A challenging, technical, and funClass II at low levels. A few scrapy spots, two portages around strainers, and series of rocks and small drops that required a lot of maneuvering. This branch of the river is narrower than the nearby parts of the West Branch, and there are more spots where you need to get through a narrow slot. Very scenic with small falls coming in. A road runs along the whole reach, but there's little traffic on that road and I was barely aware of it.
The M. Br. Westfield (Goss Hts.) U.S.G.S. gage appears to have been discontinued. The guage has been left in place to preserve the information, but a new correlation will have to be made with the West Branch Westfield in Huntington. The listed values are based on the West Branch
Ran the Middle Branch today (5/7/17); USGS gage said 3.51 ft. I'd agree with your characterization as "lower runnable," but I'm not sure the gage itself reflects what's going on in this reach, as the reach is above the Littleville Dam and the gage appears to be below it. The gage shows the level rising over May 5 and 6 and holding steady May 7, but one of our group who ran it both May 6 and May 7 said it was much higher May 6.
In any case, it was a challenging, technical, and fun Class II at today's level. A few scrapy spots, two portages around strainers, and series of rocks and small drops that required a lot of maneuvering. This branch of the river is narrower than the nearby parts of the West Branch, and there are more spots where you need to get through a narrow slot. Very scenic with small falls coming in. A road runs along the whole reach, but there's little traffic on that road and I was barely aware of it.
WENT DEC.11/04, HAD A GREAT TIME, THE WATER WAS FAST AND FUN WITH GOOD LITTLE DROPS.
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In response to requests by American Whitewater, several affiliates, and other stakeholders, FERC directed Brookfield Renewable to study the impact of its hydropower operations on whitewater boating on the Deerfield River in western Massachusetts. Boating groups and our supporters are seeking to determine optimal whitewater boating flows from the Fife Brook Dam and whether changes in hydropower operations would enhance boating opportunities, access and navigation.
American Whitewater, along with other paddling groups and outfitters, filed comments with FERC responding to the Whitewater Boating Evaluation at Turners Falls on the Connecticut River. The study showed that there is strong demand for boating on this section of the Connecticut River if sufficient flows, scheduled releases, better access, and real-time information are provided. The groups filed the comments in order to provide additional information for the environmental review and to respond to the unsupported statements by FirstLight, the utility performing the study, claiming that there is little demand for boating at Turners Falls.
A hardy group of northeast boaters climbed into the natural river channel below a hydropower dam to participate in a flow study designed to assess whether whitewater flows should be restored to this dewatered river reach on the Connecticut River. While significant obstacles remain, this site has the potential for providing instruction, playboating, and a big water feature that that could be run throughout much of the year and provide a much needed boost to the local economy.
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