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The average bed and sidewall shear stresses in smooth rectangular open-channel flows are determined after solving the continuity and momentum equations. The analysis shows that the shear stresses are function of three components: (1) gravitational; (2) secondary flows; and (3) interfacial shear stress. An analytical solution in terms of series expansion is obtained for the case of constant eddy viscosity without secondary currents. In comparison with laboratory measurements, it slightly overestimates the average bed shear stress measurements but underestimates the average sidewall shear stress by 17% when the width–depth ratio becomes large. A second approximation is formulated after introducing two empirical correction factors. The second approximation agrees very well (R2 > 0.99 and average relative error less than 6%) with experimental measurements over a wide range of width–depth ratios.