Every Spring we get the predictions on how our rivers will hold up through the summer. The Conventional Wisdom states that a snowy winter will insure good river flows into the summer. Well, it may help but it doesn't insure it. For the Millers I remember the winters of 2001/2002 and 1992/1993. Unbelievable amounts of snow followed by bone crushing drought by late spring that lasted into the Fall. It took the life out of that river. The opposite has happened too as late as 2007/2008 with a mild, dry winter followed by a very wet summer. How do we know what the State Of Our Rivers are right now and what ground(water) has to be made up because of this drought?
The answer is easy. Follow these steps:
1. Go to the USGS stream section of this blog and click on a river.
2. Go to the upper right corner of the page to the "geographic area" window and hit "Massachusetts".
You have just entered the state wide river flow map for this state. You will see many colored dots.
Black means a historically high flow,
Green means an average flow
Orange means a below normal flow
Red means a very low flow.
You can click the colored dots to bring you to the page for that river. Of REAL importance is the MEDIAN FLOW line graph. It's basically a record of the average daily flow measured over decades and in some cases over a hundred years!!! Click around to your favorite rivers and the thing that you will see is that the CURRENT FLOW is lower than the MEDIAN (historical) flow. (tailwaters don't usually fit this model). The short answer is that we need some wet YEARS to make things up and some wet summers to keep the rivers from getting too low and warm.
I check this state wide chart many times during the week because certain weather events can have results that are only local. A thunderstorm may cause your stream to overflow but not effect a river 10 miles away.
Here's a chance to fish a local river that's big enough to spend all day exploring, low enough to wade comfortably, seldom fished as everyone heads to the Swift and it just got stocked. Fish the Ware!!!!!
Here's a hint: Find the Airport!