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CrowdHydro Gage

Staff gauge in Hartley Pond, Duluth, MN


With so many streams to study around Lake Superior, and not enough funds, time or staff to get to every spot, scientists are turning to citizens like you to help report water depths.

Check out which CrowdHydrology sites in Minnesota and Wisconsin are near you!

How it Works

Anyone with a cell phone (no smart phone required) can send in a text message of water depth.

  • Read the height of the water from the staff gauge (looks like a giant ruler in the water)
  • Text the station number and water height to the phone number listed on the gauge sign

Scientists, researchers, managers, etc. use these data to understand how streams respond to weather and climate. This information can help scientists and researchers build better scenario models, as well as help managers and planners make better informed decisions.

Contact Tiffany Sprague at the Natural Resources Research Institute for more information.

See the Data

Within 5 - 15 minutes of sending in a text message of water height, the gauge data are available to view online. Gauge heights are viewed in a graph, and values can be downloaded directly from the website.

Visit the CrowdHydrology website for more information.

Knowlton Creek Sign

Sign posted at Knowlton Creek gauge along Superior Hiking Trail


Gauges in the Twin Ports

Currently, there are 9 CrowdHydrology gauges in the Twin Ports, located on streams throughout Duluth. You can visit the CrowdHydrology webpage to see data, and the gauge location, for each of these sites. If you are interested in learning more about the stream, its watershed, any impairments the stream may have, past and present restoration efforts, and other pertinent water quality data, visit The Streams websection of this website and click on the name of the stream you are interested in to learn more.

Stream Location Gauge ID Gauge Data Watershed Information
Brewery Creek Marshall School MN1000 link (exit) LSS.org link
Chester Creek College of St. Scholastica MN1001 link (exit) LSS.org link
Miller Creek Lake Superior College MN1002 link (exit) LSS.org link
Kingsbury Creek Lake Superior Zoo MN1003 link (exit) LSS.org link
Keene Creek Keene Creek Dog Park MN1004 link (exit) LSS.org link
Tischer Creek Hartley Pond/Park MN1005 link (exit) LSS.org link
Chester Creek Chester Bowl/Park MN1006 link (exit) LSS.org link
Knowlton Creek Spirit Mountain/SHT MN1007 link (exit) LSS.org link
Knowlton Creek Western Waterfront Trail MN1008 link (exit) LSS.org link


Keene CrowdHydrology Gauge and Sign

Sign and gauge in Keene Creek at Keene Creek Dog Park



CrowdHydrology is hosted by the University of Buffalo, with support from the U.S. Geological Survey. Dr. Christopher Lowry, geologist and founder, started CrowdHydrology in 2011 when he needed to collect water levels on streams across a large area in western New York. With little funds and manpower, he turned to crowdsourcing* to help with his data collection needs. After success with his New York pilot, Dr. Lowry expanded the network, and CrowdHydrology staff gauges are now in 10 states across the country. Citizens, townships, cities, agencies, non-profits, groups and organizations can install gauges in their local streams and lakes, and include them in the CrowdHydrology network. Always make sure to receive the appropriate rights and permits before placing a staff gauge in a stream or lake.

Contact Dr. Chris Lowry for more information on CrowdHydrology.

*Crowdsourcing - obtaining information by enlisting a large number number of people, typically via the internet


This project is made possible by generous funding and staff support from Minnesota's Department of Natural Resources Lake Superior Coastal Program and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. Collabotors on this project include: University of Minnesota-Duluth; Natural Resources Research Institute; Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; Minnesota's Lake Superior Coastal Program; Minnesota Pollution Control Agency; City of Duluth; Minnesota Sea Grant; Regional Stormwater Protection Team; University of Buffalo (New York); USGS; NOAA; Lake Superior Zoo; Marshall School; College of St. Scholastica; Lake Superior College; and, Hartley Nature Center.