Water Flow

Cedar River Water Flow Rates on the Cedar River – Charles City

Cedar River Water Stage on the Cedar River – Charles City



The first feature, Dam Drop, at the levels mentioned below, allows for endless front/back surfing and spins. At lower flows one can easily stand up surf it.

The second feature, Doc’s Drop, is a semi-retentive, powerful rodeo style hole. Advanced boaters should be able to perform most freestyle moves here especially at 1400 – 1900 cfs.

The third drop, Exit Exam, is not as powerfull as Doc’s but many freestyle moves are possible.


Water flow videos

See what the river is like at various water flow stages

3100 cfs (cubic foot per second) Click picture for video

Dam Drop YouTube_logo_2013.svg
Doc’s DropYouTube_logo_2013.svg
Exit ExamYouTube_logo_2013.svg


2000 cfs (cubic foor per second) Click picture for video

Dam Drop YouTube_logo_2013.svg
Doc’s DropYouTube_logo_2013.svg
Exit ExamYouTube_logo_2013.svg


Levels (cfs – cubic foot per second)

200 – 400 cfs– barely runnable-med runnable, flat spins only

400 – 800 cfs – barely runnable-perfect runnable, vertical moves possible at the upper end of this range

800 -2500 cfs – med runnable-a bit pushy runnable, moderate flows. Excellent play. Vertical moves in Doc’s Drop and Exit Exam

2500 -4000 cfs – a bit pushy runnable-high runnable, high (but playable) flows. Starting to get large logs flushing through

4000 -7000 cfs – somewhat High-somewhat high – High, fast, no eddies! (Mostly ‘catch-on-the-fly’ surfs)

7000 -20000 cfs – somewhat High-somewhat high, Bank full to flooding. Play features washed out. Very fast current. No easy exit from the water


• 1400 cfs is optimal for playboating and Stand Up surfing in all features.

• For downriver whitewater kayaking and canoeing:

• At 400 – 3000 cfs all features are safe to run barring any debris hung up in them. A bomb-proof roll is highly recommended at higher flows.