Want to go on the Dam release day around Sept 4/5 with a bunch of kids before soccer tournament. Do you think the river will be floatable at this time or will the summers heat and dry spell make it boring? I know it’s weather dependent. Unfortunately we have to put a deposit down soon for soccer. We did this trip a few years ago on Memorial day and it was a blast. Thx for your opinions.
Maybe check with the
Lehigh Valley Canoe Club as to what the current practice of the Army Corps of Engineers is.
I used to live 30 minutes from Francis Walter Dam. At that time the Lehigh was a big dissapointment. The Army Corps that operates that dam did so in a way that would convince one that they were doing everything possible to prevent canoeing on the river.
The dam operators would renege on scheduled releases, release much less flow than promised, or release on Saturday and not on Sunday (as promised) even after lots of people had booked rafting trips.
The Corps claims that they can’t impound too much water behind that earthen dam for fear of damaging it. There were times when the Corps would release water in large amounts Monday through Friday for 2 weeks at a time (to draw down the reservoir) and then shut off flow for the weekends. During times of high natural runoff they would impound the water (for “flood control”) then release it in trickles when the rain stopped.
I heard a year or two ago that the practices of the dam operators had improved and they had become somewhat more responsive to the public. The way things work in the great Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is that whoever comes up with the most money to bribe the appropriate politicians gets what they want so I don’t know.
As of today, the Lehigh at White Haven is only flowing at 200 cfs. Unless there is a lot of rain right before your planned trip, you will be dependent on release of water from the dam.
Google this: USGS REAL TIME…
and the name of a town near the put in.