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Old 08-14-2016, 03:44 AM   #1
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Spring trip up river

We're planning to spend most of next year cruising the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers. We want to leave Texas as early in the spring as weather permits. My question is when we should plan to start heading north from Mobile to avoid the stronger current and debris from the spring runoff. I know it depends on how much spring rain there is in the watershed, but I'm looking for an idea of the likely window.

We could start north from Mobile as early as April 1, but that's probably too early for the runoff to abate. Is May 1 likely to be OK? Later?

Thanks for the guidance.
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Old 08-14-2016, 10:07 AM   #2
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The river levels are pretty well controlled by the lock and dam network. During unusual down pours best to set it out in a marina. Higher than normal river levels cause shore line flotsam to enter the channel and boating then requires a good eye which from your pilothouse should not be a problem. The lock masters are a good source for information about river stages and what to expect up stream.
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Old 08-14-2016, 11:39 AM   #3
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The Tenn-Tom is very well controlled so levels on that section are of no concern. As for flotsam it is always present. Unless there is major flooding up north then no mater the time of the year it should be pretty consistent. Just pay attention and don't run at night. The section between Mobile and Coffeeville is the worst as there are not many anchorages between the two.

The Army Corp has a pretty good web site. Each lock has its own page. They also do Facebook. There is a lot of information there it just sometimes takes a while searching to find it. You can also download all the charts on the river systems and print them out. Best if you have an 11x17 printer.
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Old 08-14-2016, 04:38 PM   #4
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While there are some increases during spring runoff, as long as they are normal, they're pretty well managed. The real issues are severe storm periods such as LA is experiencing now and W Va recently had. We had one member have to wait a while in Mobile a couple of years ago, but it was not a normal situation so I don't think anything he could have planned on months in advance.
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Old 08-14-2016, 06:37 PM   #5
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Watch out.

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