turbidity

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by KerryS, Aug 5, 2014.

  1. KerryS

    KerryS Ignored Member

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    I wonder how this will affect the main river in the next few days. Pretty cool they give us this graph.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Greg Armstrong

    Greg Armstrong Active Member

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    Might be a stupid question, but what caused the big spike on the 5th - anyone know?
     
  3. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

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    Kerry -
    I agree that graph is very handy and with a little experience it can provide a good read on the visibility of the Sauk; I check it regularly.

    Without a corresponding rise in river levels the spike could be the result of gauge malfunction or some sort of collapse of the glacial till below one of the Glacier peak glaciers (chocolate??).

    As long as the turbidity on the Sauk stay above 100 units the visibility in the main Skagit will be very limited.

    Curt
     
  4. JohnB

    JohnB Member

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    I'm not too familiar with the Sauk watershed, would the likely culprits be something that drains down the Suiattle? Assuming it's not some type of instrument error.
     
  5. KerryS

    KerryS Ignored Member

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    If, as Smalma says, it isn't a guage malfunction which I also think it is, the likely culprit is something happening in the Suiattle water shed and as Smalma says, most likely culprit would be the Chocolate Glacier on Glacier Peak.
     
  6. stilly stalker

    stilly stalker Tuna sniffer

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    Looks like the peaks correspond to warm weather during the day causing glacial melt- releasing glacial till- the suiattle and the white horse are likely culprits
     
  7. KerryS

    KerryS Ignored Member

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    All but the one spike which does not fit the pattern shown in previous days. The temps have remained constant in the area so it is unlikely the spike is associated with any normal glacial melt. As mentioned it is more likely a malfunction of the gage or the result of some other event.
     
  8. cuponoodle breakfast

    cuponoodle breakfast Active Member

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    I drove 530 yesterday and today. The Suiattle is blowing serious chunks. The Sauk is in decent shape above the Suiattle, but looks like total shit below it.
     
  9. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

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    It is the norm to see increases in turbidity on the Suiattle this time year. This is due in part to the ending of the snow melt run-off. Historically that occurs in early August where it is the norm to see dramatic reductions in the flows throughout the basin - more of the overall flow will be coming from glacier melt and little from snow belt. Until we have cooler weather or a lower freezing level the Sauk/Skagit below the Suiattle high turbidity will be the norm.

    BTW -
    The timing of the end of the snow melt running of course is what drives the spawn timing of the basin's wild winter steelhead. It is only after the flows drop that conditions for survival of the emerging fry improves.

    Curt
     
  10. Steve Saville

    Steve Saville Active Member

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    The 4th was the hottest day of the year so far. Could have melted snow or ice that was so far untouched, like in shadows, causing some additional erosion. Or not.
     
  11. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

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    The scale on the turbidity chart is miss leading. Having a value in the 700 range is huge! To but that in perspective at a value of 60/70 one can expect see 12 to 18 inches of visibility in the lower Sauk. At 200 visibility will be in the 1 to 2 inch range.

    During the droughts of the late 1980s ('87 & '88) we may have seen turbidities that approached something like that seen on the 5th. During the late summer during that drought a water glass of Suiattle river water if would produce more than a inch of sediment on the bottom the glass if it was allowed to stand for an hour or so and visibility was as close to zero as one see.

    Curt
     
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  12. Old Man

    Old Man Just an Old Man

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    I've been up on the Suiattle in the summer time when the river looked like it was just flowing pure mud. I've also been on the river in June before the hot Temps melted the snow on Glacier peak and the river was clear.
     
  13. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

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    See that the turbidity today is back to the levels seen on the 3rd and 4th. Looks like a one day anomaly.

    Curt
     
  14. CLO

    CLO Bonk Hatcheries

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    Could have been a t-storm too
     
  15. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

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    CLO -
    While there was a huge spike in turbidity there was no corresponding increase in flows that one would expect from a storm or increased snow melt.

    Curt
     
  16. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

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    I see that the last two days the turbidity took huge jumps (more than 1,000). That probably rules out gauge malfunction. Suspect that there has been some serious amounts of glacial tilt exposed as the glaciers continue to retreat. With surges of glacial melt or rain/thunder storms falling on the newly exposed we may continue to see serious turbidities. May not see much improvement in Skagit visibilities unlike the night time freezing levels drop down to something in the 5,000 foot range (early September?).

    Curt
     
  17. SeaRun Fanatic

    SeaRun Fanatic Member

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    Crap!! Please, please, please come into shape!! We're rapidly approaching prime-time for cuttie fishing! :-(
     
  18. cuponoodle breakfast

    cuponoodle breakfast Active Member

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    I saw a couple of flying termites last night.
     
  19. KerryS

    KerryS Ignored Member

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    Took a look at the river this morning at the Sedro launch. Not sure I have ever seen anything like this in a non-flood event. Similar to what we saw those 5 or 6 years following the 2003 flood as the river rid itself of all the sediment deposited during that flood. I don't think I have seen the turbidity as bad as it is now. The next week will let us know if we will be fishing anytime soon or, as you say Curt, wait until freezing levels drop in the mountains.
     
  20. SeaRun Fanatic

    SeaRun Fanatic Member

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    Yep... Just crossed it @ I-5. YIKES! Since I only fish a floater for cutts, I need at least a couple feet of vis... Looks like I'll need another 1.99999999 before I'm fishing!
     

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