River Flow Data for the Science Nerd - making your next river trip a bit more fun

Topic: WCA River Flow Data for the Science Nerd
Time: Jul 19, 2021 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Meeting ID: 890 7204 8911

Environment Canada maintains a network of hydrometric data collection equipment on streams, creeks and rivers across Canada. The data collection stations measure the depth of the river and record flow measurement.

Many of our WCA trip leaders are already using this information by saving photos and noting the flow and water levels for the paddling day in their post trip notes. There are also a number of easy links on the Boatwerks website.

In my presentation, I am going to take you back to the source at Environment Canada and walk you through how to search for your favorite river or stream, how to search historical flow levels. Streams like Willow Creek that runs into the Minesing Wetlands west of Barrie. The Moira, Beaver, Credit , and Humber rivers. My favorite, the Mad river at Creemore Ont. The Nith and Grand Rivers.

We will examine river depth and river flow, what the numbers mean from Environment Canada's site. We will look at how ADCP (Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers ) (underwater radar) is used to map and calculate stream and river flow data in hundreds of Canadian Rivers. All of this data is online and available to you the paddler.

How is this relevant to us as paddlers? Instead of calling up your buddy the night before to go over to your favorite paddling river to check flow and depth, how about doing it online and in real time. Maybe you planned a spring paddling excursion weeks ago and want to know if the levels still look good the night before. . Check your local flow station on wateroffice.ec.gc.ca to find out that local rains made the river too high to make a spring water water trip safe that day, and save yourself the three hour drive to discover this on the banks of a raging river.

Your presenter this evening, Andy Hueton, is an admitted Science Nerd and a current resident of Stayner Ontario.. An experienced paddler, lover of the outdoors, and a computer geek, he stumbled on Weatheroffice.ec.gc.ca a few years ago and now uses it to monitor his ,favorite paddling river, the Mad, which has good spring whitewater from Creemore to Concession Road 3 below Glencairn Ont for only a few weeks every spring, and sometimes after a big summer rainstorm.. In preparing this presentation I became aware that many WCA trip leaders are already using this site and some good links are already on Boatwerks..com So lets share the knowledge.

Give Andy ninety minutes of your time and lets explore how Environment Canada ADCP collected hydrometric data can help make your next river paddling trip a whole lot better.

The Basics
Event Location: 
your home computer
Date(s) & Time: 
Monday, July 19, 2021 - 19:00
Registration Cut Off: 
one hour before
Event Duration: 
two hours
Difficulty Rating: 
Participant Info
Who's Invited: 
Maximum Group Size: 
Minimum Group Size: 
Itinerary description: 

A ninety minute run through of the Environment Canada's stream and river flow data collection system. How to find a stream flow monitoring station of the river near you ( or the one you are going to travel half way across Canada to spend your two week holiday on) so you can have accurate real time data of river depth (measured in meters) and flow measurement ( in cubic meters per second) . Correlate this new knowledge over several paddling seasons to make your paddling adventures a bit more predicable and perhaps more enjoyable. I want touse the word safer, but safety and good judgement are the paddlers responsibility and no online data presentation system should substitute for final judgements made by individual paddlers as they load their boats and prepare for a day's adventure.

Required Items to Bring: 

None. Must be fully clothed. Please turn off video and microphone if you need to get up and use the washroom. (no kidding, Was on a municipal government council meeting zoom call when someone signed on, left the room and did #2 next door. We heard everything) . Don't do this. Please.

Recommended Items to Bring: 

your own popcorn and drinks. however noticeably drunk people who disrupt the presentation may be cut off. (kidding have a laugh people, It's Covid, We all need interaction. that's why this presentation is being done. New subject. New people. Share a conversation with strangers and make new friends.

How to Get There
Event Directions: 

Your home computer. come sign on. Let's learn together

Carpool Info: 


Cancellation Policy: 
Only if a power outage happens the night of the presentation. If it does we will reschedule
Event Coordinator/s Contact Information
Contact (Name): 
Andy Hueton