US Army Corps of Engineers
Norfolk District

Gathright Dam’s third pulse release set for Aug. 14

Published Aug. 9, 2019
Gathright Dam in Alleghany County, Virginia, impounds water flowing down the Jackson River to create the 2,500-acre Lake Moomaw. Since opening in 1979, the dam has prevented numerous floods, saving countless dollars and lives.

Gathright Dam in Alleghany County, Virginia, impounds water flowing down the Jackson River to create the 2,500-acre Lake Moomaw. Since opening in 1979, the dam has prevented numerous floods, saving countless dollars and lives. (U.S. Army photo/Vince Little)

COVINGTON, Va. – Gathright Dam operators are scheduled to conduct the year’s third water-pulse release from Lake Moomaw on Aug. 14.

The pulse, managed by Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in coordination with the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, will occur between 6 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

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

People who use the river are advised to be aware of fluctuations caused by the pulses, agency officials said.

Remaining pulse dates in 2019 are set for the following Wednesdays:

  • Sept. 4
  • Sept. 25
  • Oct. 16

Dates are subject to change based on weather conditions and rainfall.

Norfolk District announces schedule changes on its website at www.nao.usace.army.mil and social media platforms at www.facebook.com/NAOonFB and https://twitter.com/NorfolkDistrict.

Pulse releases, which began in 2011, are designed to improve aquatic habitat and water quality in the Lower Jackson River. Monitoring data has shown the increased flow scours excess algae from downstream aquatic habitat and strengthens the river’s health.

According to its mission statement, Norfolk District provides innovative engineering solutions – in collaboration with partners – to deliver water resources, military, interagency, environmental and disaster-response programs that make communities, the commonwealth of Virginia and nation a better place to work and live.