Outfitters Test Rafting Below Hawks Nest Dam
A section of the New River between Hawks Nest Dam and Gauley Bridge is being studied for potential whitewater rafting.
The study of the 6-mile section known as the New River Dries is part of the process for the hydroelectric dam's re-licensing by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
Volunteer outfitters paddled the Dries last week in rafts and kayaks at several water release levels from the dam. They then filled out rating questionnaires.
West Virginia Professional River Outfitters director Bobby Bower tells the Charleston Gazette a release of 2,000 cubic feet per second provided what he called a "good, splashy ride."
During the summer, water releases are typically 100 cubic feet per second. That's the minimum flow needed to maintain stream quality and aquatic life downstream.