From Joemess on boatertalk (2-23-03):
A friend, my wife and I had a chance to run the Long section of the dewatered Catawba riverbed near Great falls. I do not know anybody that has ever ran this before and I figured with the rain we had there would be a chance it was running. When we got the the bridge above the put in, we could see just a little water starting to spill over the cofferdam. We set shuttle and headed off. One warning, the put in is on PRIVATE land. The takeout, however is on public land and can be accesessd at the Stumpy Pond Boat Ramp. For the first 3/4 mile or so there was not to much water and we did a fair amount of scraping over the rocks and did a lot of tree and dead wood dodging. After a set of islands where a creek empties into the riverbed it started to come alive. There were about 6 good rapids with many waves, wavetrains, and eddylines to goof on in between. I didn't see any huge waves to play on, but with the river 60-100 yards wide in places I am sure I could have missed them. Lots of fun. Took about 7 30 second movies and a few pics. The photos are here.
I uploaded one movie to American Whitewater but I am having no luck with the others. (is there a file size limit?) It can be seen at:
This was one of the nastier rapids of the day. (mostly because there was wood sharing the ride down with me) If I can't get the others to load I will have to figure somewhere else to put them or just mail them to those that are curious.
Thanks to my Wife and Al who did this with me today. It was amazing.
any new news about releases on this section?
Time for a long overdue update on this reach. In October of 2004 AW in partnership with Duke Power successfully completed the flow study on both river sections. The quality of the whitewater and playspots were impressive. We are currently in the middle of negotiations to determine the number of opportunities to boat his section in the future. I look forward to continue to work with AW to bring this section of the Catawba river back to life. Completion of this project is slated to 2007-2008.
Any news or updates on this run? Will it see water in the future?
A major update is needed for this run. The AW arranged a series of test releases and the run is being considereed for regular rleases.
In this months AW, Jeff Tallman wrote an article describing a section of the Catawba river in between Rock Hill and Columbia S.C. This is a two mile section of old riverbed that has not had water in it since the early 1900's on a regular basis. AW is trying to secure regular flows in the channel for us to use.
With all ths rain we have had this last week, Great Falls is running as we speak.(according to duke dude this afeternoon. It wasn't this morning) According to a Duke power contact there is at least 2 ft of water going over the Coffer dam and into the old Dewatered Riverbed. I am getting ready to drive back down to look at it this afternoon and get some pictures of the Fishing creek Dam with 2 floodgates open. I have some photos I have taken inthe past when I have chanced upon it running and ran the section and they can be viewed
there are photos of it with no water and with water running in both channels. The titles to the albums will say Great falls or dewatered. There are 3 or 4 and they should be on the first page.
I will post an update in an hour or so after I get back to verify what the Duke person said. Ill add details then.
Permits are not required for this reach.
We have no additional detail on this route.
Use the map below to calculate how
to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.
on Catawba @Great Falls
Long Channel, heading downstream
First rapid dishes out surprizes
2nd rapid on the short channel
3rd rapid on short channel
Crowd watches from the dam
Short Channel Diversion weir, behind bars
2nd rapid in the short Channel
Great Falls Diversion
Welcome to Great Falls
Great Falls Diversion Dam
OC-1 Great Falls
Great Falls with Water
Great Falls Dewatered
Great Falls on the Catawba river in SC
One of many Rapids
Scouting the Dam
Running the Diversion Dam at Great Falls
Punching a Hole on Great Falls
Dam at Great Falls
Bunny Runs a Granite Slot
Bunny on Great Falls of the Catawba
one of the bigger drops in Great Falls on the Catawba in SC
Great falls run
the dam above great falls
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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.
Check out a quick video update from the Great Falls of the Catawba, 11 years after American Whitewater joined a group of 70 organizations, agencies, and individuals in signing a Settlement Agreement that will shape the management of the Catawba River for the next 30-50 years.
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.
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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