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New Stonycreek River Summer Releases Near Johnstown PA

Posted: 05/25/2012
by Kevin Colburn

Stony Creek near Johnstown, PA is one of the finest class III+ rivers in the region. The Canyon section has many miles of interesting ledge and boulder rapids and lots of great play holes. Twenty years ago paddlers who inquired about releases from Quemahoning Reservoir and were told that a $500,000 valve was needed to let enough water go. After much groundwork the Stonycreek Quemahoning Initiative Inc., a nonprofit corporation formed by recreational,conservation, economic, and historical groups, raised over $2 million dollars! They bought and installed the new valve at the dam and created a whitewater play feature at Greenhouse Park.

The recent Stonycreek Rendezvous was the kick-off for the first year of scheduled releases from Quemahoning Reservoir, with 11 scheduled releases remaining in 2012. These 500cfs releases will reach the Foustwell Bridge put-in between 10 am and 2 pm, adding to the natural flow to make the river runnable.  Releases are dependent on having sufficient water in the Quemahoning Reservoir. On the Wednesday prior to a release, water levels at the dam will be assessed and the Benscreek Canoe Club website will announce/confirm the release. Check http://benscreekcanoeclub.com/quemahoning-releases/ for the latest information.

There has also been a huge improvement in water quality in the river as state and federal agencies worked to clean up acid mine drainage resulting from widespread coal mining. Stony Creek's waters, once dead, now support over 22 species of fish! Thanks to all of these improvements it was named Pennsylvania's "River of the Year." A celebration Celebration on June 16th, 2012 features a downriver race, freestyle rodeo and a playboater X race, and music in the evening. For more information go to http://benscreekcanoeclub.com/stonycreek-river-of-the-year-celebration/

2012 Releases will be as follows:

June 2-3
June 16-17  (In conjunction with River of the Year Celebration)
June 30-July 1

July 14-15
July 28-29

August 11-12
August 25-26

Sept 8-9
Sept 22-23

Oct 6-7
Oct 20-21

 


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