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Why don't they release water at night?

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  • #16
    In 2014 the Buford Powerhouse produced 207,959 Mwh of electricity. The average home uses 10,812 kwh per year. So it provided enough power for about 19,234 homes that year. Keep in mind that power production varies every year due to various factors and can be much higher than that. I know power for 19,234 does not sound like much but that is not the real benefit. The real benefit is being a peaking power plant. That means when the grid gets stressed by higher than normal load or parts of it is down for maintenance Buford can make up the shortfall. In the worst case scenario that could prevent a brownout and you all know we don't have hardly any brownouts here. That is a testament to how efficiently electricity production and delivery is managed in our area.

    I will argue that the Corps does manage for trout. I remember countless times when there were smaller water releases from the emergency sluice to increase river DO and to provide a slug of cold water to the hatchery water intakes when the river had become too warm. The COE also tries to minimize water releases in the daytime during peak visitor use times on weekends and holidays during the summer. Probably more so for public safety but fisherman benefit.

    And now for the big one. The powerhouse turbines were renovated in early 2000 to provide an "auto-venting" feature that draws in oxygen to increase DO to improve water quality. So yes the COE is involved in fishery management.

    I think there is a lot of misinformation or lack of information on how the Corps manages Lake Lanier. Maybe they do a poor job communicating or maybe folks don't bother to seek out information. Nevertheless, Tim Rainy the COE manager at Lanier is a member here so why not post your questions to him or give the Lake Office a call.
    Last edited by natureman; 10-15-17, 10:39 AM.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Trout8myfly View Post
      It's the guys who run the black helicopters. They conspire with the Illuminati who control the grid and demand electricity to power their underwater mansions.

      Seriously, it's the grid. When it calls, the dam answers. Generation schedules may also link to staff availability so someone is on hand to monitor operations. But mostly it's when the wider grid needs the power. Or if the dam needs to shove water downstream.

      Trout management - or to put it another way, non-native fish management - is not even on the agenda. Having a tailwater is just a bonus of the impoundment.
      Also with everyone going green these days, they don't need to dump as much water to cool the reactors.
      We are the music-makers,
      And we are the dreamers of dreams,
      Wandering by lone sea-breakers
      And sitting by desolate streams;
      World losers and world forsakers,
      On whom the pale moon gleams.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by splatek16 View Post
        I don't think that's what big t wss saying. I think, rather, he was pontificating about the various options that could satisfy power generation, power storage, and this accidental trout fishery. I've not spent much time thinking about any of this, except when it impacts my fishing. But, I could imagine a rather decent economic impact of nurturing a metropolitan trout fishery. Possibly new guide services, and general travel to ATL.
        Again, I know nothing of this and think about this at a cursory level, at best...

        At the very least, I think folks should at least work to keep the fishery we have by reducing pollutants and such.

        That's all from me...


        Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
        If you could come up with an economical solution for energy storage, you would be a very rich man. As it stands, dams and hydro plants are what serve that purpose in the southeast. If you want an example of what mismanagement of energy policy gets you, look at Australia.
        -skunked

        Warning: all posts should be assumed to contain sarcasm and misinformation unless stated otherwise. The opinions shared are not necessarily those of the poster.

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        • #19
          Natureman- Thanks for your insight on this post and numerous others relating to the dam and tailwaters. You help to keep us grounded in fact...

          Now to rub salt in the wound. Release schedule:
          2:00 Sat.
          3:00 Sun
          8:00 Mon.

          Not everything always aligns....

          Just like living with my wife, the COE is going to DO what the COE DOES. Anticipate and use to your advantage.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by natureman View Post
            The real benefit is being a peaking power plant. That means when the grid gets stressed by higher than normal load or parts of it is down for maintenance Buford can make up the shortfall. In the worst case scenario that could prevent a brownout and you all know we don't have hardly any brownouts here. That is a testament to how efficiently electricity production and delivery is managed in our area.
            Great point and well stated. Thanks.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Uncle Fun View Post
              ...

              Not everything always aligns....

              Just like living with my wife, the COE is going to DO what the COE DOES. Anticipate and use to your advantage.

              Yes, sometimes it seems that way. The thing is we don't know on a daily basis why a decision was made to release. It could be for reasons other than power production such as downstream water supply, improve water quality, flood control in extreme situations. In the old days sometimes it was to raise the river for commercial barge operation although that industry on the Hooch is now dead.
              Last edited by natureman; 10-15-17, 01:19 PM.

