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New River’s “The Dries” set for nine release dates in West Virginia


The Register-Herald

People make their way across rocks at “The Dries” at Cotton Hill after fishing and swimming in the New River.
(Register-Herald photo by Chris Jackson)

BECKLEY, W.Va. — After a relicensing of Hawks Nest Hydro, the New River Dries are set to receive nine scheduled release dates in the coming spring and summer.

Once a schedule is locked down, those six-hour releases will take place on two weekend days in March and seven weekend days between the end of June and through August.

If a minimum flow of 1,600 cubic feet per second (CFPS) needed by the hydroelectric plant to power the Alloy plant is not met, then the release dates will be rescheduled.

That decision, made by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), comes after years of lobbying by interested parties ranging from whitewater outfitters to the utility itself.

The nine-day award, which occurred in late December, came only a month and a half after a letter from the entire West Virginia congressional coalition asked FERC not to allow any release dates at all.

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