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Posts Tagged #kerrlake

IT’S SPRING & THAT MEANS KERR LAKE RISES – FOR UPDATES VISIT OUR FACEBOOK PAGE.

Here we were almost showing up in the drought column in Piedmont North Carolina and Southside Virginia, then came the rains.  It’s Spring and especially during April, the showers that bring the flowers usually show up.

Kerr Lake is now over 306.5 feet above MSL (Mean Sea Level – 300′ is normal full pool) and rising, expecting to crest between 309 and 310 feet.  A number of U S Army Corps of Engineers and North Carolina State Recreation Areas are either closed or partially closed due to the high waters.  We have had no information out of DCR or the Virginia State Parks.

We are currently posting information about parks and public use areas on Kerr Lake as the information is provided to us.  As the list of boat ramps and campsites inundated by water is constantly changing we will continue to post that information on our Facebook page which you can find at www.facebook.com/kerrlakeparkwatch.

If you have camping reservations from now through the weekend, Kerr Lake Park Watch suggests that you contact the reservation system for the public park entity as individual state and federal rangers may not have the latest information.

Kerr Lake Park Watch has asked the U S Army Corps of Engineers if the QRR Plan (Quasi-Run-of-River) adopted last year will hasten the departure of the flood waters.

In the final analysis, Kerr Lake is a reservoir, not a lake.  And this, well, it’s April and the showers.  You know that story.

Photo of Nutbush area 4/26/17 by Kelly N. Blake

Posted in: KLPW - Camping Safety, KLPW - N C State Recreation Areas, KLPW - US ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS, KLPW - WATER RELATED

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FIRST OF ITS KIND SPLASH PARK IS COMING TO KERR LAKE – Virginia Governor Announces Park Improvement at Occoneechee Ground-Breaking

The 64-year old John H. Kerr Reservoir has seen a lot of changes and improvements during its lifetime.  A lot of those changes have been positive and directly made for the public’s use and enjoyment; among them campgrounds, boat ramps, picnic areas, hiking trails, playgrounds, restrooms and more.

At a ground-breaking ceremony earlier this week at Occoneechee State Park in Clarksville, Virginia a new, attraction-type of venue was unveiled, that is a “splash park” to be built within the park.  A splash park is described as a recreation area for water play that has little or no standing water. This is said to eliminate the need for lifeguards or other supervision, as there is minor risk of drowning.  Designers and project managers for the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and the Richmond design firm are calling Occoneechee’s new wet spot a “splashground.”

About 35 people attended the “by invitation only” event earlier this week at Occoneechee with most of those being public officials from DCR , the US Army Corps of Engineers (which has approved the project), Occoneechee and area park staff and a handful of local officials.

The main attraction was the combining of the ground-breaking and an official visit to Occoneechee by Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, who upon election, promised to visit every state park in the Commonwealth.  Occoneechee State Park was park to visit and the Governor made his promise become truth.  Twice the same day the governor visited the other Kerr Lake Virginia State Park, Staunton River.  While at Occoneechee, the affable McAuliffe commented to Kerr Lake Park Watch’s Frank Timberlake that Occoneechee is a “gem” of a park with the added value of being on Kerr Lake.  He was surprised to learn that Timberlake has been visiting and/or camping at Occoneechee for over 50 years. McAuliffe asked Timberlake what has drawn him to the park and the Governor received a long, positive list.

McAuliffe was accompanied by some staff and security people, but he was also accompanied by some family members, including his niece shown below as they discussed the differences in the Kerr Lake parks from other Virginia State Parks.  She told Kerr Lake Park Watch that she particularly liked the fact that a major percentage of the water going out into the splashground will be recaptured and recycled through the system.  Kerr Lake Park Watch attempted to get more information on the reclamation system and its advantages from DCR but has received nothing by posting time.

Earlier this year commenting on the economic impact that Virginia State Parks make to the Commonwealth’s coffers, Governor McAuliffe said that the park system brought in visitor fees of $224 million in 2016.  Officials at the ceremony commented that Occoneechee State Park had revenues over $4 million last year.  The new “Splashground” will undoubtedly bring in more revenues as it will be a fee-based activity.  DCR officials anticipate that the Occoneechee splash park charge will be between $5 and $8 per person.   Park officials said that there’s a comparable sprayground at Pocahontas State Park in Chesterfield, and the price there ranges from $5-$8, depending on the age and the day, with children under three getting free admission.  Projections on costs for the project that will take about a year to complete are between $1.5 million and $1.8 million.  The new splashground is expected to open Spring 2018.

Posted in: KLPW - Campground Facilities and Improvements, KLPW - Occoneechee State Park

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MAKE YOUR WANT LIST FOR THE NORTH CAROLINA PARKS ON KERR LAKE KNOWN…MAKE WAVES!

