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Joe's Brook (Joe's Pond to Morses Mills)

Sunday Apr 13, 2003
Participants:
Kayak: Mike Henry, Matt Holmes, Brian Lyster, Matt Schwartz, Chris Weed
Open Canoe: Randy Allen, Tony Shaw
Organizer: Tony Shaw
Difficulty: advanced WW
Level: low boatable
Gauge (cfs): est. ~200-
Author: Tony Shaw

5 kayakers and 2 open canoers had a fantastic day on Joe's. Although the level was frustratingly low in some places (where the gradient eased and the streambed widened), the big drops (where the water channels down) were all quite passable and plenty challenging! Every rapid was run by at least one boater, with the exception of the covered bridge drop in S. Danville (too steep and complex for anyone's tastes, even at this level).

The ice was not yet off Joe's Pond, so the water was predictably cold, but the sun shone brightly and adrenaline ruled the day -- noone quit on account of the cold!

There were a few strainers poking out from the banks here and there, but only one riverwide strainer (where the gradient eases below the falls, in the 'storied' covered bridge section).

GMP has provided me with the following information, which can be useful for future outings on Joe's Brook...

The turbine releases 125 cfs at full load (1100 kw), but on this day it was running half load (50-60 cfs, equivalent to 300 kw). The bladder at the dam when fully inflated is 1.83 feet, but the state requires GMP to lower it when necessary so as not to completely dewater the stretch of river immediately below the dam. We observed 3 or 4 inches of water spilling over the partially deflated bladder 4/13/03, and GMP reported the pond level for that day fluctuated between 1.7 and 1.8 feet.

Mike went back within the week (at my urging) to complete the run below Morses Mills, where there is an interesting class IV gorge, and was loving that stretch he professed. I hope other managed to catch Joe's (while it ran) this spring!

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