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Discussion Starter #1
Afternoon,

Launching on the Main pre-season (June 17th) and looking for some beta! Here is the situation:

1. "High" Water Camps: I am being conservative and expecting flows between 4-5' (Corn Creek gauge), so according to the FS this is "High" water on their campsite list.
2. Small Group: 9 folks - 3 rafts/1 kayak.
3. Busy Launch Day: looks like there will be about 10 groups launching, two of which the FS told me have 20+ folks.

The combination of high water only camps plus not being able to reserve anything that is for "large" groups (FS said I could request ONE, but if any other group asked for it then I would be bumped) I am feeling like we have limited options! So looking for the following feedback - feel free to PM me if you would prefer:

1. Do you agree with the 4' mark being a good cut-off for only using camps that have listed capacity at high water? I am talking about the official list the FS posts with camp capacity at Low/High water where the number is 30/0 as an example.
2. Any camps you can note that would be open for a group of our size, but may have a listed capacity of 0 around this flow?
3. Will any of those "unnamed" small camps folks mention be around at these flows? Seems like they show up at low summer flow.
4. Layover rec? I have a few noted but always love input.
5. Our parents are join us and would love to avoid any camps with really gnarly rocky access - just to avoid an ankle twist or fall.

I HAVE looked at the whitewater campsite website, but the photos all look like low flow and don't give much beta. I am looking for feedback from your personal experience about finding camps at this flow for a small group :)

Lastly - if you are launching the same day and are reading this, feel free to PM me!

I did not see any other MBuzz posts for the unique situation I am asking about, but if I missed something please share!

Cheers,
Ally
 

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If you get any private feedback, can you please either forward to me in a PM or post a summary? I'm in the same boat - launching on the 15th with 7-8 people. I'll be super curious to hear what advice folks have.

Like you, I noticed that almost all the high-water accessible camps were also for larger groups. So, I hope they pull back from what you are saying about not letting small groups vie for those as well.

Of course, it may all be moot for our group based on the flow right now. 63,800 CFS is *way* above where our group feels comfortable. Hopefully it'll drop fast to reasonable levels!
 

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If you get any private feedback, can you please either forward to me in a PM or post a summary? I'm in the same boat - launching on the 15th with 7-8 people. I'll be super curious to hear what advice folks have.

Like you, I noticed that almost all the high-water accessible camps were also for larger groups. So, I hope they pull back from what you are saying about not letting small groups vie for those as well.

Of course, it may all be moot for our group based on the flow right now. 63,800 CFS is *way* above where our group feels comfortable. Hopefully it'll drop fast to reasonable levels!
The USGS flow site with 63K+ you are referencing is at Whitebird far below the wilderness section. The upper section at Shoup with the addition of Middle Fork flows combined is is much less.
 

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The USGS flow site with 63K+ you are referencing is at Whitebird far below the wilderness section. The upper section at Shoup with the addition of Middle Fork flows combined is is much less.
That I know. (However, I appreciate the clarification, none the less!) From my reading, it sounds like the flow at Corn Creek is generally about half that at the Whitebird gauge. However, several pages I looked at quoted the "high water" threshold for the Main Salmon run as 30K CFS as measured at Whitebird. (Example: https://www.whitewaterguidebook.com/idaho/main-salmon-river/)

So, my reading is that we are well above the "high water" threshold and straight into the "ride for life" arena. If I'm wrong on that and I should be interpreting the high water threshold based on flow at Corn Creek, I'd love to know that so I can adjust my thinking/planning. Any further feedback is much appreciated!
 

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the main at corn creek is around 25,000 cfs + + If you start by adding the Main Salmon at Shoup and and the Middle Fork at Shoup, that is a pretty close estimate for corn creek I would quess
 

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You can request to get on the daily flow at the ramp email list @

Corn Creek Staff <[email protected]>

Most camps are good to go at 4-5 feet. Under 5 feet would be in the moderate boating hazard range for me if your a competent oarsperson. Although Chittam is still pretty stout

Some of my faves for any size group..

Phantom Beach - Day 1
Lower Yellow Pine - Reserverable
Lower Bull - Good layover
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks all.

Yes wdeutsch - I am tracking flows adding the MF near Shoup and the Main Shoup gauge and you are correct it is high, but because the area just got hot temps combined with rain (as this trend will continue the next week) there is a second "peak" flow predicted to happen over the next week.

See this: https://www.nwrfc.noaa.gov/rfc/?zoom=8&density=1&map_type=ESRI Topographic&overlay_basins=false&overlay_hsa=false&overlay_counties=false&lid=SMNI1&search_type=river

As stated above this is NOT the main flow, but there are a number of gauges in the area predicted to have this trend, which would lead me to believe the Main is about to experience its final spring peak and be dropping by our launch dates (this is all subjective to continued warm temps and no cold snap of course).

BACK TO CAMP DISCUSSION!
I should clarify: the FS said we couldnt reserve a reservable large camp, they did not say we could not use a non-reservable large camp. So if they arent highlighted in yellow or green, to my understanding any of those camps are for the taking.

Thanks jamesg - unforuntately lower yellowpine is for large groups so doubt we will be able to snag it. But sounds like you are saying Phantom shouldnt be under water? I think we are trying for more miles on day one, but good to know!
 

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Hi Folks,

I just requested to be added to the email list at corn creek and they replied back with the following. If possible please do not ask to be added ok Buzzards:

Hello,
After our email was posted on Mountain buzz, we have been getting inundated with requests to be on the Corn Creek water level email.

The water level email originally started as a way for us to check in with staff at the North Fork office and to check in with our Dispatch. Over a few seasons the list began to include people who work at other local forest service office front desks, Idaho fish and game, outfitters and guides, and people who live down river from Corn Creek.

Now that we are getting all these water level requests we are thinking of discontinuing the water level email all together.

We are adding a direct link on the Salmon Challis NF website, to the Salmon river basin for people to reference and add the two Shoup readings.
https://waterdata.usgs.gov/id/nwis/current/?type=Salmon&group_key=basin_cd

We just get a lot of emails to answer, and the water level email list is starting to take our time away from our priorities.
Sorry,
Corn Creek Staff
 

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Anyone have a correlation for the CFS flow with the foot gauge at the ramp?
Edit: or a pic of the old sign?

Edit again:
 

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June 17th flows & camps

The flows june 17th should be in the moderate range this year, 12 to 13,000 cfs. Or approx 3.8 to 4 on the Corn Creek ramp. Most sand beach camps will be small. Camps that will do for your group 10 or less. Lower Horse Creek, Alder Creek, Blackadar Hole, Bruin Bar, Magpie, Upper and Lower Yellowpine, Big Mallard, Ground Hog, Reed Creek, Gaines Bar, Mann Creek, Swimming Hole, Lower Bull. This is not a complete list but a few that come to mind at these flows. On early season trips you will encounter fire rings left by power boating steehead fisherman. We always clean them up. I hope others will also. Happy Boating!
 
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