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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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Spring Tallulah Releases Cancelled, More Releases Sought (GA)

03/02/2021 - by Kevin Colburn

Tallulah Gorge State Park has cancelled whitewater paddling opportunities this spring on the Tallulah River due to Covid-19 concerns. In response, American Whitewater and several partners are asking Georgia State Parks for two actions. First, we are asking that the closure be lifted so that paddling can be allowed this fall, if not this spring, with some standard Covid protocols in place. Second, with several partner organizations we are proposing that a long overdue shift be made in how aesthetic flows are released by the dam owner to provide for significantly more paddling opportunities each year, starting this fall.  

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2021 Southeast Advanced Release Schedule Set!

02/26/2021 - 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 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 are happy to share the 2021 schedule!

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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.

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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.

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Clean Water Act

American Whitewater's advocacy to protect water quality.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Associated Rivers

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October 2021

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Cheoah Release
08:00 am -4:00 pm america/new_york
Standard Release1000-1000 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 - 08/21/21, next 08/07/21
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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, next 08/06/21
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Cheoah Release Robbinsville,NC runs 02/22/14 - 11/13/21, next 10/09/21
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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 - 11/17/19
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Catawba Bridgewater Dam Release Glen Alpine,NC runs 04/28/18 - 10/28/18
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