USGS Top Setting Wading Rods

The USGS top setting wading rods are used with instruments that measure water flow rates and discharge in shallow rivers and streams for easy data collection.


  • Available in imperial & metric units
  • Handle is constructed of anodized aluminum
  • Works with many popular flow meters

Wading rods are used with instruments that measure water flow rates and discharge in shallow rivers and streams. In fact, many popular flow meters require a wading rod to operate properly. Some of these include the SonTek FlowTracker, Marsh McBirney Flo-Mate, OTT MF pro, Type AA, and pygmy current meters.

Multiple Styles Available
Two versions of the wading rod are available - one with imperial units for measuring depth and another with metric units. The imperial rod is marked in feet and tenths of feet. It may be ordered in 4' or 6' long models. The metric rod is marked in centimeters and has a length of 1.2m or 1.5m.

Depth Indicators
Water depth can be determined simply by looking at the graduated markings on the wading rod. The anodized aluminum handle incorporates a scale to indicate the correct position of the flow meter at the 0.2, 0.6, and 0.8 depth settings. Probe depth can be adjusted using implemented controls.

  • (1) Top setting wading rod
  • (1) Threaded base plate with lock washer
Questions & Answers
I have a top setting rod already, but I have lost the threaded base plate. Do you offer replacement base plates?
We do offer replacement base plates for top setting wading rods. Here is a link to the part:
I was wondering if this rod is compatible with a Marsh McBirney Flo-Mate?
Yes, the USGS top-setting wading rods are compatible with the Marsh McBirney Flo-Mate Portable Flow Meter.
Is this wading rod compatible with the Hach FH950 portable flow meter?
Yes, the USGS top-setting wading rods are compatible with the Hach FH950 Portable Flow Meter.
Does this wading rod require any accessories to be compatible with a Sontek Flow Tracker 2?
While this rod is compatible with many flow meters, meter specific accessories will need to be purchased from the manufacturer directly,   
What is the lifespan of the standard top-setting USGS style wading rods?
The USGS style wading rods are composed of stainless steel, anodized aluminum and brass and are designed to last for years, under normal use and storage. 
Did you find what you were looking for?

Select Options

  Products 0 Item Selected
Part #
USGS Top Setting Wading Rods
USGS top setting wading rod with imperial increments, 4 ft.
2 Available
USGS Top Setting 6' Wading Rod
USGS top setting wading rod with imperial increments, 6 ft.
1 Available
USGS Top Setting 1.2m Wading Rod
USGS top setting wading rod with metric increments, 1.2m
1 Available
USGS Top Setting 1.5m Wading Rod
USGS top setting wading rod with metric increments, 1.5m
1 Available
  Accessories 0 Item Selected
Notice: At least 1 product is not available to purchase online
Multiple Products

have been added to your cart

There are items in your cart.

Cart Subtotal: $xxx.xx

Go to Checkout

In The News

Measuring Rising Floodwaters with the USGS

All year long the US Geological Survey (USGS) in North Dakota and South Dakota monitors water levels, but during times of flooding, all eyes are on the team. EM spoke to USGS data chief Chris Laveau about the monitoring efforts. “The US Geological Survey in North Dakota and South Dakota is one entity, so we monitor the flooding in both states,” explains Mr. Laveau. “The role is to provide continuous information on water level, we call that gauge height or stage, and we also provide continuous information at a lot of locations on stream flow, typically called discharge. We do that year round but, obviously, during a flood event it garners more attention.

Read More

Citizen Scientists Tracking Intermittent Rivers

Most of the time when we think of monitoring streams and rivers, we think of water, and for a good reason. However, in some parts of the country, many rivers are intermittent—dry at some point in space or time—and  therefore have not had equal amounts of attention from ecologists and hydrologists. A project led by a University of Oklahoma (OU) team is working to change that with the help of citizen scientists. OU assistant professor of biology Daniel Allen spoke to EM about the project and why it's so important to track intermittent rivers. “ The Nature Conservancy (TNC) started the Citizen Science program in Arizona's San Pedro River and the nearby Cienega Creek in, I think, 2001,” details Dr. Allen.

Read More

Building Reliable Systems: Hydroelectric Dam Monitoring in Western Pennsylvania

Hydroelectric dams are a source of renewable energy, and many have taken the place of fossil fuel reliance across the United States. While they provide green energy to the grid, they also impact the environment above and below the dam. In order to protect these habitats and mitigate any potential harm, hydroelectric dam operators monitor water quality conditions above and below the dam to ensure conditions meet ecosystem needs. Eagle Creek Renewable Energy has several hydroelectric plants positioned throughout Pennsylvania, and each is managed and monitored by a team of professionals. One of these managers is Craig Goldinger, a regional manager with Eagle Creek Renewable Energy in Western Pennsylvania.

Read More