An Ideal August for Floating in Missouri

Floating the Current River
Floating the Current River

It seemed as if the hot, dry days of summer ended in early August for many of us in southern Missouri.  Record setting rainfall led to flooding in many areas and caused the rivers and streams to rise above normal.  The brief period of cooler temperatures fooled us into thinking fall was on the way, but summer isn’t over yet!

Fishing and floating are an ideal pairing.

I have been involved with the floating industry for 25 years now, and I can honestly say I don’t remember a time in August that the floating conditions have been as ideal as they are this year. Nearly all of the reports from the outfitters across the state say the water levels are up, the flow is good, and the clarity is excellent.  I haven’t heard fishing reports for a bit, but as I have told many floaters in the past, “the fishin’s great, but the catchin’ might be slow.”

If you’re looking to make weekend plans, or just sneak away for a day, come enjoy the great outdoors and experience a float trip on one of Missouri’s 59 floatable waterways.

In Missouri, we offer an astounding 3,347 river miles from which to choose.  Most waterways in Missouri are rated “I – Easy” to “II – Medium” and are suitable for nearly all skill levels. The following are rated “II – Medium” to “III – Difficult” and are best enjoyed by floaters with intermediate/experienced skill levels: Huzzah Creek, Courtois Creek, Spring River, Center Creek, Shoal Creek, Big Sugar Creek, Elk River, Indian Creek, Little Sugar Creek, Roaring River, and Swan Creek.

The St Francis River and the Little St. Francis have the highest ratings in the state, up to IV – “Very Difficult” and should be enjoyed by experienced canoeists only.

Think you know your rivers?  Let’s see (answers at bottom of post):

  1. What is the longest river in Missouri – NOT counting the Missouri River?
  2. What is the shortest river in Missouri?
  3. What Missouri river is noted to be one of the most crooked in the world?
  4. Because of the hazardous nature, which Missouri river provides the wildest scenic river runs?
  5. Best river to float?

Have fun! Be Safe! See you on the river!

Written by Michelle Lambeth, executive director of the Missouri Canoe and Floaters Association.


Answers:  1. Gasconade River, nearly 300 miles long.  2.  Roaring River, only 5.8 miles long.  3.  The Gasconade River, nearly 300 river miles but only 120 land miles.  4.  The St. Francis River.  5.  All of them!

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