A Deeper Drawdown on Chatuge this Winter
At the request of the North Carolina Department of Transportation, TVA will reduce water levels in the Chatuge Reservoir approximately 4 to 5 feet below typical drawdown levels. For comparison, this is essentially the same level reservoir users experienced during late 2007.
The request from NCDOT comes so that crews can dissemble bridge piers from the old North Carolina Highway 175 bridge as traffic flows to a newly constructed bridge. The reservoir will reach targeted levels by late November and will be held until mid-January or until NCDOT work is complete. Boaters should use extra caution at this time as above- and below-water obstructions are expected.
Normal spring refill will begin in mid-March, and with expected rainfall runoff levels, the reservoir will reach its normal summer levels by June 2015.
Sport fishing is popular at Chatuge, both in the reservoir and in the Hiwassee River below the dam. A concrete weir has been installed below the dam to provide a steady flow of water in the riverbed and to increase oxygen levels for fish and other aquatic animals. Wade fishing for trout is popular here since fish are attracted to the weir, where food is abundant.
Chatuge is operated for many purposes, including flood damage reduction, power generation, and augmentation of water flows for navigation downstream.
More information on Chatuge Reservoir