Current River Level
Over 70% of the water in the Niobrara river comes from groundwater seeping from the High Plains, or Ogallala, Aquifer. This is unusual as most rivers are fed by rainfall or surface runoff.
Irrigation in the Middle Niobrara Basin removes water both directly from the river and from groundwater during the growing season, leaving less water available to flow in the river for recreation, fish, and wildlife.
Real-time river level information for Niobrara National Scenic River is provided on line by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) from their Sparks, Nebraska gauge located near Berry Bridge. Click here to visit their web site. Scroll down to the third graph and table for the current cubic foot per second (cfs) discharge rate.
To translate the cfs information to floating conditions, use the back arrow on your browser to return to the chart below. The image on the right shows a cfs reading of 540 which indicates acceptable boating conditions.
Did You Know?
The Niobrara exhibits an unusual pattern of wave action during higher water levels called surge flow. Waves up to three feet high form and migrate upriver for short periods of time before disappearing. Click "More" to visit the Niobrara National Scenic River "Hydrology" page. More...