Missouri’s Sac River
Though it is slower than the spring-fed Ozark rivers, the Sac has an extensive drainage, a number of floatable tributaries, fairly clear water and some good fishing. It is the closest river of its size and type for residents of the Kansas City area and, therefore, many canoeists have cut their canoeing teeth on it. The Sac River berween Stockton Dam and Truman Lake can be extremely hazardous to boaters during power generation at Stockton. This section of the river is constantly changing due to power generation flows. Deep holes have filled with gravel, the channel has widened and the float difficulty is less than before the dams were built.
Difficulty: I, occasionally II.
Gradients: general- 2; Hwy. 32 to Hwy. J – 2.2; to Caplinger Mills – 1; to Hwy. 54 – 2.2; to Osage River – 0.9.
Counties: Cedar, St. Clair, Polk
Sac River – Mile-By-Mile Description
0.0 Hwy. 32 bridge below Stockton Reservoir.
1.3 Bear Creek on right can be floated in good water. Gradient of lower 9 miles is about 5.
6.0 Hwy. J Bridge.
9.6 River divides at Keith Island. Left channel is longer.
10.9 Lower end of Keith Island.
11.6 River divides at Masters Island. Channels equal length.
12.0 Lower end Masters Island.
13.1 Narrows of Horseshoe Bend. A channel has been cut at the Horseshoe Bend Narrows. This shortens the trip by almost 2 miles. A bridge across the channel is private and not accessible to the public. The old channel is still open and passable by canoe or motorboat.
16.5 Caplinger Mill Park Access (Caplinger Mill Preservation). Portage right. Dam, which is below the ramp, and bridge are owned by the Caplinger Bridge Preservation Society. Private campgrounds on both sides of the river.
17.2 Hwy. N Bridge. Access.
21.4 Bridge. Access. Hwy. 39 is 2.5 miles southwest.
22.9 Cedar Creek on left. Both Cedar Creek and its tributary, Horse Creek, are floated by local fishermen, but there would seldom be water for floats above their junction near Hwy. K. The general gradient is 2.
24.3 Turkey Creek on right.
24.8 Vilhauer Bluff on right. Scenic overhang.
25.3 Vilhauer Bridge. Blackjack 1 mile east.
31.0 Blackjack Access.
31.3 Brush Creek on right.
32.1 Private campsite on left above bridge. Inquire at farmhouse. Also good takeout.
32.2 Hwy. 54 Bridge. Good riffie just above bridge. River bigger and less interesting beyond this point, eventually becoming a lake.
36.0 Buzzard Bluff on right.
39.0 Rockhouse Cave, on left, is a well-known archeological site that once yielded many artifacts. It is not a true cave but rather a many roomed “apartment house” weathered out of the soft rock. Truman Lake backs water to just below here; still some current to Coon Creek.
41.6 Piper Ford reached by private road from both sides.
44.2 Coon Creek on right.
48.3 State Hwy. 82 Bridge. Truman Lake. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Access.
This is an electronic reprint of a Missouri Department of Conservation document. More or updated information on this topic can be found at the Missouri Department of Conservation web site located at: mdc.mo.gov. Copyright 2003 by the Conservation Commission of the State of Missouri.
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