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Thread: French water levels & other general info

  1. #1
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    Default French water levels & other general info

    Don't know if this has been posted yet somewhere. Maybe this thread can be moved to "Places, France"?

    The french site http://www.hydro.eaufrance.fr/ gives a lot of information about water levels (mostly flows) of almost every french river. Not all stations are updated daily, but you can always get historical info that can be helpful planning a trip on a french river.

    Some knowledge of the french language will be useful, and you might need some time to find your way, but I use it a lot.

    I find the "entre2" and the "QJM" views to be the most useful. The "entre2" view provides longtime averages, lowes and highs, combined with the actual daily averages. The "QJM" view provides daily and monthly averages for a given year. Useful when planning, or to look for an excuse after you have been swimming.

    The "entre2" view of the Canche at Brimeux for instance shows that in January the rivers average (and thus expected?) level will be close to its top. And we'll be there in less than two weeks

  2. #2
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    Default

    Other useful site for the water levels of some french river (mostly daily or weekly update):
    http://www.eauxvives.org/fr/niveaux/index (clic on Niveaux en temps reel )

    If you can read french (not necessary better than I read english), on the same web site www.eauxvives.org ("eaux vives" means "white water) you can find some "topos", and map, about a lot of rivers in France, and some around... (unfortunately this section is actually closed for maintenance/reorganisation for few weeks...)
    It is one of the most useful french canoe/kayal website to look before a canoe trip in France.
    Ribor
    An optimist frend paddler who thinks he can understand most of what you write... and have the hope you can understand what he wrote!

  3. #3

    Default Some useful links to anyone wanting to paddle in SW and S France


  4. #4
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    Ribor found the following map of French rivers:

    http://www.rivieres.info/rech/carte-demo.pdf

  5. #5

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    nice post ribor

  6. #6
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    Default http://www.geoportail.fr/

    Google maps like application, but with all kinds of layovers. It's provided by IGN, the French geographical institute.

    http://www.geoportail.fr/

  7. #7

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    Hi

    Another useful site for levels is ... http://www.vigicrues.ecologie.gouv.fr/niv2.php

    Select the river and click on the symbol for the level.

    Have fun
    MarkL
    and I am here ...
    and you are there ...
    and a thousand miles between.

  8. #8
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    I am travelling to Normandie in just over a week. Could anyone suggest any good places to paddle in the area. We are staying between Bernay and Evreux. I would prefer some slow moving rivers or lakes. Thanks. Graham

  9. #9
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    I used this site when in Slovenia:

    http://4-paddlers.com/293/peg/onlinepegel.html

    It is a German site but covers many more areas including where we were in France this summer. It gives both levels and flow rates, both of which are very dependent on the nature of the river. You can scroll back for historic data which can help you get an idea as to what you are looking at.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by GRAHAM D View Post
    I am travelling to Normandie in just over a week. Could anyone suggest any good places to paddle in the area. We are staying between Bernay and Evreux. I would prefer some slow moving rivers or lakes. Thanks. Graham
    In Evreux, the obvious answer would be l'Iton but I am guessing this is a small river and maybe not ideal. Next largest river in the area would be l'Eure which has canoeing on it. This empties into the Seine at Rouen. The Seine is much larger down here and probably isn't what you are after.

  11. #11
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    Default Planning trip, useful info

    Some greats posts here chaps with some excellent information on the websites. I wish I'd known about them before planning my own trip (and unexpected swim) on the Vezere back in June!

    A couple of technical tips users might find useful when planning a trip is to look at the these sites using Google Chrome browser. It'll automatically translate the French into English on most of the parts of the page. I find Google Chrome preferable to other browsers for several reasons but this is one feature that is particularly brilliant about Google and it's free!

    Google maps too are excellent, especially if you set up an account (also free) and login. Then you be able to save locations on maps with yellow stars and calculate (road) distance between them. If you also use Google maps on a mobile device and login to your account these stars will be there too. Which can be very useful for doubling up as a sat nav. One word of warning though, you do need data turned to access the maps when roaming, so this can run up roaming charges if you are not careful to just turn it on when you need it and off when you don't.

    (PS this is just my own personal view having planned a lot of trips using Google and in case you are wondering, no I don't work for Google.)

    Finally, I'll pass on a tip that another SOTP contact told me. There is an excellent book called White Water Massif Central by Peter Knowles that lists and classifies many rivers in The Dordogne and Lot areas of France. It really is a paddles Bible for that area that has some of the best paddling rivers in France. Don't be put off by the title, it covers all grades of water not just the white stuff!

    Enjoy, cheers

    Nick
    Last edited by Nick Walker; 19th-August-2013 at 09:15 AM. Reason: typo correction

  12. #12
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    We have recently had a great day paddling on the River Seine, launching down a slipway just to the South of Poses, we paddled East up the River to Porte-joie. There was a little commercial trafic on the river. The newer vessels have been designed to have a very low bow wave and wake, but beware some of the older barges, they don't slow down and there can be considerable wash. This area is very beautiful with some great Islands and amazing houses on the river side.

  13. #13
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    Hey, there's 4 of us going to paddle the River Gardon on the 13th to the 23rd, we were wondering about the water levels and what it's like to paddle Thank you

  14. #14

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    Anyone paddled the Vezere?

  15. #15
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    Yep. What do you want to know?