IT’S TIME FOR YOU TO MAKE WAVES! If you visit any of the seven (7) Kerr Lake State Recreation Areas on the North Carolina side of Kerr Lake then it’s time for your opinion.

The Division of NC State Parks and Recreation is putting together a survey on how best to spend the $3.75 million from the earlier-passed Connect NC Bond referendum.  When that survey is ready, we will share the link for your convenience.

Those of us in Kerr Lake Park Watch want to see some improvements/replacements of bath facilities like at Nutbush and Kimball Point.

We also would like to see some of the pressure for electric sites removed by adding electric and water sites to Henderson Point and Hibernia.

We have a detailed story coming about the late last summer visit of NC State Park top officials and some ideas that are emerging. But you, the park user, the visitor, should now express your ideas.

It’s a good time to put forth your ideas as NC State Parks will spend $3.75 million on something at Kerr Lake.  You can wait for the link to the survey or you can write now on FB or send your opinions to info@kerrlakeparkwatch.org.

You know the needs…now is the time to share them.  Make your wave!

Posted in: KLPW - Campground Facilities and Improvements, KLPW - N C State Recreation Areas

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KERR LAKE AREA – Recycle Your Christmas Trees into Fish Habitat!

BOYDTON, Va. – Once again the US Army Corps of Engineers at John H. Kerr Reservoir will be accepting used live Christmas Trees until January 31st to be recycled into fish habitat.  Designated drop off areas will be located at four Corps boat ramps/day use areas located throughout Mecklenburg County.  The four areas that will be accepting trees this year are:

  • Visitor Assistance Center by North Bend Park at Kerr Dam
  • Rudds Creek Day Use Area, on Highway 58 just outside Boydton
  • Longwood Boat Ramp, on Highway 15 South, outside of Clarksville
  • Bluestone Boat Ramp, on Highway 15 North, outside of ClarksvilleEach of these areas will have designated marked off drop locations.

At the end of January the Corps will take the donated trees, bind them together, and sink them for fish habitat. Some parks already have a marked fishing reef buoy nearby which is where the trees will be placed. “These trees are some of the best forms of underwater structure. Crappie, bass, bluegills and other fish will often use the trees to congregate in and around,” according to Billy Hoffer, Conservation Biologist at Kerr Reservoir.

Outdoor Family Choosing Christmas Tree Together

Outdoor Family Choosing Christmas Tree Together

Please drop off your Christmas tree, free of decorations, to one of the four locations above so we can keep trees out of our landfills and improve our fishery here at John H. Kerr Reservoir.  Also, please remember that it is a violation to place structures in the lake without permission.

If you have any questions or concerns about this project feel free to call Billy Hoffer, Conservation Biologist at the Corps Visitor Assistance Center at (434) 738-6143 extension 6159.

Kerr Lake Park Watch adds, take the kids along to the parks when you discard the Christmas tree.  It’s a great time to take a brisk walk around the park and the area!

Posted in: KLPW - Environmental, KLPW - US ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS

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KERR LAKE LEVEL RECEDES FROM 307.5 DOWN TO UNDER 305 FEET – HEADING BACK TO NORMAL

The water is coming down at Kerr Lake! As of the last hour, the lake is at 304.76 feet above mean sea level. The normal full pool level is 300 feet.

There are still some boat ramps, campsites, public areas and local roads affected, so if you are in doubt, call your local public agency in charge of the public area you plan to visit, being either the US Army Corps of Engineers, North Carolina State Parks or Virginia State Parks.

Recent rain from Hurricane Matthew brought Kerr up to 307.5 ft. (7.5 ft. into the flood pool). Inflows into Kerr are averaging 35,000 cfs from the storm over the last 7 days (peak hourly inflow close to 90,000 cfs). So there were inflows into Kerr that would support the maximum flood release of 35,000 cfs allowed under our revised flood operations (QRR) or Quasi-Run-of-River.  However, in consideration of the recent rain and flooding along the lower Roanoke (2 significant events in 2 1/2 weeks), The Corps did not raise declared releases from Kerr during the past two weeks, but has now made significant release increases to bring the lake level back close to the normal or guide curve.

“We supported the Corps using Kerr Lake for one of its main intents, that of flood control,” said Public Affairs Lead for Kerr Lake Park Watch, Frank Timberlake, adding, “Those people downstream in North Carolina did not need more water until their flood waters subsided to a good degree.  We think the Corps used best management practices to their best on this pretty horrific weather event.”

Timberlake added, “We at Kerr Lake Park Watch want to remind people, especially boaters that with high water often there comes what we call floaters in the water, trees and debris.  All lake visitors returning to Kerr should have a watchful eye on the water for such.”

