Several on-the-water trips on the Dries at various flow levels are planned to take place between May and October, using natural flows in excess of 10,000 cfs, rather than scheduled releases from the dam.
In addition to determining the optimum levels for intermediate-level recreational whitewaters, the study would look into ways of avoiding conflict with other recreational river users, like anglers and a growing number of climbers who enjoy bouldering in the Dries.
Potential improvements or additions to river access points, trails and parking areas would also be examined.
Among other studies Brookfield plans to begin later this year is one to determine the stream flow rate that best supports aquatic life in the Dries, examining five habitat types: deep pools, shallow pools, shoals, runs and cascades.
Brookfield plans to conduct 10 studies as part of the re-licensing process for the dam. Other studies include an examination of fish entrapment or mortality at the dam's intake areas; the presence of rare, threatened or endangered species in the Dries; a survey of shoreline and wetland habitat; and a survey of historic and prehistoric cultural resources in the study area.
A draft report on recreational flows in the Dries should be complete by May 2014, followed by a final report in May 2015. Brookfield's final license application is due on Dec. 31, 2015.
More information on the dam's licensing process, including documents, studies and timelines, is available at www.hawksnestandglenferris.com.
Reach Rick Steelhammer at rsteelham...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5169.