Lower Columbia water temps

Discussion in 'General Paddling Discussions' started by Kayak Jim, Jun 8, 2017.

  1. Kayak Jim

    Kayak Jim Paddler

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    Comox Valley BC
    I'm doing some cycling and camping for a couple of weeks in Oregon and have tacked on a few days paddling out of Skamokawa. It'll be outfitted, novice level outings so in protected waters.

    Just curious if Dave or others could advise what water temps to expect in early July, so I know what to bring for immersion protection.

    Thanks
    Jim
     
  2. Jasper

    Jasper New Member

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    The main stem usually runs somewhere around 50 Fahrenheit https://waterdata.usgs.gov/or/nwis/current/?type=quality&group_key=basin_cd. The lower Columbia is quite a diverse paddling environment and shallows, in between islands an sloughs tend to run a bit warmer. I would check with your outfitter and see what they recommend.

    Personally, I almost always just wear my drysuit, its good insurance and if I get to warm ill just roll or go for a dunk.
     
  3. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Astoria, Oregon, USA
    Jasper's temp estimates are as reliable as anything else I know of. If you are going with CRK, trust them for good advice. I would stuff my farmer john in the front hatch, in any case, to allow for a swim in any cooler waters you might encounter.

    Last few years, of low spring freshet flows, allowed the lower Columbia to run warmer than normal. THIS YEAR, the ginormous increase in snowpack, throughout a large part of the Columbia's watershed, will make for cooler than normal temps, I think, despite the presence of "legacy" water in some of the deeper pools. I bet vertical mixing washes out all of that stuff pronto pup!

    By coincidence, I am on a swing along the OR/ID and the WA/ID borders this week. Everything is running high and cold, from little creeks to the Snake to the Grande Ronde. Yesterday, we stood in the mist from the full spring flow out of Hells Canyon dam, near Halfway, OR ... WOW, that was impressive! Here is a photo.
     
  4. Kayak Jim

    Kayak Jim Paddler

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    OK thanks. I'll throw a wetsuit in with my gear.