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Corps supports rafters, canoeists on Ashuelot River with white water releases from Surry Mountain Dam in Surry

Published May 1, 2015

CONCORD, Mass. – Controlled releases of water are planned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, from Surry Mountain Lake Dam in Surry, New Hampshire, on May 1-2, 2015, to provide adequate river flows for recreational canoeing, kayaking and rafting on the Ashuelot 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 water release flows from Surry Mountain Lake Dam of approximately 275 cubic feet per second (cfs) starting at about 5 p.m. on Friday, May 1, and continuing on to Saturday, May 2 until about noon or when the stored water for the event is depleted, according to Acting Project Manager  Christie Baker of Surry Mountain Lake Dam in Surry.


This water release will support the annual Ashuelot River Canoe Race which has been held for about 30 years. Depending on the weather, the Corps anticipates about 150 participants and 300-plus spectators taking advantage of the water releases 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. 


Construction of Surry Mountain Dam, just north of Keene, was completed in 1941 at a cost of $2.8 million. The 1,800‑foot‑long, 86‑foot‑high dam has a reservoir storage capacity of 10.6 billion gallons of water.  During the 1987 flood, this dam utilized 100 percent of its storage capacity and prevented $8 million in flood damages.


Since construction in 1941, the dam has prevented flood damages estimated at $149.5 million ($350.5 million adjusted for inflation). Surry Mountain Lake provides recreational opportunities, such as fishing, swimming and boating to 58,000 visitors annually. 


For more information on Surry Mountain Lake contact the Park Ranger staff at (603) 352-2447 or (603) 352-4130 or visit the website at  www.nae.usace.army.mil/Missions/Recreation/SurryMountainLake.aspx.

Tim Dugan

Release no. 2015-042