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Corps supports rafters on Westfield River with Littleville, Knightville Dam white water releases in Huntington

Published April 17, 2015

CONCORD, Mass. – Controlled releases of water are planned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, from Knightville Dam and Littleville Lake Dam in Huntington, Mass., on April 18-19, 2015 to provide adequate river flows for recreational canoeing, kayaking and rafting on the Westfield River, according to Corps of Engineers officials. This water release is subject to change or cancellation, if conditions require.


The Corps of Engineers will provide a water release flow from Knightville Dam of approximately 900 cubic feet per second (cfs) starting Saturday, April 18 at about 5:30 a.m. for the 62nd annual Westfield River Wildwater Races, according to Park Ranger Edwin Lippman at Knightville Dam in Huntington. At this time, it appears spring runoff will be sufficient to sustain this flow for most, in not all, of the rest of the weekend. Also, a flow of approximately 300 cfs will be released from Littleville Lake Dam during those days and times.


Knightville Dam was constructed at a cost of $3.3 million. The 1,200-foot-long, 150-foot-high dam can impound a 49,000-acre-foot reservoir (equivalent to 15.8 billion gallons of water). Since its construction in 1941, the project has prevented flood damages of $338.0 million ($645.3 million adjusted for inflation). More than 41,000 annual visitors enjoy the variety of recreational pursuits available at Knightville, including picnicking, hiking, fishing, hunting, horseback riding and cross country skiing and snowmobiling. For up-to-date information call the Park Ranger staff at Knightville Dam at (413) 667-3430 or visit the website at www.nae.usace.army.mil/Missions/Recreation/KnightvilleDam.aspx.


Depending on the weather, the Corps anticipates about 200 to 300 people taking advantage of the water release for recreational purposes. The water releases that support these recreational activities are subject to an adequate volume of water being available for release and could be cancelled or modified during low flow or high flow events.  


Littleville Lake, on the Middle Branch of the Westfield River in Huntington and Chester, is 1,360 feet long, 164 feet high and cost $6.8 million to construct. The reservoir can hold a 23,000-acre-foot pool or 7.5 billion-gallons. It has prevented flood damages of $152.8 million ($225.0 million adjusted for inflation) since it was placed in operation in 1965. The reservoir area offers many recreational opportunities including picnicking, fishing, hunting, canoeing, boating, nature study and cross country skiing and snowmobiling (on marked trails), and attracts more than 39,000 visitors annually.


For details on Littleville Lake call the Park Ranger staff at (413) 667-3656 or visit the website at:


Tim Dugan

Release no. 2015-039