 3.5 feet. All water was quite navigable.

pd
 
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