Vital Data for Flooding & Water Quality
USGS and various local partners operate a series of streamflow gauges throughout our nation that provide vital data for predicting flooding, monitoring water quality, and many other uses. This data is provided online and updated at least hourly. Planning recreational outings has become much easier thanks to this service. Fortunately, USGS operates a monitoring station on the Edisto River known commonly as the Givhans Gauge. Users can utilize the station’s “gauge height” report to determine current water levels and trends. Typically, any level of 2′ and over on this gauge provides paddlers with enough water to navigate the river channel along the ERCK trail. Flood stage on the Edisto is officially set at 10′. Paddling the river is not recommended at flood levels. All river levels between the 2′-10′ range on the Givhans Gauge present both challenges and opportunities. At lower water levels, more maneuvering around obstacles such as sand bars and downed trees may be required, but exposed sandbars for breaking and camping are more plentiful. At higher water levels, such land-based opportunities are rare, but adventurous paddlers will find exploring old river channels and the river floodplain fascinating.