The Nelson Downriver
Canoe and Kayak Race
River Levels

Normally the Nelson Downriver Race is held on the lower Tye river. Originally the race was to alternate between the Rockfish and the Tye rivers and, in fact, the 2000 race was held on the Rockfish River. However that plan was abandoned in favor of having the race on the Tye due to the fact that the Tye normally has more water and for the sake of consistency. When the Tye river level is too low to have the race on the normal course the race is moved downstream. The take-out of the normal course becomes the put-in. The race then covers 2 miles on the lower Tye continues through the confluence with the James River and the take-out is set at Wingina about 5 miles downstream for a total of 7 miles.

Note: The table below does not give the actual total flow for the race course as the stream gages are several miles upstream from the race course
Additionally, other rivers and streams (such as the Buffalo River) contribute a significant amount of water but have no stream gages.

River Flow Day of Race
DateTye cfsPiney cfsTotal cfsTye cfs/Total cfs
May 20, 201714079219.639
May 28, 2016172130302.570
May 2, 2015240164404.594
May 3, 2014495285780race cancelled
May 4, 201313574209.646
May 5, 201210366169.609
May 7, 2011230140370.622
May 1, 201095593150(1) James River
May 2, 2009113 88201.562
May 3, 2008264187451.585
May 5, 200714457201.716
May 6, 200667422800(1) James River
April 30, 200518199280.646
May 1, 200414070210.667
May 3, 200311169180.617
May 4, 200213383216.616
May 5, 200166381755(1) James River
May 6, 2000RockfishRiver106(2)
May 1, 1999583694.617
(1)Average of Bent Creek and Scottsville gages.
(2)Gage is several miles upstream in much lower flow.

Historical Average CFS
River/DateMay 1May 2May 3May 4May 5May 6May 7
Tye186189189195192199198
Piney115120114123117125115
Total301309303318309324313

Historical Median CFS
River/DateMay 1May 2May 3May 4May 5May 6May 7
Tye145140139144140143147
Piney89909186858382
Total234230230230225226229



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