Most of the flows here are scraped from the USGS API every half hour. As such all USGS data is provisional.

Idaho Power Streamflows
  • Succor Creek
  • Malad River
  • Milner Powerhouse
These are scraped from Idaho Power. I never considered streamflows as a trade secret. As a for profit business Idaho Power, understandably, considers this data important to their business and of key interest to any potential competitor. As a public utility operating under a FERC permit, Idaho Power is required to provide this data to the public. Somewhat reluctantly. In spite of the public transparency requirement, Idaho Power is continuously changing the URL to this data as well as rendering it in a javascript page. The intention is to obfuscate the data to the casual observer. Which in a business perspective is understandable.

The Bear River power plant is run by PacifiCorp, also a FERC permit holder. They are upfront providing the predictions and flow data in an accessible form.

Estimated Streamflows
  • Payette SF Staircase
  • Payette SF Canyon
  • Marble Creek
  • Boise Nf Blackrock Canyon
  • Bitch Creek
  • Selway @ Paradise

Are estimates I created by calculating percentages from historic data.

High - Low Cutoffs

While dated, kayakers and kayaking has moved along with time. Most of these cutoffs were agreed upon over campfire sessions with other Idaho kayakers and rafters. Hardly the Rosetta stone -- they are a reflection of the zeitgeist and consensus of the Idaho whitewater community.

The most interesting piece of data here, the Glenwood water temperature, is a small personal victory against the machine. I started emailing the the USGS in 2016 asking about the feasibility of a water temperature gauge at Glenwood on the Boise. The first response was no response. But I kept after it for a month or so and got a scalar "not likely" response. It simply was pushed aside from my agenda -- forgotten. A couple years later riding my bike down the green belt I noticed a sensor in the river near the pickle pond on Veterans. Another try. Still no response from the USGS. The USGS API can be searched for temperature sensors. the parameter is 00010. A quick ping of the Glenwood station showed there was a temperature sensor running at that site until 2002-07-08. From my brief stint as a USFS employee I figured that sensor was just sitting in the gauge house, probably disconnected or neglected.

In 2020 I changed my home server from an old pc tower running an ubuntu server to a raspberry pi running an ubuntu server. The Raspberrian and Arduino community opened up a whole world of possibilities: running an Arduino sensor in the river and pirating some power and wifi from a private property owner on the riverbank. I decided to give the USGS another try. A USGS employee, Ross Dickenson, answered my emails and seemed interested in the project. He CCs a bunch of people. One of whom it turns out already has a sensor in the Boise River managed by the City of Boise. She has the Public Servant balls to say the data isn't public facing. Boise City? After a lifetime of living in Boise, lately, I have come to the realization the the City of Boise is not working in the public interest. The interesting piece of the story is my suspicion of the sensor plugging away at the Glenwood site is 99% confirmed. And as the story unfolded, none of this in hard cold facts, it appears, the city of Boise was plugging away with the on site USGS sensor and keeping the data to their greedy little selves.

Back to the non-public sensor paid for with public dollars. In response the the Public Servant, I throw my hands in the air and cry, "Have your heard of FOIA? Because that is my next step." And suddenly, or not so, things start to develop. Yes there is a sensor. Yes it is in the exact spot as the discontinued 2002 sensor. Yes we will get it running. Running all along I mutter under my breath. It's more or less 10 lines of C+ to get an Arduino temperature sensor to print to screen, or terminal, whatever. Any fifth grader can write the code in a few minutes. That is until he graduates from college and gets a government job.

It seems that the USGS has certain standards of data for public dispersal. The water temperature gauge does not meet those standards. Enter the BOR. As publicly accessible data source the BOR is a bit of a mess: a maze of links and serving up the data as csv or html tables wrapped in html. But the BOR agreed to host the data and put it on https://hads.ncep.noaa.gov network. HADS is a subdomain of the NOAA. I never followed up on the chain. Just happy to have the water temperature. Thank you everyone.

Here it is freely shared and in a usable format. tempr.json

If you feel any of the estimates or cut-offs are incorrect, please use the contact form and drop me a message.