Catawba River Professional Guide
Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook
"You can check the Duke Energy website (listed above) for discharge times, but the power company can and sometimes will change their generation schedule without notice. However, you can check the USGS Catawba River gauge (listed above) to see what the actual flow rate is. It takes about 1.5 hours for the flow to reach the gauge at the US 21 bridge from Wylie Dam. At the lowest flows, the river will be a little rocky and shallow. Anywhere from 2000 to 3600 cfs is good paddling.
The river will push you down without the rapids turning crazy. From 3600 to 6000 is considered high water, and the current can be very fast. Above 6,000 cfs, river waves are washed out and paddling is not recommended; it can be quite dangerous if you flip. At normal flows, the few rapids are Class I and pose no hazard."