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              • #22
                Another fly in the mix is the Southeast Power Administration which is a federal agency formed in 1950 that is responsible for marketing electric power and energy generated at reservoirs operated by the Army Corps of Engineers. I don't know if they interface with Ga Power and the EMCs on a daily basis to coordinate water release schedules or if they are just acting as a power broker. They are hidden away in as small building in Elberton, GA and you don't hear much about them.

                Anyway, as has been said it is complicated. I would like to read a narrative one day describing the top down process how the powers that be manage the hydro-power program.
                Last edited by natureman; 10-15-17, 02:59 PM.

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                • #23
                  Why Release in Daytime?

                  They release in the daytime because they can't see what they are doing in the dark. Then again sometimes we wonder if they know what they are doing any time of day ............8- )

                  Most of the statements in the thread are true that Buford dam with the resulting lake and cold water river is there to generate for peak power demands, and there is a clause about maintaining navigation on the lower river. If you read the documentation, Buford Dam was created first for flood control, second for power generation and a sentence or two on "recreation" which carries no further definition. Kindly note there is no statement about the lake being a water source for metro Atlanta. Atlanta gets the 'Hootch river and that's it.

                  Consider for a moment that all of those could have been met with a top release dam. That would have preserved the Hootch as warm water fishery with a better shot at a population of native species. So while it is a pain at times, we should all relish the joy of a big trout trout fishery so close to so many.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by JOHNKIES View Post
                    They release in the daytime because they can't see what they are doing in the dark. Then again sometimes we wonder if they know what they are doing any time of day ............8- )

                    Most of the statements in the thread are true that Buford dam with the resulting lake and cold water river is there to generate for peak power demands, and there is a clause about maintaining navigation on the lower river. If you read the documentation, Buford Dam was created first for flood control, second for power generation and a sentence or two on "recreation" which carries no further definition. Kindly note there is no statement about the lake being a water source for metro Atlanta. Atlanta gets the 'Hootch river and that's it.

                    Consider for a moment that all of those could have been met with a top release dam. That would have preserved the Hootch as warm water fishery with a better shot at a population of native species. So while it is a pain at times, we should all relish the joy of a big trout trout fishery so close to so many.
                    Originally posted by natureman View Post
                    In 2014 the Buford Powerhouse produced 207,959 Mwh of electricity. The average home uses 10,812 kwh per year. So it provided enough power for about 19,234 homes that year. Keep in mind that power production varies every year due to various factors and can be much higher than that. I know power for 19,234 does not sound like much but that is not the real benefit. The real benefit is being a peaking power plant. That means when the grid gets stressed by higher than normal load or parts of it is down for maintenance Buford can make up the shortfall. In the worst case scenario that could prevent a brownout and you all know we don't have hardly any brownouts here. That is a testament to how efficiently electricity production and delivery is managed in our area.

                    I will argue that the Corps does manage for trout. I remember countless times when there were smaller water releases from the emergency sluice to increase river DO and to provide a slug of cold water to the hatchery water intakes when the river had become too warm. The COE also tries to minimize water releases in the daytime during peak visitor use times on weekends and holidays during the summer. Probably more so for public safety but fisherman benefit.

                    And now for the big one. The powerhouse turbines were renovated in early 2000 to provide an "auto-venting" feature that draws in oxygen to increase DO to improve water quality. So yes the COE is involved in fishery management.

                    I think there is a lot of misinformation or lack of information on how the Corps manages Lake Lanier. Maybe they do a poor job communicating or maybe folks don't bother to seek out information. Nevertheless, Tim Rainy the COE manager at Lanier is a member here so why not post your questions to him or give the Lake Office a call.
                    Thanks Natureman, that answer is why I included the comment that there is usually more to things than we know. I am sure there are logical answers to a lot of questions we have. I have spoken with Tim and we had a very good conversation, and I know our local folks don't make all the decisions related to releases.

                    Yes they did add the auto venting feature to the turbines but just the large ones which only help during a release. I don't think that is when it's needed as the turbulence created by high flows naturally oxygenates water. No DO is added during minimal flow using the small generator from what I understand. One option would be to sluice water and run the small generator during minimum flows. It would produce less power but put DO in the upper section during off peak hours. We know they sluice water during kids fishing day in the fall to add DO.
                    http://www.bigtflyfishing.com

                    Use Promo Code NGTO for 5% off

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                    • #25
                      For those interested in the lake's backstory I recommend reading David Coughlin's book "Lake Lanier A Storybook Site". It lays out the construction of Buford Dam and the creation of Lake Sidney Lanier. I worked with David for several years while he was doing research and helped him gather old newspaper clipping and historic photographs in the COE archives. In the early planning stages of Lanier the roles of city and state politicians was basically a dance with the federal government to get the lake built without any Atlanta and State funding. If ATL had cost shared the construction there would have been no question that "water supply" was an authorized purpose. IMO they played a wink..wink...nod..nod game so they would not have to pay for its construction but get its benefits. Now after 20 years of litigation it is up to the Supreme Court to make a final decision about water supply and who gets how much.
                      Last edited by natureman; 10-31-17, 06:38 PM.

