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Ottertooth Forums * Temagami canoe routes & backcountry travel * Archive through October 17, 2015 * Paddling up Obabika River to Wawiagama < Previous Next >

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dave_s
Member

Post Number: 3
Registered: 08-2013
Posted on Thursday, March 26, 2015 - 2:57 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

I'm looking at a trip this summer (early August) that would involve flying into Scarecrow and then making my way down the Sturgeon River and ending back at Ferguson Bay. I was wondering if anyone has experience going up the Obabika River from the Sturgeon as far as Wawiagama? I have a week or so to do this trip. Thoughts? Thanks!
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grncnu
Member

Post Number: 376
Registered: 08-2010
Posted on Thursday, March 26, 2015 - 3:58 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Paddling up that stretch of the Obabika R. is not a problem in August, at most you might have to lift over a few logs or shallow swifts.
The Wawiagama R. (really a small creek) is dependent on beaver activity and can be anything from a reasonably deep creek with a series of liftovers to a few inches of water that you have to drag the canoe through. It's a well-used route though, even in summer. Luckily it's quite short and has a mostly clay bottom. In extreme low water there are very interesting springs in the creekbed, bubbling up like little drinking fountains.
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ed
Moderator

Post Number: 1294
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Thursday, March 26, 2015 - 4:43 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

In September 2013, there was no water in Wawiagama Creek.The flow was reduced to about 10litres/minute.
I thought it would be a good time to do some housecleaning along the creek, but I couldn't figure out how to stand in the soft clay without sinking into it while safely using my saw.
There was evidence of other travellers who had portaged along the banks and in some places in the soft clay.
In mid May of 2013, I had been on Wawiagama Creek in very high water and found myself paddling mostly in the bush beside the creek.

Dave, you might want to ask about the water levels in that area before you go this summer.

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dave_s
Member

Post Number: 4
Registered: 08-2013
Posted on Thursday, March 26, 2015 - 11:44 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Thanks for the tips.

Ed.- I 'paddled' up Wawiagama creek (coming down the Obibaka) in August 2013...it was barely a trickle then. We didn't need to portage put I did have to hop out a lot and know the troubles with sinking in that clay. Any advice about how to look up water levels that would be relevant to our trip up Wawiagama.

Also any advice about a reasonable amount of time to paddle this route (Scarecrow to Ferguson via Sturgeon and Wawiagama)? I think a week should be plenty and will probably give us some time to explore.

Thanks again.

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ed
Moderator

Post Number: 1295
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Friday, March 27, 2015 - 10:00 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

The first thing I would try is to post the water level question on this forum, sometime in July before you go, to see if someone had recently travelled the Obabika or Wawiagama.

The other guy who might know what the water level in Obabika River is like is Alex Mathias, who lives on Obabika Lake at the river mouth.

Also some weeks before your planned trip, start taking a look at the Temagami and Sudbury weather. If July has been very wet you would expect higher water levels.

Since you are going down the Sturgeon you could also check the Water Gauge at Upper Goose Falls.There is a link to the gauge here on ottertooth.

I would think that 6 days would be about the minimum time required to go from Scarecrow to Ferguson Bay on Lake Temagami
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dave_s
Member

Post Number: 5
Registered: 08-2013
Posted on Sunday, March 29, 2015 - 10:17 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Thanks ed! That's very helpful.

Dave
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trailbill
Member

Post Number: 5
Registered: 05-2013
Posted on Saturday, May 2, 2015 - 12:24 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

The beavers used to keep the creek up every year I went there from 1994 to 2010
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trailbill
Member

Post Number: 6
Registered: 05-2013
Posted on Saturday, May 2, 2015 - 12:45 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Now that I've got my right password:
I went up the creek at least once a year from 1994 to 2010, often chainsawing log jams in the Obabika and trimming the creek. The Obabika River would keep it's end of the creek high enough for reasonable travel and the beavers did the rest. Locations for 3-5 dams changed from year to year. Getting out of the canoe was minimal. Creek took about 40 minutes. Have we lost the beavers?
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ed
Moderator

Post Number: 1308
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Saturday, May 2, 2015 - 4:30 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

The Beavers are still there. But sometimes there is no water for them to work with.
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grncnu
Member

Post Number: 378
Registered: 08-2010
Posted on Monday, May 4, 2015 - 1:11 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Bottom line, if there's a dam really close to the lake there's no water in the creek. These close-to-the-lake dams are built by the lazy lake beavers to raise the water level by 1".
If they get too lazy and don't bother, the "busy" beavers (river beavers) get right to work and take over the creek, making it navigable.
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ed
Moderator

Post Number: 1310
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Tuesday, May 5, 2015 - 6:37 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Yeah! There is a dam close to the Lake. It is mostly made from tree falls which some enterprising Beavers have exploited. They have also built a second dam a few metres downstream just in case the other one breaks. Not sure they are all that lazy.
Of course if there is no water going into the Lake ( observation in September 2013) because of a dry period then there is not going to be enough flow to fill the creek (river) dam or no dam.

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