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March 2021

Greetings to all our River Neighbors!
The groundhog was certainly right in his prediction this year—it seems winter has lasted a very long time. We’ve had another rainy winter and early spring, but here at TVA we’re used to managing heavy rainfall. We had snow runoff in the central and western regions followed by a few inches of rain, so many dams on the Tennessee River and tributary rivers have been sluicing or spilling in recent weeks as we move some flood storage downstream. We’re also working closely with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to manage flooding on the lower Ohio River.

Of course, the weather can change from moment to moment, so be sure you’re getting the latest information by following TVA on our social media channels (just follow the links at the bottom of this newsletter). You can also download our Lake Levels App to see current levels, predicted elevations, planned releases and lots more.

(And remember, always keep boats a safe distance from our dams. The force of the water can be tremendous.)

With spring just around the corner, we’re all looking forward to getting outside. Throughout quarantine conditions in the past year, we’ve kept our public lands open for your enjoyment, including trails and undeveloped recreation areas. And as you read this, we are very close to opening day for our six managed campgrounds on TVA dam reservations. We look forward to hosting you there.

However, due to health and safety precautions, our playgrounds, visitor centers and most restrooms remain closed. Portajohns have been placed at some of our busiest locations.

Meanwhile, we ask you to comply with federal guidelines.
  • Do not congregate in public areas.
  • Please wear a mask when you cannot maintain social distancing on TVA-managed lands, trails and lakes.

There will come a time when this is no longer necessary, but meanwhile we ask all visitors to comply with federal law. Let’s help take care of each other.

You can check for the latest information on closures and hazards. You can also follow us on our social media channels for quick updates.

We value our visitors and want you to stay safe and healthy.
David Bowling
Vice President, TVA River & Resources Stewardship

Rain and snow pelt the Valley as Old Man Winter takes his leave
Two big storm systems producing snow, sleet and freezing rain swept the western and central portions of the TVA region, but TVA’s River Forecast Center averted any flood damage. The timing of the snow and rainfall caused for some careful flow management but so far, 2021 is not following in the footsteps of 2020, which is officially the wettest year in the Valley’s recorded history.
A Record Year for Rainfall (

Big news for Boone Reservoir
TVA has big plans for Boone Dam next month. On March 15, TVA’s River Forecasting Center will start incrementally raising the water level by about two feet per week. By mid-summer, the lake is expected to be at or near the usual summer pool level as it existed prior to 2014.  These fluctuations mark the beginning of a period of testing and performance to be completed prior to fully returning the lake to normal operations in July 2022.
Rising Waters and Anticipation (

Are the kids getting restless for spring? Check out TVA Kids
TVA’s wildlife specialists make careful studies of the plants and animals that are threatened or endangered. Then biologists create plans that will help protect wild areas.
Protecting Wildlife Habitats (

A true power partnership
In 1933 when TVA went to work building dams to harness the Tennessee River, a system of recreational trails that ran the entire 652-mile length of the river would have been unthinkable. Now it’s becoming a reality thanks to the University of Tennessee’s Tennessee RiverLine project and its partnership with TVA.
A True Power Partnership (

Melton Hill parking lot closure
Because of upgrades to the dam at Melton Hill, one of the tailwater parking areas will be inaccessible from February to November 2021.
Melton Hill Dam Parking Lot Temporary Closure (

Crayfish or crawfish? Either way, they’re important
Crayfish, crawdads, mudbugs, ditchbugs, mountain lobsters, or good eats.  No matter what you call it, crayfish are an important bellwether species that Jeff Simmons — a TVA aquatic biologist — studies to measure aquatic health.
Colossal Crayfish Collection (


If this bridge could talk
Every day for more than a century, thousands of cars have passed over the historic Wilson Dam bridge. After 102 years of weather, wear and tear, it’s no wonder the bridge was finally in need of a facelift. 
If This Bridge Could Talk (

Did you know you can check our lake levels with an app?
Get the most up-to-date information on each reservoir TVA manages, including today’s levels, predicted elevations, planned generation releases at the dams, reservoir operating guides, ecological health ratings, fish population survey results, recreation facilities and more.

The Wayback Machine
Anglers are already dreaming of warm days spent on the water. These fishermen haul in their catch at Watts Bar Reservoir in May, 1960.

Explore with the Tennessee River Valley MapGuide
Looking for new places to explore by foot, car or boat? Check out the Tennessee River Valley MapGuide. There are plenty of things to see and do close to home.

Got a question? Pick the PLIC
TVA’s Public Land Information Center (PLIC) is your single source for answers to questions about a variety of public land topics including recreational opportunities and shoreline permits. Call (800) 882-5263 between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. ET or submit your question online.

Road closings? Bridge repairs? Stay informed
For the latest notices, check out TVA new and announcements.
Boone Dam Project
We publish this newsletter to keep TVA's stakeholders informed about the programs and projects associated with TVA’s environmental stewardship, recreation and river management efforts.

Our mailing address is:
Tennessee Valley Authority
400 West Summit Hill Drive
Knoxville, TN 37902

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