Information on Lower Saline R.
Rating: II+ (play waves)
Location: Below Dierks Lake at USCOE Campground. Follow the signs to
Dierks Lake Dam from Hwy 70 just West of the town of
Dierks. Play the 3/4 mile horseshoe bend around the
campground. This area contains the best play spots.
Topo Quad(s): N/A
Gradient: ?? fpm
Length: 3/4 mi
Season: DAM CONTROLLED - usually releases occur during drawdown in early fall
Gauge: The USGS gauge on the Saline R. near Dierks. The new features seem to be playable
from 6 ft up to maximum flow from the spillway (somewhere
around 10 or 11 ft). This gauge is several miles downstream
from the features and it seem to take 4-5 hours for the
water to travel that far and for the gauge to show a
Click here for the Corp gauge for the lake. Notice
the min pool level. If below this, the river won't run.
Click here for the gauge at the spillway/pipe. This
updates every four hours or so. It is a faster indicator than the
USGS guage, which is 5 miles down stream.
Description: This is a really nice area that is perfect for
park and play. There is a wooded campground with 8-10
sites with blacktop roads, level, gravel parking pads, a
restroom with flush toilets and a pavilion. The loop is
about 3/4 of a mile long and shuttle can be walked (about
a 1/4 mile). There are a couple of natural class I-II
rapids in the loop besides the 3 features that were built
with the COE in July, 2004. These features are at the
bottom of the loop, just down from the campground. The
first one is a small, glassy wave (about 1.5ft tall) with
a good eddy on the right. The second feature is an
aggressive hole that is more surfable on river right, and
more trashy on river left. Eddies on both sides, with the
eddie on the right being a little more user friendly.
Several people have swum out of this hole, but all with
smiles on their faces and with little to no recirculation
once the boater and the boat separate. The third feature
is a large frothy wave/hole (about 4 ft tall) with nice
eddies on both sides. This hole has a clean washout and is
not as nasty as it first appears. The size intimidates
newer paddlers but can be fun for everyone. Any trick you
want to throw can be attempted here. Just below at the
takeout by the swimming area is the last rapid. A class
II with a couple of small surfing spots. Eddy service is
not as good for these. Currently there is only one scheduled
release that happens the first or second weekend in October.
The rest of the time it will only run several days after a
good rain. This is a flood control lake and they actually
hold water back to help out down stream and release
several days later when things downstream drop down.
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