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Thread: Can someone (anyone?) school me on the Goodpaster River?

  1. #1
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    Default Can someone (anyone?) school me on the Goodpaster River?

    The south fork along the WAMCATs trail, not too worried about the west fork.

    My wife really, really (REALLY) wants to see part of the original telegraph line, so why not?

    Caribou is open, but I doubt will get 40+ miles up in a freighter canoe with a three day weekend.

    So I am driving a 17' Grumman squareback with a 7.5 Mercury. Runs good. Good for about 6mph at economy cruising speed, top end about 11 mph wound all the way out, both numbers per GPS. We'll pack a couple cameras for the old telegraph line, and I'll be ready for a caribou I don't expect to see.

    I think the best single page of data is on the waterdata server at USGS:

    http://waterdata.usgs.gov/usa/nwis/uv?site_no=15477740

    Gage height is just over 16 feet and it is flowing just over 1000 cfs.

    But what does that gage height and flow rate mean on this river? Do I need a jet boat with at least 600 horsepower to make any headway, or is it so low I would be better off leaving the canoe at home and just walking in the riverbed?

    Thanks.

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    Nope, lots of water pistols go up the Goodpasture !
    " Americans will never need the 2nd Amendment, until the government tries to take it away."

    On the road of life..... Pot holes keep things interesting !

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    It is going to be hard on a prop to get beyond the lower river.

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    give it a short what have you got to loose , your Motor is a good unit for that [ no sear pin ] bring extra prop 'S

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    I haven't been up the Goodpasture but I do know that all the oldtimers went up there with props. I've heard a few stories . . . .

    Regarding your setup - I have a grumman 17' square stern but I don't consider it a freighter. I also run a 7.5 hp mercury but because the canoe isn't very wide in the back (not much displacement) it tends to ride down in the water. This makes it so the prop is a bit deep so this setup doesn't do so well in shallow water. I can cruise at 7 to 8 mph but it will get up to 13 (gps) with a load but at high speed it splashes too much to run that way for long. Getting 40+ miles up probably isn't going to happen over a 3 day weekend (numb butt would set in).

    Regarding the water level - I've used the USGS web site to compare the current level to past levels. It's very useful to see how much the water level is up or down from last week, last month, or last year. You can also compare to average level. The raw numbers don't tell me much.

    If you go be careful on the Tanana. And let us know how it went.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Can someone (anyone?) school me on the Goodpaster River?

    The south fork is narrow, but easy to navigate for the most part. You will probably run out of water about 15 miles up this time of year. It is literally ankle deep bank to bank.
    "I'd rather be fishing!"

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    if you have a good lift it will do wonders for you , if you don't have one buld up the transom about 5 inches it will help you to travel in thin water 2 X 8 bolted to the transom an seal it with caucking compound from lows / home depo, try it out in the local lake an fine tune it , it will cavertate on hard turn under max power an put a tiller exten it will help you get the long one that don't flex it work best for me in shallow water slow down an stand up will also help

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    From a guy that has been up and down that river for about 45 years , good luck, 7.5 horses is kinda iffy. There is no West Fork, There's the North Fork, and the South Fork.

    The waters pretty good to the forks about as easy of a river to run as any to that point, but its about there that it turns into a differant animal.

    I mostly ran the North Fork to Central Creek, and after the forks it narrows with gravel bars and a lot faster water.

    The South Fork, if you can get past the first mile in high water, is high banks for the most part.

    Alot of the old timers used grumins but the smallest motor that I saw used was a 15 hp. and they used to get futher up the river than I could but they worked thier ass's off. (at the time I was running a 24' river boat with a 25 hp jet , and I worked my ass off to get to Central Creek, lol)

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    Thanks for the updates everyone. My transom is built up about 3.5" with plywood already. My 100# wife doesn't like to drive, which puts my 200# self in the stern seat most of the time. 25 gallons of water in buckets up front makes a big difference for trim. I am gonna put all the heaviest stuff I can up front until I get to bow down with me in the rear seat (if I can get there) and then back off a little bit.

    I have been kind of thinking we'll be lucky to get to the fork, so probably no 'bou and no old telegraph line, but hopefully we'll get a nice camping trip out of it- not looking for adventure.

    I found two websites that keep gage data for a few months, so I should be able to correlate the depths I find to whatever the gage readings were while we were out there.

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    sounds like you will be OK but do you have a tiller exten to save your back an arm

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    One more thing, lol, if you do make it to Johns place before the forks, he is the one with the concrete stairs, if the water is on the steps then you are in pretty good shape, if not look for a little more work, hope that helps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKCJ View Post
    If you go be careful on the Tanana. And let us know how it went.
    We went and we lived, the Tanana was far and away the scariest part. No caribou, might have seen one track, or there is a moose calf out there in dire need of podiatry.

    While we were there over the weekend the gage (see post one this thread) was showing right at 16 feet, flow was down around 450cfs.

    Judging by the silt line on my canoe and motor the canoe was drawing about 11" and with the motor down the skeg would start dragging in about 16" of water.

    We did pretty good up to about N64-08-37.5 x W145-25-46.5. Not very far up. From there we could generally find a channel in the turns, but where the river got wide and straight I was spending a LOT of time holding the motor up off the mud with my left hand, while running the tiller throttle with my right hand, it sucked. We got as far as W145-23-58.5 before we called it a day.

    Flow was enough that going up I had to give it a fair amount of throttle while I was the one man motor lift, coming back down was much easier, several times I just lifted the motor as we coasted over the shallow back into deeper water. We spent about eight hours working up and took only about two hours to coast back down to where we started.

    Right many cabins up there.

    As for the Tanana, we stopped and looked at the highway and pipeline bridges boat launch on the way in, and knew moving up the Tanana would be a battle. We crossed Delta and put in at Clear Lake. Coming back out we took a stab at getting back to Clear Lake, but not far up the Tanana is a deep notch with no sandbars to hide behind from the main current. So we went down to the highway and pipeline bridges and hitched a ride back to our car at Clear lake.

    Gage data for the Tanana is incomplete for when we were on it, but the current Tanana values for the gage on the Tanana at Nenana shows about 42,500 fps and 6.75 feet.

    Among bigger boat, more powerful engine and forward controls, what I really want is a surface drive so I can run a little bit more shallow.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Can someone (anyone?) school me on the Goodpaster River?

    Not bad for a canoe. Takes about 1 hour to get there from the bridge in my boat. The bluff right before you turned around is a decent spot for fishing. Water is certainly running low for this time of year.
    "I'd rather be fishing!"

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    Glad to hear you made it out alive. Thanks for the report.

    Regarding the telegraph wire - I've seen it in the woods between Lost Lake and the Tanana. It was many years ago and a lot of things have changed out there at the Scout Camp but it's there somewhere.

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