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Cheoah River Survey Responses Needed (NC) (Update - Results)

Posted: 10/23/2019
by Kevin Colburn

American Whitewater was a lead negotiator of the releases on the Cheoah River back in the early 2000's and we now collaboratively review and schedule the releases each year. Paddler attendance at releases in 2019 was significantly lower than in prior years, and we'd like to better understand and share with our partners why that was the case. If you paddled the Cheoah River in the past 2-3 years please take this quick 3-5 minute survey to help ensure we are doing everything we can do to make the Cheoah an awesome resource.


Take the survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Cheoah2019


On a side note, there are four species of rare freshwater mussels that have been re-introduced to the Cheoah River and they are all doing great. Recent mussel surveys have revealed further evidence that restoring flows to the Cheoah has been an ecological success.


The results based on the first 130 responses have indicated that 68% of paddlers did visit the Cheoah River less in 2019, and by far the largest reason (40%) was competition with free flowing rivers running because of the historic rainfall, and the second largest reason was competition with dam release rivers (13%). About a third of paddlers said things like nearby mountain biking, in-channel tree removal, and more beer & dining options would increase their chances of visiting. There were a lot of positive comments about the river.

Kevin Colburn
Asheville, NC


Associated Projects

Cheoah River (NC)
AW and regional paddling clubs spent 5 years relicensing the dam on the Cheoah and scored a huge environmental and recreational victory.

Associated Rivers