    In Pete's book he notes the Gorge de la Vazere as suitable for kayaks but I can confirm it is an excellent grade 3 canoe run. About the grade of the Dart Loop. When down their with wives a friend and I ran it as a twosome, needed to be a little careful but absolutely cracking.

  16. #16

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    I'll be there end of July planning to paddle Peyrissac - Uzerche and then look for other options in the locality. Do you know any more in the direction of Limoges perhaps the Dronne, Tardoise, Auvezere

  17. #17

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    There's a decent large scale paddle grade map of France which is useful for initial checks from le Canotier (actually produced by ign) and I have it here so will check or you could get one if you were to need it more than once
    MarkL
    and I am here ...
    and you are there ...
    and a thousand miles between.

  18. #18
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    Do check at the canoe base in Uzerche that there is a dam release because that section gets rather scrapy with little water

  19. #19
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    Last September I was paddling an inflatable canoe on the Canal du Nivernais in Burgundy. I was stopped by a lock keeper and was asked for a permit. I showed him my British Canoe Union card but this didn't appear to cut the mustard. Could anyone tell me if I do need a permit for an inflatable on the Canal du Nivernais and also the Canal lateral a la Loire. If so how much are they and where do I get one from, I will only be in the area for two weeks next June.
    Thanks for any help
    Graham

  20. #20
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    Quite a bit of info here but too much for me to read for you:

    http://www.french-waterways.com/prac...-licences.html

  21. #21
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    This page suggests a permit is not required for boats under 5m.

    http://www.french-waterways.com/prac...vnf-guide.html

    But if required, can be bought through VNF

    https://www.vnf.fr/vignettesVNF/accueil.do

  22. #22
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    ETRE EN REGLE AVEC LE PEAGE
    Le péage est à acquitter par tout propriétaire de
    bateau de plaisance*. Sont exemptées les embarcations
    de longueur inférieure ou égale à 5 mètres
    et dotées d’un moteur de moins de 9,9 CV réels
    (soit 7,29 Kw), ainsi que tous les bateaux utilisés par
    certains services publics (décret du 26/12/96). Le
    péage est dû chaque fois que le bateau navigue sur
    les voies navigables confiées à VNF en respect de la
    réglementation en vigueur. Il donne droit à l’usage
    normal du domaine public fluvial.
    From

    http://www.vnf.fr/vnf/img/cms/VNFhid...0722130719.pdf

  23. #23

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    VNF site (for SW which includes lateral at least in part) says explicitly not needed here ..

    http://www.sudouest.vnf.fr/foire-aux...ions-a111.html
    MarkL
    and I am here ...
    and you are there ...
    and a thousand miles between.

  24. #24
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    le canal est une voie publique
    Hoorah!

  25. #25
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    Thank you to everyone for your help with this enquiry, it is a great help, and I will be ready for the angry little eclusier next time au revoir

    Graham

  26. #26
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    I trailed my 14ft plywood O/B cruiser (SF Simplicity 14, without the sailing rig) to Southern Belgium 4 years ago, launched on the River Meuse, and cruised into France for a week, and back. I had registered as a "Small British Ship", and got my CEVNI ticket, not that it was really necessary. Anyway, as already posted, I got onto the VNF website, and printed out the regs - no licence needed for craft less than 5 metres. No problems in Belgium, then at the first lock in France, they would not accept that I did not need a licence, despite the VNF printout: "Vous n'avez besoin acheter une vingnette"...blahblah.
    Only after they phoned head office would they - grudgingly - allow me onto the French system. I guess it all depends on the lock keeper, and whether s/he has come across this before.
    But, it was a fantastic trip, and a steep learning curve, negotiating the automatic locks singlehanded. The wine, the cheese, the scenery.....
    (and, wow, even on that stretch, a long way from the sea, it's a BIG river - quite scary when I first nosed out of the marina at Anseremme. and, of course, still quite a lot of commercial traffic - 3000tonne barges - which adds to the interest, and the stress levels....)
    Last edited by Sojourner; 13th-January-2016 at 02:43 PM.

  27. #27
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    PS. French anglers take their sport VERY seriously, and tend to get decidedly p***** off if a small boat trespasses on "their" piece of river.....be warned!

  28. #28
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    Never had any problems with French fishermen.

    "Vous avez de la chance?"

    "Non, desolet."

  29. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian Cooper View Post
    Never had any problems with French fishermen.

    "Vous avez de la chance?"

    "Non, desolet."
    I'd second that myself, sure they can take it seriously but there is much more of a general presumption that the river belongs to all of us. I normally retrieve lures and things and hand them over.
    MarkL
    and I am here ...
    and you are there ...
    and a thousand miles between.

  30. #30
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    OK, maybe my not so good experience....I was cruising on the River Meuse, in a 14ft O/B boat, but not speeding, or making much noise (Honda 2.3hp 4 stroke)
    And maybe those anglers were having a bad day....
    But it was a fantastic trip, apart from the trail there and back, which was a bit hairy - again, being singlehanded,wrong side of road,towing,pouring rain,blahblah.

  31. #31
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    Well, it looks as if you didn't let it spoil your day which is great.

    I'm quite a regular visitor to France although admittedly on more upland rivers. You will see MarkL is a local.

    Just to show bon-hommie I usually pass the time of day with the few anglers I meet. The most successful was a little old lady who seemed to be pulling out tiddlers by the handful into a wicker basket. "Vous avez pris votre diner?"

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