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AW in the SouthEast

AW is in the final stages of several epic projects that will change the way we paddle in the Southeast. Remarkable volunteer efforts and the financial support of AW members have made this work possible. We have recently summarized the past 10 years of our efforts in the Southeast in our 2006 Southeastern Stewardship Report.

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Georgians Ask Your Legislators to Affirm the Right to Float

02/22/2024 - by Kevin Colburn

The Georgia General Assembly is considering legislation that would subtly shift the rights of the public to navigate and otherwise enjoy the state’s rivers. This is the second such bill in as many years, and more legislative action is anticipated on the topic. The legislature is hearing from special interest groups that seek exclusive private rights to Georgia’s rivers, and they also need to hear from the public that is concerned for their basic rights to paddle the state’s rivers. Learn more and take action in this article! 

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2024 Southeast Advanced Release Calendar Announced!

11/20/2023 - by Kevin Colburn

American Whitewater and our affiliate clubs have spent the past 25 years working to restore flows to incredible Southeastern rivers impacted by dams. A lot of our work has focused on releases and access on Class II and III rivers like the lower Nantahala, Tuckasegee, Hiwassee, and Catawba, but we also secured releases in some classic steeper reaches previously dewatered by hydroelectric diversions. Each year we meet with power companies and agencies to schedule future releases, review ongoing ecology studies, and discuss any issues with the release programs. We strive to create a schedule with minimal conflicts to maximize recreational value. In this article you'll find the 2024 dates for the Class IV/V Cheoah, Nantahala Cascades & Upper, West Fork Tuck, and Tallulah rivers. 

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A Close Look at Cheoah River Fatalities

06/29/2020 - by Charlie Walbridge

The recent death of Chris Clark at Python Rapid on North Carolina's Cheoah River is the third at this site in the last six years. In each case, the person who died was an expert paddler and their paddling partners did not see exactly what happened. Let's take a close look at the Cheoah below Bear Creek Falls and develop strategies for future runs. The river here is very fast and continuous. After a fast lead-in (Chaos), the river drops over Bear Creek Falls, a 12' drop. Below, most of the flow pushes toward the river right channel (Python). Ferrying over to the easier river left channel (the West Prong) requires careful boat control. Python itself contains several nasty holes and sieves, with a bad hole blocked by a boulder at the bottom. There is a good route through it, but paddlers need to plan their route carefully. Scouting is a good idea for first timers, although catching eddies and getting out is not  going to be easy. Groups need to stay together.. The rapid is tough enough that you can't watch your buddy all the time, but you can be ready to help if needed. Click through for links to the accident reports, photos, and comments from expert Cheoah River paddlers. (Photo above by Boyd Ruppelt)

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Great Smoky Mountains National Park Boating Beta

07/01/2009 - by Mark Singleton

Keep this number for assistance in the Great Smoky Mountains Nation Park - (865) 436-1230. This number connects to the Park Dispatch Office and should be used in non-emergency situations. For boaters who regularly paddle in the Park it is advisable to program the number in your cell phone.


Associated Projects

Chattooga Headwaters (NC)

The US Forest Service has banned boating on the upper 21 miles of the Wild and Scenic Chattooga River.

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.

Clean Water Act

American Whitewater's advocacy to protect water quality.

Little River Access (NC)

AW worked with the Dupont State Forest to lift the Forest's prohibition on whitewater paddling. Boating became legal in 2002.

Nolichucky Wild and Scenic

A locally-driven effort to designate the 7.2 mile Nolichucky River Gorge, on public lands spanning the North Carolina - Tennessee border as a Wild and Scenic River.

Tallulah Gorge (GA)

The dams on Tallulah Gorge were among the first rivers in the Southeast to be relicensed and wow what a classic whitewater river it has become.

Tuckasegee Relicensing (NC)

AW signed a settlement calling for new dam releases, sweeping conservation measures, new access, and the removal of Dillsboro Dam in North Carolina.

Associated Rivers

Upcoming Events

Calendar Control Date:
Calendar by Date by Title

May 2024

S M T W T F S
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Cheoah Release
08:00 am -4:00 pm america/new_york
Standard Saturday Cheoah Release1000-1000 cfs

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Cheoah Release
08:00 am -4:00 pm america/new_york
Standard Sunday Release. 1000 cfs from 8am to 2pm, then ramped down to 850cfs from 2pm to 4pm. 1000-850 cfs

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Cheoah Release
08:00 am -4:00 pm america/new_york
Standard Saturday Cheoah Release1000-1000 cfs

19
Cheoah Release
08:00 am -4:00 pm america/new_york
Standard Sunday Release. 1000 cfs from 8am to 2pm, then ramped down to 850cfs from 2pm to 4pm. 1000-850 cfs

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Cheoah Release
08:00 am -4:00 pm america/new_york
Standard Saturday Cheoah Release1000-1000 cfs

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Cheoah Release
08:00 am -4:00 pm america/new_york
Standard Sunday Release. 1000 cfs from 8am to 2pm, then ramped down to 850cfs from 2pm to 4pm. 1000-850 cfs

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Events
Nantahala River Releases Wesser,NC runs 03/10/08 - 11/14/18
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Pigeon Releases Hartford,TN runs 04/28/08 - 08/30/08
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Coosa Release Wetumpka,AL runs 05/31/10 - 05/31/15
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Ocoee #2, Middle Section Release Duckville,TN runs 03/15/08 - 10/28/12
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Ocoee #3, Upper Releases Duckville,TN runs 05/10/08 - 09/15/12
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French Broad Fall Fest Hot Springs,NC runs 09/22/12 - 09/22/12
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West Fork Tuck Gorge Release Glenville,NC runs 04/13/13 - 08/20/22
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Coosa Whitewater Festival Wetumpka,AL runs 05/02/14 - 05/04/14
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Upper Nantahala Release Topton, NC,NC runs 04/26/14 - 09/26/21
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Cheoah Release Robbinsville,NC runs 02/22/14 - 11/23/24, next 05/25/24
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Coosa River Whitewater Festival Wetumpka,AL runs 05/01/15 - 05/03/15
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Tallulah Tallulah Falls, GA,GA runs 04/01/17 - 11/19/23
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Catawba Bridgewater Dam Release Glen Alpine,NC runs 04/28/18 - 10/28/18
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Catawba Great Falls Long Channel Release Great Falls,SC runs 03/18/23 - 10/21/23
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Catawba Great Falls Short Channel Release Great Falls,SC runs 07/08/23 - 10/22/23
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  (iCal)  

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