June 17, 2016
By BEN R. WILLIAMS
Whether someone prefers trout fishing or paddling, both sides agree that a compromise eventually can be found regarding weekend power generation at Philpott Dam.
A third public input session was held on the topic Thursday evening at First Baptist Church of Ridgeway and hosted by the Dan River Basin Association (DRBA). Brian Williams, Project Manager for DRBA, spoke at the event and fielded questions, along with Scott Smith of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.
The debate on weekend generation hinges largely on the desires of trout fishermen, who can only wade fish when the water level in the Smith River is relatively low, and the desires of paddlers, who can only enjoy their watercraft when the water level is relatively high.
In late August, Dominion Power announced that it would begin generating power on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., an arrangement designed to provide windows on weekends for paddlers to enjoy the river.
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