Some paddlers may be suprized to learn that negotiations over recreational releases on the Savage River have been ongoing for months and even years. The negotiations have finally come to fruition (while they are not over), and have resulted in the first scheduled boating releases on the iconic Savage River in over a decade.
This year's first whitewater release from Savage River Dam is scheduled for Sunday - July 1, 2007. Due to ongoing low flow conditions in the North Branch Potomac basin, the whitewater release will only extend from 9AM to 1PM at a flow rate of 800 cfs. Flows will begin ramping up at about 7:30 AM with an 800 cfs flow at 9AM.
The 2007 release schedule for Savage River Dam has been posted on the public website: http://www.nab-wc.usace.army.mil/northBranch.html. This page also includes three day projections for daytime release rates for Jennings Randolph Lake and Savage River Dam. Scroll down to find the recreational release schedule. There are two more releases planned on the Savage River this summer: August 5th, and September 9th.
Managing these releases will require the cooperation of a number of organizations and businesses. The landowners at the takeout have graciously agreed to allow public access. Adventure Sports Center International will be taking care of many of the logistics needed to meet the concerns of various parties. Paddlers will likely have to sign waivers to participate in releases - and be patient with any management hiccups that may occur.
These releases are the result of multi-party negotiations between the various agencies in charge of operating the dam, state agencies, anglers, paddlers, and other stakeholders. We would like to thank Larry Lubbers for representing AW and ACA in these negotiations as a volunteer.
Please enjoy these rare paddling opportunities and be careful out there. The Savage is likely impacted by flow regulation in a manner that encourages vegetation to encroach into the river channel. We hope that these releases will go well and lead to many years of enjoyment of the Savage.