Tuckasegee West Fork recreational releases scheduled with safety in mind

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GLENVILLE, N.C. - The season’'s first scheduled recreational releases at the typically de-watered West Fork Bypassed Reach of the Tuckasegee River near Glenville, N.C., are scheduled for April 13 and 14, 2013, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The releases will be set at 250 cubic feet per second, the optimal flow for whitewater paddling. The increase in water level will vary, but is not expected to exceed one foot in most places.

Limited parking will be available at Lake Glenville, along Pine Creek Road near the trailhead, for the approximately one-mile hike to the kayak put-in. Some designated parking will be provided near the takeout. Paddlers should plan to make arrangements for pickup and dropoff.

Duke Energy is completing construction of the one-mile-long High Falls Trail, which will stretch from Glenville Dam to the base of High Falls, and provide paddlers upstream access to the river reach in time for the releases. High Falls Trail – and a fishing trail along the river across from Thorpe Powerhouse – are permanent amenities for all to enjoy.

For their safety, and to respect local residents, paddlers will be directed to use designated trails and access areas only. Instructional signage will be installed at the takeout point to direct paddlers off the river. The course is six miles long, narrow and challenging, and is recommended for advanced paddlers only.

"“Recreational rafting releases like this are a unique opportunity for Duke Energy to reinforce local tourism and the economy, promote the beautiful Nantahala region, and raise awareness of the river as an important natural resource,"” said John Crutchfield, director of public safety, recreation strategy and planning services for Duke Energy. “"Safety is our priority, and we'’re working closely with local first responders to help plan a positive experience for everyone."

”Area residents can expect increased activity around the put-in and takeout points, and motorists should use caution when approaching Highway 107 near Thorpe Powerhouse and Pine Creek Road along Lake Glenville, as traffic will be heavier than usual.

Additional bypass flow releases are scheduled on the following weekends from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.: May 11, June 8, July 6, July 27 and Aug. 10.

These scheduled releases are required through the license granted to Duke Energy by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). 

Duke Energy will also conduct FERC-required maintenance work at the Thorpe Powerhouse, and it will be out of service from April 8-July 16, 2013. During this time, lake levels we be controlled by gates at the Glenville Dam, resulting in additional water passing in the West Fork Tuckasegee River Bypassed Reach during the generator outage. This may attract paddlers outside the scheduled flow release dates.

For a complete schedule of Nantahala-area flow releases, visit http://www.duke-energy.com/lakes/nantahala/nan-scheduled-flow-releases.asp

Duke Energy is the largest electric power holding company in the United States with more than $110 billion in total assets. Its regulated utility operations serve approximately 7.2 million electric customers located in six states in the Southeast and Midwest. Its commercial power and international business segments own and operate diverse power generation assets in North America and Latin America, including a growing portfolio of renewable energy assets in the United States.

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 250 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at: www.duke-energy.com.