Huzzah Creek

Posted by Al Agnew on January 31st, 2012
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The Huzzah is sometimes floated from as high up as the road leading to Dillard Mill State Historic Site. Dillard Mill is one of the most picturesque spots in the Ozarks. The mill dam was built at an isolated outcrop of the granitic rock at the northwestern edge of the St. Francois Mountains, the oldest exposed rock in the Ozarks. The reddish rock, the mill dam, the big, red mill building, all form a backdrop for a huge, deep green, almost circular pool in an attractive and well-groomed little state park that is well worth a visit before or after a fishing trip.

Below Dillard Mill the creek gradually cuts its way deeper into the hills. At the Red Bluff National Forest Campground it is especially beautiful, with huge bluffs on the outsides of a couple of sharp bends. Below there the valley widens a bit and there is some farmland along the creek, but it is mostly seemingly remote country most of the way down to the huge Huzzah Valley Campground at the Hwy. 8 bridge. Just above the bridge, Dry Creek enters the Huzzah. Fed by Westover Spring, the site of a private trout fishery, Dry Creek adds a significant volume of water to the Huzzah. From there to the confluence with the Courtois, the creek is generally floatable year-round. Another fair sized spring, Gibbs Spring, feeds the Huzzah in that last stretch, which is the most popular summertime float on the creek.

Just above Scotia Bridge, the Courtois merges with the Huzzah. Where the two come together, they are close to the same size, but the doubled stream remains the Huzzah, entering the Meramec a mile or so downstream.

Gradient: 8 feet per mile.

Navigability:

Less than 50 cfs—Below Hwy. 8, floatable but with considerable scraping bottom. Above Highway 8, wider riffles will have to be walked.
50-75 cfs—below Hwy. 8, floatable with some scraping bottom, above Hwy. 8, considerable scraping bottom in riffles.
75-150 cfs—easily floatable, a few riffles will be shallow in the upper portions.
150-250 cfs—floatable, fast water.
250-400 cfs—high but floatable, very fast, difficult to fish from a moving canoe or kayak.
400-700 cfs—very high, probably murky, possibly muddy, in the willows and for experienced floaters only. Lower sections may be runnable with jetboats at this level, but requiring very experienced boaters.
Over 700 cfs—too high.

Accesses and mileages:

Access on road into Dillard Mill, off Hwy. 49—0.0
Sellers Road low water bridge—5.6
Hwy. V bridge—8.0
Red Bluff Campground—10.3
Crabtree Road low water bridge—10.8
John Coleman Road low water bridge—13.2
Huzzah Creek Road low water bridge—18.3
Harper’s Road low water bridge—19.5
Hwy. 8 bridge, Huzzah Valley Campground (fee access)–25.0
Scotia Bridge, MDC Huzzah Conservation Area access—30.4
Meramec River (no access at this point)–31.4
Onondaga Cave State Park access on the Meramec, 2.5 miles downstream from the mouth of the Huzzah.

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