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Upper Nantahala and WF Tuck Releases Rescheduled (NC) (CORRECTION)

Posted: 08/19/2020
By: Kevin Colburn

This spring many dam releases had to be cancelled across the country due to Covid-19 related travel and staffing restrictions, including several releases on the West Fork of the Tuckasegee and Upper Nantahala. American Whitewater has worked with Duke Energy and other stakeholders to reschedule these releases for this fall!

We rescheduled the West Fork Tuck releases for October, which is outside of the normal release window. September was a relatively busy month for releases, and October releases will be beautiful and not conflict with Gauley, Upper Nantahala, or Tallulah releases. These releases will also avoid hellbender spawning in September. Lastly, Duke Energy has planned maintenance work on the West Fork hydropower project from October 16th to November 8th during which the plant will be shut down, so there may be additional paddling opportunities during this timeframe. The make-up West Fork releases are as follows:

  • 10/17/20: West Fork Tuck @ 250 10am-4pm
  • 10/25/20: West Fork Tuck @ 250 10am-4pm (Note that these dates have been changed since the original post)

The Upper Nantahala releases were rescheduled in late August and mid-September to dovetail between other Upper Nantahala releases in August and September, and a Cheoah River release September 5th. We could not push the releases into October because of delayed-harvest fishing management. Because of concerns with potential fishery impacts of prolonged and repeated dam releases of warm water in this reach, the releases will follow the summer pattern of 3-hour releases of 250 cfs, though occur on Saturdays and be an hour earlier to account for shorter days, running 3pm-6pm. The late September Upper Nantahala releases remain as planned. The make-up Upper Nantahala releases are as follows:

  • 8/29/20: Upper Nantahala / Cascades @ 250 3pm-6pm
  • 9/12/20: Upper Nantahala / Cascades @ 250 3pm-6pm

Enjoy these releases, and stay tuned regarding rescheduled Cheoah River releases.

Kevin Colburn

Asheville, NC

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