The use of Markov chains to simulate non-perennial streamflow data is considered A non-perennial stream may be thought as having three states, namely zero flow, increasing flow and decreasing flow, for which a three-state Markov chain can be constructed. Alternatively, two two-state Markov chains can be used, the first of which represents the existence and non-existence of flow, whereas the second deals with the increment and decrement in the flow for periods with flow. Probabilistic relationships between the two alternatives are derived. Their performances in simulating the state of the stream are compared on the basis of data from two different geographical regions in Turkey. It is concluded that both alternatives are capable of simulating the state of the stream.