Philadelphia gauge (USGS 01474500 Schuylkill River at Philadelphia, PA). Gauge location: 39.967711,-75.188738
Fluctuations in river levels are a normal occurrence, so it is important to always check the appropriate USGS gauges before heading out on the river.
Use this Gauge when paddling between Flat Rock Park (RM 16.1) and Lloyd Hall (RM 8.6).
Gauge Height (and Discharge) Recommendations
Minimum 5.73 ft (300 cfs); Good 6.27 ft (2000 cfs)
NOTE: CFS (Cubic Feet per Second) is also included in these recommendations, because the Discharge graph and values (measured in CFS) are what the Philadelphia Canoe Club has used for paddling activities below Flat Rock Dam.
Although we do not offer maximum water level recommendations because of all the possible variables, we do want all paddlers to be aware of some of the potential hazards of higher-than-normal water levels and flow. Higher water makes the river move faster and with greater force. It makes maneuvering, put-ins, take-outs, and rescue more difficult and more dangerous. These conditions require quicker decisions and stronger paddling skills. And higher water can flood around riverside trees and over islands (causing hazardous strainer conditions) and can often carry large floating debris, including tumbling trees, down the river.
River Level Predictions
If you are planning a trip a few days into the future, you may also want to look at this Advanced Hydrologic Prediction graph. It shows current USGS Gauge Height and attempts to predict water levels at this gauge a few days in advance, based on weather forecasts and water already up-river in the watershed.