The river is highly variable and these trips were done on what is called low water. I live near by so I don't call, but I believe they were all around 3 feet unless low water is mentioned. The gauge readings have varied during the years for the same conditions. Some summers the river gets so low that algae blooms are a problem in the city, but not upstream.
The Richmond City requires that life jackets be worn by anyone in or on the river when it rises 5 feet or more. Non white water experience people don't want to be on the river at anywhere close to 5 feet. If you don't know were you are going there are some keepers at that level. When it reaches 9 feet, the river is closed to all except those with permits. The rules are based on you being a fisherman or kayaker type. River level information 804-646-8228.
When the water is muddy who wants to do a float trip and most likely there will still be sticks floating by. They settle out on the banks as the river goes down in level. I was once at a safety seminar and a fisherman was laud in to walking by. He fell in less than a foot of water face down and got his foot hung up in a rock hole with less than 2 feet of water where his head was. He was having problems raising his head up to breath and added greatly to the realism of the lecture. We were using the buddy system to cross a much faster and deeper rapid.Return