Unicoi Outfitters is north Georgia's premier guide service and fly fishing outfitter, located on the Chattahoochee River near alpine Helen. Look for fishing reports, gear and book reviews, and general musings here from our staff and guides.

Friday, July 24, 2009

DNR on Blue Ridge Dam Repair

Blue Ridge Dam photo by Ron MayhewDan Forster of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources has written the TVA regarding the Draft Environmental Assessment associated with the 2010 scheduled drawdown of Lake Blue Ridge for repairs to the dam.

The DNR has made specific recommendations concerning this drawdown to hopefully minimize the detrimental effects on the trout fishery on the Toccoa River below the dam. We know there is a lot of concern over the Toccoa River and it's good to know the DNR shares those concerns.

Click here to read the DNR letter to the TVA.

Photo courtesy Ron Mayhew.


  1. I'm not that familiar with the technical language of that letter, but it seems to me there are some concerns about what the health of this dam maintenance might do to the Toccoa fishery. Did I read it wrong? Is there an assessment of the repairs that's in plain English?
    Thanks much!

  2. Basically, there are three concerns the DNR is addressing.

    1) Which "drain" to use - the existing penstock or a new "Low Water Outlet"

    2) The timing of the beginning of the drawdown - either July, August or September

    Both of the above contribute to the temperature of the river and the amount of Dissolved Oxygen (DO). Both of these are critical to trout health. The potential DO levels and temperatures are such that trout may not be able to survive...it's borderline, particularly if the wrong choices are made.

    3) Timing of the drawdown releases to lessen the impact to angling accessibility.

    In all areas, the DNR is recommending options that have the least negative impact on the trout fishery.