Philpott Dam Releases on Smith River – Fall 2016 Debate over Fishing and Paddling Impacts

Trout fishing, stream paddling, tourism, fishing licenses, and hydroelectric power generation are all part of a debate in fall 2016 on the Smith River, a Dan River/Roanoke River tributary.  Philpott Dam and Reservoir, on the Smith River in Franklin, Henry, and Patrick counties, are U.S. Army Corps of Engineers facilities intended to provide hydropower, recreation, flood control, water supply, low-flow augmentation, and fish/wildlife habitat (more information on Philpott is available online at  The debate focuses on the volume and timing of releases from Philpott Dam and how those releases affect fishing and boating below the dam in Franklin and Henry counties.  The debate is described in a 10/25/16 column by Bill Cochran, outdoors writer for the Roanoke Times: Anglers and paddlers differ over Smith River management.

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