Water Level is Dropping, Iquitos Peru

by Captain Bill

Water Level is Dropping, Iquitos Peru

You might be interested to know the water level is now dropping one foot per day. My sonar shows the water level in the flood plane of the Itaya River dropped thirteen feet in the last two weeks.

We moved the boats to slightly deeper water a couple of days ago. Early tomorrow morning, I plan to move the boats around to the other side of Iquitos at the Hunting and Fishing Club on the Nanay River.

In two more weeks, farmers will be planting corn and watermelons where my boats are now. Soccer games will last till dark.

The Amazon River can rise and fall approximately forty feet every year. The water level usually starts to come up in October or November, crests in January or February, and stays very high till May.

That dramatic rise and fall has little to do with how much it rains near Iquitos. A ten year average shows that Iquitos receives approximately the same amount of rain every month.

The “dry season” is a myth. June is considered to be in the middle of the “dry season”. During one 10 year average, more rain fell in June than any other month.

The Amazon River rises and falls in response to seasonal rainfall on the east slope of the Andes, as well as snow, and glacial melt.

The high water season and the low water season affect the way we live, from building houses on balsa logs that float, or on stilts above the expected high water level. We retie our boats hundreds of times per year and move them a dozen times because of rising and falling water levels.

On the chart below the green line represents the record high water levels for each date, the red shows the record low water levels, yellow is the average, and the blue line is the actual water level from a few days ago.

Amazon River water level, Iquitos Peru, for blog


Water Level is Dropping, Iquitos Peru

Bill Grimes, Welcome to Iquitos Peru, Dawn on the Amazon Tours and Cruises

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Dave Bonnett June 14, 2007 at 9:41 pm

Dave will love this graph!

2 Dave Bonnett June 16, 2007 at 9:31 pm

Thanks for the report Bill. Where did you obtain the data? Are the graphs from a single site? Is there a level recording meter installed yet? After we left you in mid Feb. 07 we went up the Tahuayo River and recorded more dolphin sounds. The river level was dropping over two feet per day and we saw may dolphin moving out of the lakes and heading down river. I have not had a chance to really compare their vocalizations to the Yana Yaku recordings but subjectively I think they were markedly different.
Thanks for the info.
Dave Bonnett

3 Bill June 18, 2007 at 8:37 am

Hello Dave,

We miss having our small fleet and the crew in front of our home, but we needed to move to deeper water. The water was falling a little over a foot per day. When we moved I monitored the sonar as we moved around Iquitos. I thought you, and others might be interested. The draft on Dawn III is three and a half feet. Where we had the boats tied showed five and a half feet the morning we moved. The middle of the little bay in front of our office was 10 feet. A few hundred yards out from the mouth of the bay it dropped to 20 ft, but there is no good place to tie or anchor there. In front of ENAPU, customs port the depth was 42 ft. There is one deep hole about twice as wide and twice as long as my boat that is over 80 feet deep. I think I will keep that location a secret. The sonar showed it was full of large fish, the size of calves. The mouth of the Itaya narrows and gets shallow to 25 feet. We did not see any pink dolphins at the confluence of the Itaya and Amazon Rivers. Remember we recorded lots of dolphin sounds (and peke-peke sounds) there one day. The Amazon River, where we were, sounded a depth of 70 feet. Lots of pink and gray dolphins at the confluence of the Nanay River, and the depth went from 70 ft. to 25 ft. in the length of my boat. We tied up in 18 ft. of water at my official home port, the Hunting and Fishing Club, on the Nanay River.

The chart showing the depth can be seen at;

Wishing you the best,

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