Kerr Lake is expected to be fully recovered by this coming weekend.

 

Posted in: KLPW - MAIN NEWS, KLPW - WATER RELATED, KLPW - Water Safety

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KERR LAKE NC STATE RECREATION AREA SUPERINTENDENT’S WIFE PASSES

The leadership, members and friends of Kerr Lake Park Watch wish to express our heartfelt sympathies to Bryce Fleming and to all his family in the loss of his wife, Lori Fleming within the past few days. Bryce is the Superintendent of Kerr Lake State Recreation Areas.

A memorial service will be held Tuesday, July 5, 2016 at 2 pm at First United Methodist Church in Henderson, conducted by Pastor Terry Huffines.  The family will receive friends at a reception in the fellowship hall immediately following the service.

In addition to her parents, Lori Fleming is survived by her husband, Bryce P. Fleming and her son, Tyler of the home; her sister, Lola M Giese (Charlie) of Fort Wayne Indiana and their children Bradley, Carlie and Luke; Her mother and father-in-law, Roxanne and Bob Fleming; and brother-in-law, Greg Fleming (Anne).

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to:

  • The Nature Conservancy-TNC – NC Chapter, 334 Blackwell St. Suite 300, Durham, NC 27701;
  • American Cancer Society, www.cancer.org/donate‎;
  • or Vance Aquatics Club, www.vanceaquatics.net (click “Donate Now” tab) or by mail PO Box 2051, Henderson, NC 27536 for the Lori Fleming Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Complete details may be found on the J. M. White Funeral Home website, www.jmwhitefuneralhome.com.

Posted in: KLPW - MAIN NEWS, KLPW - N C State Recreation Areas

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VOLUNTEER DAY FOR HIBERNIA MAY 21HAS BEEN CANCELED DUE TO THE WEATHER FORECAST

The headquarters for Kerr Lake State Recreation Areas at Satterwhite Point has announced a Volunteer Day at Hibernia on Saturday, May 21st.  “We know it’s a little late and short notice, but there are a lot of mitigating circumstances with staff moves and some maintenance projects,” said Assistant Superintendent Lee Amos, “But we are hoping that members of Kerr Lake Park Watch and the general public will turn out for a while to help and that the weather will cooperate.”

Projects on tap for this year’s Volunteer Day include putting up some signs on some trails, recently refurbished by the maintenance and park personnel.  Several display cases that will house, for educational and informational purposes, both historical and environmental items and info have been built along some of Hibernia’s trails.

Park staff also hopes to work on the Hargrove family cemetery in which is buried the original owner and builder of Hibernia.  The cemetery needs some attention along with metal fence painting.  Real go-getters can bring limb trimming equipment and help push back limbs from campsites.  Last year’s successful Volunteer Day prompted a video about how a few can do much:  KLPW 2015 VOL DAY at HIBERNIA

Volunteers are badly needed, particularly with a short invite window.  Volunteers are asked to be at the picnic shelter between Area 2 and Area 3 on the main park road at 9:00 AM, Saturday, May 21.  For more information, contact the park office at (252) 438-7791.

Posted in: KLPW - Campground Facilities and Improvements, KLPW - Environmental, KLPW - N C State Recreation Areas, KLPW - Park Entertainment/Events

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CORPS OF ENGINEERS ANNOUNCES HIGH WATER CLOSURES

(Boydton, VA)   Recent heavy rainfall has caused the Kerr Lake level to rise to +308 feet mean sea level. This rise has resulted in the closure of some park areas and ramps. The following is a list of the areas that are currently affected.

Areas managed by the US Army Corps of Engineers that are closed so far are: Palmer Point Beach, Liberty Hill Fishing Access, Rudd’s Day Use, Bluestone Ramp, Staunton View Day Use, Buffalo Ramp, Grassy Creek Park, Ivy Hill Day Use, and North Bend Handicap Pier.

Ramps managed by NC Division of Parks and Recreation that are closed are:

Kimball Point Ramp, JC Cooper Ramp, Nutbush Areas 1 & 3 (Tournament Ramp is OPEN),

Henderson Point Campground Ramp and Ramp at Shelter #2, and Henderson Point Wildlife Ramp.

For campers, NC Parks advises that if you had reservations at Kerr Lake starting May 6th, please contact Reserve America at 1-877-722-6762/or on-line to find out if your reservation will be effected by the flooding. They may be able to accommodate current reservations by moving them to other campsites not effected by rising waters. This will affect on-line reservations until Tuesday May 17th, 2016.

For camping with the Corps of Engineers, if you have reservations at Rudd’s Creek or Longwood, please call Recreation.gov at 1-877-444-6777 or go online to see if your site is available. For Buffalo Park, all water front sites are closed.

