Holtwood Dam - Susqehanna (PA)

Some of the best bigwater wave surfing in the eastern U.S. can be found below Holtwood Dam on Pennsylvania's Susquehanna River. When water spills over the dam each spring, roughly a dozen different waves are formed in this huge channel, attracting paddlers from across the region. The rapids at Holtwood are all that is left of what was likely many miles of rapids now buried below reservoirs created by Conowingo and Holtwood dams.

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The operator of Holtwood Dam on the Susquehanna River (PA) is proposing to significantly change the operations on the dam and the shape of the river channel downstream of the dam. As originally planned, this project would destroy a valuable whitewater recreational resource. A group of paddlers has formed to work with the dam operator on a revised plan. A settlement is expected in the fall of 2006 that will lead to an amended FERC license that will hopefully protect Holtwood's great whitewater features or mitigate their loss with new features.

Wave Construction at Holtwood (PA) Begins

posted August 9, 2012
by Kevin Colburn
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Earlier this week the owner of the Holtwood Hydroelectric Project on the Susquehanna River (PA) initiated a construction process that will result in two sizeable whitewater waves at the base of a defunct fish ladder on the west side of the dam.  Once completed, the waves will be activated by 264 hours of scheduled water releases each year as well as by significant periods of spill.  The waves will provide for high quality freestyle kayak surfing opportunities.  Construction is anticipated to be complete by year end, and releases should begin no later than the summer of 2013.

Final Holtwood Plan Ready For Federal Approval (PA)

posted January 3, 2012
by Kevin Colburn
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On December 15th, 2011, the owner of Holtwood Dam on the Susquehanna River submitted a whitewater boating plan to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for approval. The plan calls for two new whitewater features to be built immediately downstream of Holtwood Dam along the York County side of the Susquehanna River at the base of a defunct fish ladder. It is anticipated that the construction of the features will occur in 2012, and will be fully operational in 2013.


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projects - Holtwood Dam - Susqehanna (PA)

Title Name City
Aw-regional-coordinator Chris Iverson Wrightsville PA Details...
Aw-staff-lead Kevin Colburn Missoula MT Details...



Associated Rivers

Susquehanna River [PA]
Holtwood III+
low
00h51m