This photo needs editing.
Difficulty I-II
Length 8.5 Miles
Flow Range 200 - 10000 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 29 minutes ago 191 [CFS]
Next Release
Reach Info Last Updated 06/19/2017 4:18 pm

River Description

The Bridgewater section of the Catawba River offers dam release Class II+ whitewater on a set schedule. The water is clear and cold! The first mile or two is similar to the Nantahala, with small waves and holes. After the whitewater section the river spreads out for a lazy float to the takeout.

The flow regime was negotiated by American Whitewater and Carolina Canoe Club, and other partners. Check out the 3-day flow forecast for the Bridgewater project to see what flows are on the horizon. There is also a link on the upper right of the forecast page to the calendar of scheduled releases.

This is likely an underutilized recreation opportunity in the summer when flow is scarce. Give it a try!

Rapid Descriptions


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Matthew Burneisen
1 year ago

Nice class II whitewater right at the beginning with long flatwater stretches in between. Makes for a great float fishing trip in canoes/kayaks.

Release Schedule

More Information

We have had releases on this reach but don't show any currently. This information is gathered by the public. If you know about releases then contact us about them. If you would volunteer to enter the releases, then reach out to us.

Gage Descriptions

Check out the 3-day flow forecast

Directions Description

We have no additional detail on this route. Use the map below to calculate how to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.

Date Flow Result Factor  
1998-05-18 Medium Fatality Failed Rescue Read More



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Catawba River Access Enhancements to Begin (NC/SC)

Kevin Colburn

Federal regulators recently gave Duke Energy the green light to move forward on the Catawba-Wateree recreation management plan. The plan includes public recreation requirements and agreements included in the new 40-year license FERC issued in 2015 for the Catawba-Wateree’s Hydroelectric Project. The project encompasses nearly 1,800 miles of shoreline along 11 reservoirs and multiple river reaches in nine counties in North Carolina and five in South Carolina. Projects include new picnic facilities, fishing piers, swim beaches, campgrounds, expanded parking, restrooms and additional boating access areas.

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State Clears Way for New Catawba River Dam License & Releases (NC/SC)

Kevin Colburn

Last week the State of South Carolina issued the final permit that Duke Energy needed before the federal government could issue them a new license for operating their dams.  With a new license now expected sometime this year, paddlers can start gearing up for some big changes in the Catawba Watershed including new conservation opportunities, access areas, water releases, and stream gages.

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Catawba Analysis Released, Meetings Planned

Kevin Colburn

Last week Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) staff released their draft analysis of the proposed management of a string of dams on North and South Carolina's Catawba River. FERC has announced public meetings at which the public can offer their comments and learn more about the project.  FERC has largely supported the settlement agreement that AW signed with Duke Power and dozens of other stakeholders.    

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Catawba Releases to Begin this Summer!

Kevin Colburn

Duke Energy has agreed to begin recreational releases on the Catawba River this year, prior to the licensing of their dams.  Duke has offered a partial schedule of releases on all of their dam controlled reaches except Great Falls.  We would like to thank Duke for providing these new recreational opportunities, and encourage paddlers to get out there and enjoy them this summer!  Thanks also to Maurice Blackburn of the Carolina Canoe Club for working with Duke on this great initiative.
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FERC to Host Public Catawba Meetings

Kevin Colburn

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is coming to North and South Carolina to hear what the public thinks about the relicensing of a string of dams on the Catawba River. Paddlers are encouraged to attend these meetings and share your support and enthusiasm for a vastly improved Catawba River, and the settlement agreement that will lead to those improvements.

Kevin Colburn


Matt Muir


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1207383 03/29/17 Kevin Colburn name change
1207384 03/29/17 Kevin Colburn reach descr
1207741 06/19/17 Kevin Colburn added release website.
1207385 03/29/17 Kevin Colburn gage descr
1207742 06/19/17 Kevin Colburn added release website.
1190840 02/11/05 n/a n/a