For more information please call any park ranger at (434) 738-6143.

In the weekly meeting this morning, the Corps meteorologist expressed concern about another weather system that he is watching that if it hangs up like the last one, could cause concern to Kerr Lake.

Posted in: KLPW - US ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS, KLPW - WATER RELATED

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RISING WATERS OF KERR LAKE CONTINUE TO FORCE CAMPERS & PICNICKERS TO LEAVE OR HEAD FOR HIGHER GROUND

 

As the waters push on upwards to 308 feet above mean sea level, many campers, particularly those at the NC State Recreation Areas on Kerr Lake have been forced from their sites, some told to leave, others fearful of the rising flood waters.

DSC02342

Expected to crest sometime today, the high water has other anxious campers keeping a watchful eye.  As a number of Kerr Lake Park Watch have been camping on the western shore of the lake, an album of some flood photos has been put together on Kerr Lake Park Watch’s Facebook page:  Kerr Lake Park Watch May 2016 Flood Photo Album.  Members of the media are welcomed to use the photos so long as proper credit is given to Kerr Lake Park Watch.

“If there was ever a time when surprise weather dictates to us all that the US Army Corps of Engineers should go ahead and adopt the QRR (Quasi-Run-of-River) Plan, it is now,” said Lead Public Affairs for Kerr Lake Park Watch, Frank Timberlake, who was forced to move once while camping at Hibernia and said he may be forced to move again or leave by rapidly rising waters.  “No one can predict when a front will dump rain, and suddenly turn around, come back and dump more.  And while we’re saying open up the gates we hear from several sources, the NC Wildlife people are saying, “Don’t open the gates because the baby fish will be flushed downstream.’  QRR would help solve both those dilemmas.”

As a couple of members of Kerr Lake Park Watch toured parks this afternoon, only a few of the hardy campers who have fairly high ground sites can be found on the North Carolina side.

Posted in: KLPW - N C State Recreation Areas, KLPW - WATER RELATED

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KERR LAKE PARK WATCH SENDS WRITTEN REQUEST TO NC PARKS FOR DETAILS ON HOW BOND MONEY WILL BE SPENT AT THE SEVEN KERR LAKE PARKS

Kerr Lake Park Watch made it official yesterday.  Written requests were sent to Michael Murphy, the Director of the Division of State Parks requesting written information on the bond budget and requesting that the Division of State Parks open up to the public the process of selecting projects with new bond monies.

The Lead for Public Affairs, Frank Timberlake wrote to Murphy, “Today, on behalf of the members of Kerr Lake Park Watch, I am requesting a copy of the proposed plan and budget for how many dollars are to be spent and what projects at Kerr Lake would be proposed with the Division’s share of funding, purportedly $100,000,000, of the Connect NC Bond funds.

Secondly, we are requesting that the Division of State Parks set up some kind of input and review by people who actually hike, picnic, swim and camp at those seven parks.  We feel that this can be accomplished by some form of committee, survey, possibly input meetings or some effective combination of all of those.”

Timberlake commented, “We were told that some things would be coming down the line for us to view, but I haven’t heard anything from anyone, so now we’ve put the request in writing, as we intend to be an active part of this process.”

Kerr Lake Park Watch wants to review a line-item plan and budget for the improvements to the seven State Recreation Areas on Kerr Lake with a total of the $100,000,000 to be spent from the Connect NC Bond passage several months ago.

connect nc bond

Excusing the present administration, there have been some questionable improvements, even blunders, at the seven parks in previous years and with money tight and this one-time windfall for improvements, Kerr Lake Park Watch wants to give input and to have a voice in the process of selecting projects to be completed with bond money.  Kerr Lake Park Watch has already offered to fund a survey on behalf of NC State Parks and the seven State Recreation Areas, Kimball Point, County Line, Bullocksville, JC Cooper (Satterwhite Point), Nutbush, Hibernia and Henderson Point.  Nearly 1.5 million visitors use those parks annually.  “We’ve already told them at NC State Parks and we announced it about a month ago that we will be glad to survey our members and people in the region who use the parks to find out what kind of improvements they want to see,” added Timberlake.

“This could be an awesome rebuilding year for state parks with the bond passage,” said Timberlake,  “And with the parks centennial this year, we surely want to celebrate 100 years of North Carolina’s State Parks this year by making every dollar count well towards the future of another 100 years.  So we think a good part of it should be the peoples’ decision as the parks serve them and they voted for the bond issue.”

Kerr Lake Park Watch says it hopes that Director Murphy will respond quickly with the information and with a channel for public input.

Posted in: KLPW - Campground Facilities and Improvements, KLPW - MAIN NEWS, KLPW - N C State Recreation Areas

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