We have received still more helpful information from Jay Mengel of the Pascagoula River Alliance, who presented the program at the March meeting. He writes us as follows:
The following website shows the current river stage at Merrill: http://ms.water.usgs.gov/rt-cgi/gen_stn_pg?station=02479000
As a rule of thumb:
Below 12" within two days at Merrill, anyone can canoe or kayak. The lower it gets the easier. Too low and you can't easily get into the bottomlands, but at any stage you can at least portage into the oxbows.
12' - 17' - Took my wife, who had never kayaked, and she had no trouble.
17'+ - I think I would pass and wait for lower water. I was on the river when it was at 24' , 80,000 cfs, and really moving. I think it would be fun for experienced kayakers.
If you are interested I could help you put together a trip over this way. There is a great B&B that could put you up for around $75/night/room and would provide transportation to and from the river for you and your kayaks. Let me know and I'll help you get it set up.