Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race

Stream Level Predictions And News




Predicting the stream levels of the Kenduskeag on race day is something of a pastime among veteran paddlers.

Seasoned paddler Ray Wirth of Belfast weighs in with his thoughts on the stream conditions for the 2016 race.

Weather forecast for race day? Sunny in the mid to high 50s. In other news, the Kenduskeag race committee has completed its final meeting ahead of the race. All systems are go!

UPDATE: two short news items from WABI-TV5 and WLBZ, respectively:
"Stream levels look good for everyone". (WABI video / WLBZ video)

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Water Levels, Weather & Preregistration



How is the water level looking this year? In a nutshell: not bad and certainly better than last year.

It would be nice to have some steady rains ahead of this Saturday, but that doesn't appear to be in the cards according to WLBZ.

Still, at 5+ ft. of water and a flow a bit under 600 cfs (according to current readings from the USGS stream gauge), the 47th Kenduskeag looks to be a fun race for paddlers! There are reports of a few bony spots here and there, but nothing out of the norm.

I am out of town at the moment and so I do not have any photos of the stream to share here, but if you happen to have any digital snaps of the stream (Six Mile Falls, Valley Stream, Shopping Cart, etc.) by all means feel free to share them. The Kenduskeag Facebook Page would be an ideal place to post your pics!

Last but certainly not least, you have until this Friday at 1pm to preregister for the Kenduskeag. Preregistration is HIGHLY recommended - it saves you time and money. See the Bangor Parks & Rec page for more info.

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2010 Stream Report - Coming Soon



I should have the full stream report for 2010 posted here by tomorrow evening. Look for thoughts on water levels, possible lines of approach to some of the trickier areas, and more.

Also, if you're a beginner at paddling or if this is your first ever canoe race, there will be a free paddling "clinic" held on the Kenduskeag this Thursday at 4pm.

You'll start at Six Mile Falls and head to town from there (no need to paddle the first 10 miles of the race as it is mostly flatwater).

This is a very nice arrangement offered by the Maine Canoe & Kayak Racing Organization (MaCKRO). Paddle at your own pace and at your own comfort level alongside veteran paddlers who really know their stuff. Ask questions! It's all about making you feel safe and confident on the water so that you can learn to make the right choices while enjoying the race.

Shuttles for you and your boat will be provided; I will post more details about all of this (along with the stream report) tomorrow!

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Stream Conditions Report #1 - Kenduskeag and Souadabscook

Here's a stream levels report which can be taken with a grain of salt, but I've decided to post it anyway as I am receiving many queries from out-of-towners looking to do the race. They want a general idea as to what they can expect this year, so here goes!

Much can change between now and April 19 as we know. There's still a good amount of snow and ice to melt off, and we may be in for a rainy weekend. We'll have to see how much rain we get during the week leading up to the race. It's worth noting that many veteran paddlers do not even bother to scout the stream until a day or two before the race. Yup, it can change that quickly. Therefore, a final stream conditions report will be posted on the eve of the race (Friday). Stay tuned!

But just for kicks, here are some videos of the Kenduskeag stream as of Thursday, April 10:

Six Mile Falls Video - My initial observation is that it's looking good. Not quite as high as last year, although as with last year, there is some noticeable flooding in the field near the Hudson Road where the vultures usually gather. While the flooding is not as bad as it was last year, it could limit spectator access. Lots of ice chunks coasting through. (Pat Davis could probably give us a better insight as he lives nearby and knows the stream well).

Shopping Cart Video - Water level is high enough that you can't stand on the banks easily, and there's a good swift current at the Shopping Cart but not as much of of that "hungry hydro scary water" that we saw last year. (Here's a photo from last year to give you an idea). As a side note, I'm told the Valley Stream bridge is undergoing renovations and will be out of service until June. Also, the parking area closest to the Shopping Cart (down the road from the Harlow Street Bridge) is torn up and closed off - so parking is not available there. Keep this in mind if you need someone to pick you up in that area after a trial run of the stream.

Flour Mill Video - This is a mandatory portage, so it's nothing a paddler would worry about. I just thought I'd toss it in here for the heck of it. Note that the boulder in midstream in this video was completely submerged at this time last year, so the water levels, while very good, are not as high this time around. For now, anyway!

Souadabscook Stream Video - Last but not least, if you are doing the Souadabscook Stream Canoe race (aka "The Sou") the day after tomorrow, I've included a short video from the Emerson Mill bridge. Lookin' good! I think this will be a fun race. A lot of the rocks are covered nicely, seems to be a good strong current there. There was a choppy section just downstream from the bridge with some decent standing waves. Can't remember if it was like that last year or not.

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Race Day Weather Lookin' Good

The weather forecast for race day is "nice with sunshine and patchy clouds, high: 60 degrees". Maybe Old Man Winter is finally taking a hint. Should be a GREAT day for paddling.

Pat Davis sent in a couple snapshots of Six Mile Falls today.
Thanks, Pat!
(Click photos to enlarge).

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Water Levels & Weather Reports















If 10-day weather forecasts are to be believed, we could see a decent amount of precipitation on many of the days leading up to the Kenduskeag race.

I'll post stream photos and conditions beginning next week.

By the way, remember to preregister before 1pm on April 20. The registration form can be downloaded right here.

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Springtime in Maine (UPDATED)

Rain, sleet & snow today. I couldn't be happier. People in town are giving me strange looks when I tell them how great it is that we're having this weather. We need all the water we can get for April 15th.

UPDATE 4/5/06: I went by Six Mile Falls today. The stream was noticeably higher than it was just a few days ago. The rain and snow seemed to help things a bit. Given a few more days like that, I would think that we'll be good to go!

If you were part of the Gumby race crew last year, you will find your smiling faces...well, not on the cover of the Rolling Stone, but at least in the pages of the April issue of Bangor Metro magazine. It's in stores now.

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Iceout: Slowly But Surely


Stopped along the stream during lunch break today. The fog set a nice mood. A couple of years ago I snapped an iceout sequence (in case you haven't seen it).

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Lover's Leap - 03/02/06



Beautiful snowy day in Bangor - just had to get outside with the Nikon. Cabin fever and whatnot.
Here you can see that the Kenduskeag Stream hasn't completely frozen over as in previous years. Lover's Leap is visible in the background.
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