While this is can an enjoyable float, there are at least three hazards in this section. Just downstream of Dudley Park is Easley Mill Rapid, a signficant class III that drops 8 feet in a short distance. Some would insist Easley is class IV at higher water. Easley Mill is formed from the remnants of a mill dam and the streambed is populated with loose rocks of a jagged nature. If you run this, a helmet is highly recommended. If you swim, do not try to stand up in the current as there is a high risk of foot entrapment in this rapid.
There are 2 or more pipes that cross the river in this section. These pipes have been known to form large logjams that can trap floating objects. In 2004, an UGA student who was floating another section of the Oconee, passed away after getting trapped under a pipe-formed logham, near Will Hunter Roads. The water level was unusually high that day, producing a high current velocity and thus very strong current was straining throught the logjam.
If you are unfamiliar with this section, it is advised to run it a low level for the first time, in order to have time to get out and around any potential jams.
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Permits are not required for this reach.
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Claude Terry, paddler, outfitter, and conservationist, died on November 20th, 2019. He was 83. A microbiologist by training, Terry began paddling in the mid-1960's while a professor at Emory University. He took to whitewater readily, and it became an important focus of his life. In 1969 he met veteran paddler Doug Woodward, and in 1971 the two became the technical advisers for the movie “Deliverance.” Afterwards, Terry and Woodward purchased the rafts Warner Brothers used in filming and bought 19 acres near the river. This became Southeastern Expeditions, one of the Southeast’s first whitewater outposts on the Chattooga. In 1974, Terry took then-Gov. Jimmy Carter on three trips on the Chatooga River, totaling 57 miles. This inspired Carter to get the Chattooga included in the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act and influenced later decisions protecting rivers across the U.S.“Terry adopted me as one of his students,” Carter told Outside Online in a 2017 interview. “it opened my eyes to the relationship between a human being and a wild river that I never had contemplated before that. When I got to be president I vetoed 16 different dam projects all over the United States.” Terry eventually quit his Emory University job and started full time career in environmental advocacy, including founding American Rivers, a principal U.S. conservation group. For the next 30 years he specialized in environmental projects involving rivers and wetlands and later, when he became a board-certified toxicologist, he developed an expertise in hazardous waste cleanups. He was an active paddler until sidelined by Parkinson's Disease. A passionate teacher and advocate, he is sorely missed by all who knew him. Click through for an excellent obituary and a photo of Terry taking Governor Carter over Bull Sluice!
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