A 90 -mile stretch of the Connecticut River, flowing from Wilder Dam in Hartford, Vermont to Turners Falls in Massachusetts, will be the focus of three controlled flow studies this summer and fall. Five hydroelectric projects operated by TransCanada and FirstLight are up for relicensing by FERC. Following requests by American Whitewater and its partners last year, FERC directed the power companies to study the suitability of rapids at Sumner Falls in Hartland, VT and the natural river channel (aka bypassed reaches) at Bellows Falls, VT and Turners Falls, MA. Flow studies are scheduled for June 28-29 at Sumner Falls and July 19-21 at Turners Falls. The Bellows Falls Study is scheduled for sometime in the early fall.
We still have opportunities for boaters to participate in the upcoming Sumner Falls flows study on June 28 & 29. We are looking for boaters of varying ability paddling a variety of craft. This short section of the Connecticut River has rapids ranging from Class I-III, and features several drops, chutes, waves and eddies that provide opportunities for playboating, skill development, instruction, and squirt boating. Please contact Bob Nasdor, firstname.lastname@example.org, if you would like to participate in the study.
Once the studies at Sumner Falls, Bellows Falls, and Turners Falls are completed, we will have an opportunity to negotiate with the utilities for whitewater releases that will expand boating opportunities in the northeast and restore sections of the Connecticut River that have been disrupted by dams and hydropower operations.