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Catawba Releases to Begin this Summer!

Posted: 04/13/2007
by Kevin Colburn

Catawba/Wateree Basin Recreational Release Schedule for 2007
By Maurice Blackburn, Carolina Canoe Club
The Catawba/Wateree Hydro Re-licensing Agreement which has been submitted to the Federal Regulatory Commission calls for scheduled recreational releases in all five river sections within the basin after the issuance of the new license. The new license is not expected to be issued until at least 2009.  The Catawba River begins in North Carolina and flows through South Carolina.
We are pleased to announce an earlier implementation in four of the five river sections. Working with Duke Energy, the Carolina Canoe Club has been able to arrange for a partial release schedule which will begin in May of this year. These releases are shown in the following table. Early implementation is not possible in the Great Falls bypasses, as the necessary modifications to the diversion dams cannot begin until after the new license is issued.
These releases are subject to cutbacks similar to those listed in The Low Inflow Protocol Section 6 of the Comprehensive Re-licensing Agreement (CRA) This Low Inflow Protocol has been set up to define various levels of drought and actions necessary to minimize the effect. Not surprisingly, recreational flows are listed to be cut back early in any drought
As part of the CRA, Duke will set up a new Public Information System which will be accessible on the Internet and by phone. This new system is under development and is not expected to be in operation in 2007; therefore public information about these releases and about recreational flow cut backs during drought conditions will not be available on the website or by phone. During the developmental and testing phases of the website and phone system upgrades, Duke will communicate changes in these recreation schedules to key paddling interests to distribute to their constituencies.
(~ 900 cfs)
10:00 am-3:00 pm
(~ 2,600 cfs)
10:00 am-3:00 pm
(~ 3,000 cfs)
10:00 am-3:00 pm
(~ 2,760 cfs)
10:00 am-3:00 pm
12, 19, 26, 28
12, 13, 19, 20, 26, 27, 28
2, 9, 16, 23, 30
2, 9, 16, 23, 30
2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 23, 24, 30
2, 9, 16, 23, 30
4, 7, 14, 21, 28
4, 7, 14, 21, 28
4, 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 28
4, 7, 14, 21, 28
4, 11, 18, 25
4, 11, 18, 25
4, 11, 18, 25
1, 3, 8, 15, 22, 29
1, 3
1, 3, 8, 15, 22, 29
1, 3, 8, 15, 22, 29
For the releases between May 12 and July 15th below Wylie, pulsing will begin at 4:00am to provide adequate water flows at Landsford Canal State Park during the
Spider Lily Season
Here is a brief description of the four river sections
Bridgewater – below Lake James
Bridgewater has several easy Class II rapids in the first 7 miles below the Powerhouse but mostly it is moving flat water with Class I riffles and small waves.
Oxford – below Lake Hickory
Mostly moving flat water with Class I riffles
Below Fort Mill mostly Class I riffles and small waves.  The rapid below Sugar Creek
is Class II if run on river right and probably a long Class I if run on River Left.  The mile or so of rapids at Landsford Canal State Park is fairly continuous Class I to II
The rapid to the left of the Island about 2 miles below the Wateree Powerhouse is Class II. To the right of the island it is Class I. Most of the trip is moving flat water. We found the bird life in this section to be particularly interesting.
The 2007 releases represent about 1/3-1/2 of the releases scheduled in the CRA.   They will allow the Paddling community and Duke to gain valuable experience relating to the implementation and maintenance of the full schedule after the new license is issued. It is important that we receive feed back on these releases to help us monitor how well the system is working and how extensively these recreational flow are being used.
Please contact Maurice Blackburn of the Carolina Canoe Club for more information at

Associated Rivers

Catawba SC

Associated News

FERC to Host Public Catawba Meetings
2007-03-14 00:00:00-04

AW Presents Catawba Proposal (SC)
2005-04-06 00:00:00-04

Catawba Studies Gearing Up
2004-10-07 00:00:00-04


Associated Projects

Catawba Relicensing (SC)
The relicensing of a string of dams on the Catawba River could restore the Great Falls of the Catawba, and bring massive public benefits throughout the watershed.