Time series of surface velocity and stage have been collected simultaneously. Surface velocity was measured using an array of newly developed continuous-wave microwave sensors. Stage was obtained from the standard U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) measurements. The depth of the river was measured several times during our experiments using sounding weights. The data clearly showed that the point of zero flow was not the bottom at the measurement site, indicating that a downstream control exists. Fathometer measurements confirmed this finding. A model of the surface velocity expected at a site having a downstream control was developed. The model showed that the standard form for the friction velocity does not apply to sites where a downstream control exists. This model fit our measured surface velocity versus stage plots very well with reasonable values of the parameters. Discharges computed using the surface velocities and measured depths matched the USGS rating curve for the site. Values of depth-weighted mean velocities derived from our data did not agree with those expected from Manning's equation due to the downstream control. These results suggest that if real-time surface velocities were available at a gauging station, unstable stream beds could be monitored. Journal of Hydraulic Engineering ?? ASCE.