Water and Discharge Data for the Gulkana and Delta Rivers
In coordination with the National Weather Service, the BLM's Glennallen Field Office has assembled two hydrologic data collecting sites on the Delta and Gulkana Rivers. These sites were designed to provide basic data regarding the flow and stage height of these rivers to help determine satisfactory boating conditions.
Gulkana River Gauge Data
Paxson Outlet Gauge
As a very general rule, when reading the data from the graph for the Paxson Outlet, at a gauge height of 2.50 (260 cfs) or less you will probably run into very rocky conditions depending on where you are on the river. Between gauge heights of 2.50 and 3.00 (between 260 and 440 cfs) you should see better conditions for boating. Above gauge heights of 3.00 (440 cfs) there will be much swifter water conditions.
This gauge gives an indication of water level influences from the Gulkana West Fork drainage.
Photo: Gulkana in mid-July
Delta River Gauge Data
Delta River Gauge near Paxson
For the Delta, as a general rule (applies only to the clear water portion in the upper drainage), at a gauge height of 3.70 (300 cfs) or less you will probably run into rocky conditions. Between gauge heights of 3.70 and 5.20 (between 300 and 980 cfs) you should see better conditions for boating. Above gauge heights of 5.20 (980 cfs) there will be much swifter water conditions. Once you reach Eureka Creek, a glacial tributary to the Delta, water level and discharge are heavily influenced by warm weather conditions. In other words, as the air temperature rises, glacial melt and discharge increases.
Photo: Delta in August
Generally speaking, for both the Gulkana and Delta rivers, there is much more water volume during spring runoff (late May to Mid June) and during the rainy season in mid to late August. Be prepared for all conditions. Water levels can change dramatically within a 24 hour period. Have a safe river trip.
For further information, you can contact the BLM Glennallen Field Office by phone at 907-822-3217 or by email.