US Army Corps of Engineers
Norfolk District Website

Gathright Dam pulse release scheduled for Wednesday

Norfolk District Public Affairs
Published June 26, 2017
COVINGTON, Va. -- Gathright Dam's intake tower casts a shadow over Lake Moomaw. The earthen and rolled rock-fill dam, pictured in the upper right-hand corner of the photo, impounds the flow of the Jackson River and creates Lake Moomaw, serving both flood control and recreational purposes. (U.S. Army photo/Kerry Solan)

COVINGTON, Va. -- Gathright Dam's intake tower casts a shadow over Lake Moomaw. The earthen and rolled rock-fill dam, pictured in the upper right-hand corner of the photo, impounds the flow of the Jackson River and creates Lake Moomaw, serving both flood control and recreational purposes. (U.S. Army photo/Kerry Solan)

COVINGTON, Va. -- Operators at Gathright Dam near Covington, Virginia, will conduct the year's first pulse release of water from Lake Moomaw Wednesday. 

The pulse, conducted by the Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in cooperation with the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, will begin at approximately 6 a.m. and end at 1:30 p.m. 

At the peak of the pulse, the dam will release 3,500 cubic feet per second and will increase Jackson River water levels 3 to 4.5 feet. 

The agencies advise people who use the river to be aware of the river fluctuations caused by the pulses.   

 The pulse release is the first of six that the Norfolk District scheduled through October 2017.   

Remaining pulse dates are scheduled for the following Wednesdays:

July 26
Aug. 16
Sept. 6
Sept. 27
Oct. 18

 All dates are subject to change based on weather conditions and rainfall. 

 The pulse releases, which have been conducted since 2011, are designed to mimic the river flow that would occur without the dam during heavy rainfall. Monitoring data has shown that the increased flow scours excess algae from the downstream aquatic habitat and improves the health of the Jackson River.