Officers said the men included two brothers, aged 41 and 40, and their cousin, aged 36.
Two of the bodies were recovered from the river at Riding Mill, and the other was found in the Corbridge area. The major search operation has involved police, fire crews and a Sea King rescue helicopter.
Police found one of the missing men’s vehicles near to Hexham Rowing Club just before 01:15 BST, and a second one three hours later at Wylam railway station car park.
The first body was recovered at Riding Mill at 05:00 and the second at Corbridge at 06:20. The third, also at Riding Mill, was discovered at 13:15.
Formal identification is yet to take place. Ch Supt Gordon Milward said: “The weather was unpredictable, in terms of some very heavy showers and the river was higher than usual and fast-flowing.
Water Safety Map acknowledge that about 1.2 million people in the UK canoe and kayak every year and there are very few deaths but this tragedy goes to show that precautions and full water safety training is advised before taking to the kayak.
For more details, please visit: www.watersafetymap.co.uk/map/details/202
“morning row on the river tyne” by www.flickr.com/photos/biscuitsml, License: creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0