Laboratory experiments using simulated tilting rill channels with different bed roughnesses have been conducted to determine hydraulic conditions for incipient motion of single rock fragments lying on rill beds. These threshold conditions can be described by a modified Shields' entrainment parameter (θm) and relative depth (Z), adjusted for rill conditions. The negative relation found between θm and Z also fits steep (stream) channel data collected by other investigators. Plots of the classical Shields' entrainment parameter (θ) versus both relative depth and relative particle size also showed clear negative trends. Special care has been taken to avoid false relations that can arise between compound parameters. This occurs when the latter are not independent from each other because of their definitions.