TVA Water Release Schedules
CAUTION: The Hiwassee River is controlled by Apalachia Dam to provide power for the Tennessee Valley Authority. Water release schedules can change without notice due to unanticipated changes in weather conditions and power system requirements. A large amount of water may be discharged without warning at any time. The depth and swiftness of the river can change rapidly in the upper section of the river. Your safety depends on obeying all posted safety regulations and warnings.
TVA’s water release schedule for the Hiwassee River is available at:
- TVA - Apalachia Water Release Schedule
- 2016 Apalachia Recreational Release Schedule (PDF)
- TVA also has a downloadable app: TVA Lake Info
Recreational boaters generally require TWO generators to be running for adequate water levels for boating. TVA generally releases water in TWO generators on weekends only from Memorial Day through Labor Day, depending on rainfall amounts during the summer. This release typically begins at 11 a.m. and boaters can generally get on the river by NOON below the Appalachia Powerhouse. Be sure to double-check TVA’s release schedule before departing for your trip.
Life Jackets Required
Coast Guard approved Personal Flotation Devices, minimal type 2 or 3, are required for boating/floating activities on the Hiwassee River. Helmets are recommended on the upper section of the river, which can have Class I, Class II and Class III rapids.
Safety & Stewardship
- Be mindful that there are sections of the river that have limited or no cell phone service.
- Our shorelines are fragile ecosystems, so please restrict launching and landing to designated areas.
- Plan ahead and let someone know your paddling agenda.
- Leave No Trace. No littering or dumping. Pack it in, pack it out.
- Do not disturb natural or cultural resources.
- Respect private property. Do not trespass above the high water mark.
- Camp only in designated places.
- No campfires unless otherwise designated.
- The Hiwassee River Blueway is not responsible for your personal safety, vehicle, damage to you, your boat, or your personal property.
The following items are prohibited on the Hiwassee State Scenic River (Apalachia Dam to Highway 411).
- Alcoholic beverages
- Glass bottles
- Aluminum cans
WARNING: Paddle at your own risk. Fallen trees, built structures and other hazards are present in the water throughout the Hiwassee River Blueway system. Be alert to weather conditions, water levels and river traffic. Know your abilities. Boating involves some risk of drowning, injury or death.
DANGER: A low-head dam is located in Calhoun, Tenn., at the confluence of the Oostanaula River and Hiwassee River. All low head dams should be considered extremely dangerous for non-motorized boaters and swimmers. Do not swim, jump off or paddle upstream of a low head dam. For more information about low head dams, visit www.safedam.com.