article photo 1

Final Holtwood Plan Ready For Federal Approval (PA)

Posted: 01/03/2012
by Kevin Colburn

On December 15th, 2011, the owner of Holtwood Dam on the Susquehanna River submitted a whitewater boating plan to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for approval.  The plan was based on a 2009 settlement agreement between the power company and the paddling community that called for the creation of two new whitewater features to mitigate the loss of several natural rapids that are being destroyed or de-watered by modifications of the dam and hydropower facility.  The modifications are aimed at increasing fish passage and power generation.  

The new plan is informed by well over three years of detailed flow modeling and thoughtful discussions between the dam owner, the paddling community, and natural resource agencies.  The plan was finalized at meetings throughout the fall of 2011. 

The plan calls for two new whitewater features to be built immediately downstream of Holtwood Dam along the York County side of the Susquehanna River at the base of a defunct fish ladder.  These features (wave/holes) will be optimized by 264-hours of scheduled releases between 800 and 1000 cfs annually.  They will be designed to provide high quality freestyle paddling opportunities similar to the kinds of natural opportunities impacted by the hydropower facility modifications.   

It is anticipated that the construction of the features will occur in 2012, and will be fully operational in 2013. 

American Whitewater has worked closely with a great group of local and regional paddlers on this project.  We will continue to work together as the feature designs are finalized, throughout construction, and on flow scheduling. 

Associated Projects

Holtwood Dam - Susqehanna (PA)
Dam Owner is proposing to reduce flows and alter channel containing whitewater features as part of a FERC license amendment.

Associated Rivers

Susquehanna River PA
Holtwood III+

Associated News