Missouri's Meramec River

Introduction.

About fifteen miles Southeast of the town of Salem in Southeastern Missouri, near the junction of Dent County Roads 559 & 560, a spring-fed brook begins its journey North. Before long, the brook merges with the ‘Dry Branch’ (on the right), ‘Wofford Branch’ and ‘Carty Branch’ (both on the left) and becomes the source of the Meramec River. For many millions of years the Meramec has been carving its twisting, sometimes tortuous 240 mile course into the solid rock of the Ozark Plateau, scouring its way through a deep, slowly widening valley, bordered by limestone bluffs and steep hills. It is joined along the way by innumerable springs, creeks, and four large tributaries, which transform the Meramec into a one hundred yard - to two hundred yard wide flood plane stream at its confluence with the Mighty Mississippi eighteen miles below St. Louis.

Maramec spring (note the spelling) is the first of the four major contributors, it pours an average volume of one hundred million gallons of cold clear water into the Meramec per day, swelling the river to twice its size. It is interesting to note that the Dry Fork, which is about the same size as the Meramec in that area, loses most of its volume underground to become a major contributor to Maramec Spring, and in a round-about way - a major contributor to the Upper Meramec. Over the next thirty miles, the inflows from many smaller branches turn the river into a prime stream. Then, from the right, the translucent waters of the second and largest of the headwater contributors, the Courtois--(pronounced code-away)--Huzzah creek, mingles with the Meramec, giving it the impression of a truly big river. Swirling on past Onondaga Cave (Leasburg), Meramec State Park (Sullivan), and the Meramec Caverns (Stanton)--all on the left-- the Meramec receives the cloudy waters of the Bourbeuse River--its only major contributor from the west. As the darker waters flow on, the valley widens, and the river becomes a series of long, slow, wide pools, connected by short, fast, riffles. Around twenty-five miles below the Bourbeuse River confluence, the last major contributor, the Big River, flows into the Meramec from the right. Now, even wider and more sluggish, it enters the Mississippi flood-plain, and wends its way another thirty miles before draining into the Mississippi.

 

MERAMEC LINKS

Real Time River Levels:

Meramec@Steelville, MO.
Meramec@Sullivan, MO.
Bourbeuse@ High Gate, MO.
Bourbeuse@Union, MO.
Big River@Irondale, MO
Big River@Richwoods, MO.
Big River@Byrnesville, MO.
Meramec@Eureka, MO.
Meramec@Valley Park, MO.

Current Weather

Conservation Federation of Missouri

EPA Adopt your Watershed

EPA Surf Your Watershed

Missouri Environmental Web Sites


Missouri Stream Team Homepage

MDC Missouri Watersheds Map

 

Meramec Farm Cabins and Trail Riding Vacations
208 Thickety Ford Road
Bourbon, Mo.
65441
Phone: 573-732-4765

WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE MERAMEC?

READ:

 

THE MERAMEC RIVER: Then and Now, The Story of a Stream

The introduction above is a sample excerpt as is the the table of contents below.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Preface (about the author)
Favorite Quotes (Nature)
Introduction (description)
General Map
The Genesis (geological formation)
The Evolution of Life
The Transition of Climate
Enter Man
The Paleo Indians
The Archaic Indians
The Woodland Indians
The Mississippians
The Historic Indians
Civilization and Commerce
Quiz Yourself
Early Settlement
The Iron Era
The Tie-Hacker
The Final Niche (recreation)
A Playground For All
River Do’s and Don’ts
How To Paddle a Canoe
Upper Meramec Map
Significant Tributaries
Statistical Information
Meramec Fishing
Sponsors
Trip Recorder
Endnotes
Meremec Photos

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Bourbon, Mo.
65441
Phone: 573-732-4765

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