Golden gauge accuracy - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 06-09-2008   #1
KSC
 
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Golden gauge accuracy

Anyone have any feelings about the accuracy of the Clear Creek Golden gauge right now? I'm wondering if the calibration is still a bit off. I did Black rock tonight and the gauge was reading around 470cfs. I've done it at varying levels and it felt more like 100 cfs more than that to me, but maybe my memory is just off... My questionable recollection also tells me that this time of the year there's usually a much larger gap between the Lawson and Golden gauges.

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Old 06-09-2008   #2
 
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Its off. The lower streches are usually about 100-150 more than Lawson.
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Old 06-09-2008   #3
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It's definitely felt like it's reading low to me.

If you look at the Flows page, they've got a reading for "Middle Clear Creek", which is described as the section between Kermit's and Black Rock. Right now it's reading a little better than 100 over the Golden Gage. My theory is that this is still the summation of the tributaries that was being used to estimate Golden when the gage was out--just never got updated.

Maybe one of the dudes who rigged the summation of the tributaries
can verify or refute this? Count??
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Old 06-10-2008   #4
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Yeah, you're right, there's about 150 cfs coming in between Chicago creek and North clear creek and fall river:
Detail Graph
USGS Real-Time Water Data for USGS 06718550 NORTH CLEAR CREEK ABOVE MOUTH NR BLACK HAWK, CO
USGS Real-Time Water Data for USGS 06717400 CHICAGO CREEK BLW DEVILS CANYON NR IDAHO SPRGS, CO

No doubt there are some small contributions from smaller tribs as well. Unless there are significant diversions, which I don't think there are, it would seem to indicate the gauge is reading quite low.
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Old 06-10-2008   #5
 
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I can't take any credit for rigging it up other than confirming and speculating on the flow accuracy. Ian is your man.

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Old 06-10-2008   #6
 
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The USGS gauge for Clear Creek Golden is now reading pretty low (IMO). The higher it gets, the more it is off (IMO): USGS Real-Time Water Data for USGS 06719505 CLEAR CREEK AT GOLDEN, CO.

The other day it was reading in the 500's and Black Rock was way burlier than the 500's on the old guage. The drop into Mr. Bill in the Narrows was full of water all the way across the top: the sneak was in on the right hand side and the hole was as mean as can be. I don't think that drop completely fills in like that around 500. I don't ever remember seeing a filled-in sneak line on the right of Mr. Bill at 500. My guess was closer to 700 than 500. Maybe 650 or so?
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Old 06-10-2008   #7
 
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I've been having a bit of a debate with myself here: so, do we continue to guess the correlation to the old flow or do we just let it go and deal with learning a new set of levels for CC? Will they continue to adjust the rating curve for the gauge or are they done and this how it's going to read from now on?

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Old 06-10-2008   #8
 
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I'm just going to get used to the new USGS readings.

Here is my personal plan: I use the USGS as a ballpark figure to decide whether or not I want a piece of Black Rock. I add about 150 cfs in my head. If I decide I want it, I make sure I peek at Mr. Bill on the way up the canyon so I know what I'm in for. If I'm holding onto my nuts in order to make the move to the right while staying upright through Black Rock rapid then I know that I might just portage the Narrows to reduce the stress on my heart.

Last week we ran Lower CC when the gauge was peaking out and it was funny because we blew through the eddy at the top of screaming 1/4 mile. I was honestly trying to catch it but the eddy was so nutty that I decided to abort and swing around so I could at least enter the rapid going forward. I almost got splatted on the wall where the pillow forms at high water and the rest of the eddy was a swirl of funny water that was flowing strong out the bottom. I don't remember the gauge reading but I remember thinking that it was reading way low. It takes a lot of water to make that eddy act crazy.
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Old 06-10-2008   #9
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Agreed. I think the lesson is take a look and judge for yourself, don't go by what the gauge is reading. Probably look at the Lawson + the feeders is still a more accurate # when the flow is up. I assume they will continue to calibrate the Golden gauge. From what I understand they will go out and get data points at different heights and interpolate based on river height.

Anyway, I decided something was definitely wrong in the narrows. Everything felt too big above for the flow, but I was ready to blame myself for poor perception. In the narrows I blasted the entrance hole down the gut and it was big, and then my flake rock on Mr. Bill had disappeared I ended up getting a nasty ender in the hole. If I'd taken a look at it beforehand I would have definitely ran it farther right.
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Old 06-13-2008   #10
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Looks like they got the gage calibrated!

On the detail graph, you can see a ~160 cfs bump in the discharge rate that's not there on the foot height gage at midnight two days ago.
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