Gauley Season Kicks Off with Plenty of Water

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Class VI-Mountain River whitewater rafting outfitters in Lansing, W. Va. report that by using careful water management techniques and conservation measures, the Army Corps of Engineers ensures whitewater rafters that this weekend's Gauley Season will start with roaring whitewater and great rides. Gauley Season runs Friday through Sundays from September 5 through mid-October.

U.S. Representative Nick Joe Rahall (D-WV) was on target with his vision of establishing a national recreation area for southern West Virginia

By using careful water management techniques and conservation measures, the Army Corps of Engineers ensures whitewater rafters that this weekend's Gauley Season will start with roaring whitewater and great rides.

"We're ready to give our guests the rides they've come to expect," said Class VI-Mountain River (http://www.class-vi.com) Managing Partner Dave Arnold. "The weather for this first Gauley Season weekend promises to begin sunny and bright, our guides are psyched for their first runs and reservations are coming in."

Arnold explained that Gauley Season comes when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers begins dropping the water levels in the Summersville Lake from summer levels to winter levels. The releases allows for added volumes in the Gauley River. In turn, that means thrills and spills as whitewater rapids on the Upper Gauley River reach exciting Class IV and V levels while rapids on the Lower Gauley come in around Class IV and III.

This fall season draw down was set forth in The Water Resource Development Act in 1986 and is done in pulses, or timed intervals, Arnold said. "The Army Corps of Engineers releases the water over a few hours time, ramping the releases up and then slowing them down during each pulse," he said.

For the first weekend of Gauley Season, the times for these pulses will be from 8 a.m. to noon on Friday, Sept. 5, and Monday, Sept. 8, and from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 6, and Sunday, Sept. 7.
t"Rafting enthusiasts come from all over the world for Gauley Season," Arnold said. "This is our busiest season, with raft trips on the Gauley and the New River, Gauley Fest in September, Bridge Day in October and the colorful fall foliage surrounding the rivers and all along the National Park.

"Gauley Season is no accident," he continued. "It's the result of cooperation of government officials, the Corps of Engineers and the community."

In 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed legislation developed by U. S. Representative Nick Joe Rahall (D-WV) that designated the Gauley as a national river and allowed for downstream recreation to be part of the Summersville Dam's project purpose, Arnold said.

"Representative Rahall skillfully crafted the legislation that made the Gauley, New and Bluestone rivers the internationally prominent recreation destinations that they are today," said David Brown, executive director of America Outdoors, an international association of the world's leading outfitters.

"U.S. Representative Nick Joe Rahall (D-WV) was on target with his vision of establishing a national recreation area for southern West Virginia," Arnold said. "The legislation made this the first lake in the nation with this designation and has paid dividends for the tourism industry and the economy of our region."

Class VI-Mountain River offer a range of whitewater rafting trip packages throughout the season, including combination packages that have New and Gauley rivers trips, Upper and Lower Gauley trips and a special New River trip on Bridge Day that allows guests to raft under the bridge and watch parachutists from as they float down from the bridge to the water, more than 930 feet below.

Class VI-Mountain River has Gauley River photos in high-resolution format and video available upon request.

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Caryn Gresham

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