By RICK STEELHAMMER
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Plans for developing put-in and take-out facilities, a portage trail, changing rooms and other amenities to accommodate paddlers and anglers taking advantage of recreational releases from Hawks Nest Dam starting later this year have been completed by Brookfield Renewable, the dam’s operator.
As part of the license renewal process for the dam and related hydroelectric project, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission required Brookfield to develop a recreation management plan for those using the 5.5-mile section of the New River from which water to power the hydro plant is diverted. If approved, the plan, now before FERC for final review, is to be implemented by Brookfield, at its expense, and completed by June 22.
Under other terms of its license renewal, Brookfield, the operator of the 85-year-old Hawks Nest Hydroelectric Project, will make nine annual pulsed releases of 2,200 to 2,500 cubic feet per second from the dam to accommodate whitewater rafting and kayaking. The releases will be made on to-be-announced weekend days, starting with two dates in late March, with the rest occurring sometime from late June through early August.
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