Coosa - Lock and Dam

Coosa, Georgia, US


Lock and Dam

Usual Difficulty III (for normal flows)
Length 0.1 Miles

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-02397000 1500 - 8500 cfs III 02h07m 25200 cfs (too high)

River Description

Floyd County's finest park and play can be found at Mayo's Lock and Dam, outside of Rome, Georgia.

The mighty Coosa fluctuates throughout the year due to unsteady flows from the Oostanala and from the Etowah (with releases from Lake Allatoona downstream) that flow into downtown Rome. The confluence of these rivers form the Coosa and not far downstream is Rome's old Lock and Dam.

Finding the Lock and Dam at consistent levels is tough, largely because of sporadic releases from Allatoona that rise and lower the water in the Coosa throughout the day. At lower water levels, running the broken part of the dam on river left is often risky due to sharp blasted rocks, debris, and rebar. At mid to high water levels, the river left side of the dam forms a nice Class III-IV rapid while the right side of the dam forms a large hole. At really high water levels, the whole thing washes out. Scout from atop the old lock to decide whether running the rapid is worth the risk or not. If not, then put in at the boat ramp alongside the many fisherpeople, onlookers, and locals, and paddle up to the dam.

The playboating below at the dam also depends on the water level, and is rarely consistent. Higher water levels often result in the dam washing out and nice, glassy waves and strong eddylines. Lower water levels result in more wave/holes and usually, much better playboating. On river left can be found the best wave/hole where simpler rodeo moves are possible. The Lock and Dam isn't exactly Rock Island, but it does service a small handful of desperate local boaters during the long summer months in Rome. Be aware, though, that you'll probably get some funny stares when you unload your Discos and G-Forces and Pops. The afterwork fishing crowd isn't quite sure what to think of whitewater boating, and whether or not you are any good, you'll probably draw quite an audience positioned atop the lock directly adjacent and about 12 feet above the playspot. Don't worry, rolls alone will wow the crowd.

Directions from Downtown Rome: From Broad Street, continue to South Broad and turn right onto Blacks Bluff Road. About 5.5 miles down Blacks Bluff, you'll see a sign for the Lock and Dam park. Turn right, follow the road down, and park nearest the lock to check out the level with a visual. If it looks good, go back up and pay the $2 parking fee.

For more information about Lock and Dam park, visit this link.


StreamTeam Status: Verified
Last Updated: 2008-05-31 12:02:54

Rapid Descriptions

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User Comments

Users can submit comments.
August 27 2011 (2703 days ago)
bennett (151951)
can you do tricks like loops and mcnastys here?
January 4 2009 (3668 days ago)
x (1)
Recent rains and extremely high levels have gotten rid of much of the debris on river left making
the wave on that side easier to get into and a bit safer.This rapid is perfect at about
3,500-6,000, but it is fun to mess around at any level. Consistant water levels are easier to come
by in winter because the Allatoona Dam is released more often then than in the summer.
January 4 2009 (3668 days ago)
x (1)
River right is a good hole.wave at almost any water level while river left forms and incredible
wave at 3000 - 5000 cfs. Watch out for rebar at low levels. Do not go if it is below 1200 cfs as it
is dangerous and not much fun. When it gets above 10,000 cfs, everything gets kinda crazy. The
normal big stuff gets washed out and a big hole is formed almost river wide. IT can be a nasty
keeper hole in spots. Generally, Lock and dam is decent at any level, and always changes with the
water levels. River right is always a good play spot
December 3 2008 (3700 days ago)
cliff knightDetails
Coosa River lock and dam is agreat little play spot at medium levels. It has a 50 or 60 foot river
run of class III or so rapids and a great play wave. The wave is good at medium levels and turns
into a beast at high levels with a hole right behind it. at low levels, it holds very well while at
high levels it tends to wash out a little more, but is still good enough to play on. This spot is
definatly a good little place to work on some play moves and other fun stuff after school or work.
Park and play only with an interesting crowd. pictures soon