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Martinsville Bulletin: Trout fishermen voice their concerns over weekend Philpott generation

Martinsville Bulletin: Trout fishermen voice their concerns over weekend Philpott generation
Bulletin photo by Ben R. Williams: DRBA Program Manager Brian Williams (left) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Operations Project Manager Craig "Rocky" Rockwell" spoke Wednesday.

May 19, 2016

By BEN R. WILLIAMS Bulletin Staff Writer

An occasionally contentious public input session regarding weekend water flow from Philpott Dam into the Smith River hinged largely on the desires of paddlers versus the desires of fishermen.

The meeting, the second of three public input sessions on the topic, was held Wednesday night at the Historic John D. Bassett Event Center in Bassett and hosted by the Dan River Basin Association (DRBA). Brian Williams, Project Manager for DRBA, and Craig "Rocky" Rockwell, US Army Corps of Engineers Operations Project Manager at Philpott Dam, heard input from about 20 people in attendance at the meeting and answered a variety of questions.

In late August, Williams said, Dominion Power announced that it would begin generating power on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., an arrangement that was to last, at minimum, through December.

For more than a decade, Williams said, DRBA had heard requests from paddlers asking for weekend generation, because large sections of the Smith River are inaccessible by watercraft if there is no water flowing from the dam.

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