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                      • #26
                        Speaking of SEPA...
                        They are hidden away in as small building in Elberton, GA and you don't hear much about them.

                        They are part of the U.S. Department of Energy
                        I know several people who work there. I've never heard a lot about the day to day operations, other than the "managing" of the electrical supply in the southeast.
                        The City of Elberton manages their own power system, and is a member of MEAG, the Municipal Electrical Authority of Georgia.
                        BE DIFFERENT AND MAKE A DIFFERENCE! <

                        Exodus 29:18
                        Then burn the entire ram on the altar. It is a burnt offering to the LORD, a pleasing aroma, a food offering presented to the LORD. God loves BBQ!

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by browniez View Post
                          Tell them to let her rip everyday from 7 am to 9 am and 2 to 510 pm every day for the rest of forever please.
                          preach it brother!

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by fishnpreacher View Post
                            Speaking of SEPA...

                            They are hidden away in as small building in Elberton, GA and you don't hear much about them.

                            They are part of the U.S. Department of Energy

                            I know several people who work there. I've never heard a lot about the day to day operations, other than the "managing" of the electrical supply in the southeast.
                            Do they have a black helicopter parked out back?
                            Last edited by Trout8myfly; 10-16-17, 10:35 AM.
                            "What's his offense?"
                            "Groping for trouts in a peculiar river."
                            ― William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure

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                            • #29
                              Seriously?????

                              Maybe this is my resoundingly frustrating personal life this weekend speaking, but:

                              This thread is a perfect representation of why people get so frustrated with trout fisherman.

                              Earlier this summer the entire community is up in arms about having no releases. The river is going to die. Temps are crazy. The COE is trying to kill the trout. The COE wants fishing to die. Trout are evil. Everyone in the government wants to take our river.... etc. and etc.

                              THEN

                              When the COE finally starts releasing water, and its not convenient for you its a problem.

                              What do you people want?

                              Here's a hint:

                              Unless they release for 12 hours straight there is ALWAYS a place to fish within 30 to 40 minutes.

                              HOWEVER!

                              You must display a modicum of effort to get there.

                              They released at 2 PM at the dam? Big deal. Water is fishable at IF the whole day, or the backside of Jones Bridge will be perfectly fine to fish until 730 to 8, after its DARK. Not to mention that the dam would only be out of commission to fish for about an hour, after which the fishing is generally incredible.

                              So many people on here regularly drive 2 to 4 hours to fish streams in NC and TN and the like. It absolutely blows my mind that people won't drive 30 minutes one direction or the other to catch fishable water.

                              I probably made some people mad about this post, but I really don't care.

                              Perhaps the COE just realized long ago that trying to please trout fisherman was like trying to herd chickens. So they just tuned them out. That's what I would do.
                              I like em big fat and sloppy.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by browniez View Post
                                Maybe this is my resoundingly frustrating personal life this weekend speaking, but:

                                This thread is a perfect representation of why people get so frustrated with trout fisherman.

                                Earlier this summer the entire community is up in arms about having no releases. The river is going to die. Temps are crazy. The COE is trying to kill the trout. The COE wants fishing to die. Trout are evil. Everyone in the government wants to take our river.... etc. and etc.

                                THEN

                                When the COE finally starts releasing water, and its not convenient for you its a problem.

                                What do you people want?

                                Here's a hint:

                                Unless they release for 12 hours straight there is ALWAYS a place to fish within 30 to 40 minutes.

                                HOWEVER!

                                You must display a modicum of effort to get there.

                                They released at 2 PM at the dam? Big deal. Water is fishable at IF the whole day, or the backside of Jones Bridge will be perfectly fine to fish until 730 to 8, after its DARK. Not to mention that the dam would only be out of commission to fish for about an hour, after which the fishing is generally incredible.

                                So many people on here regularly drive 2 to 4 hours to fish streams in NC and TN and the like. It absolutely blows my mind that people won't drive 30 minutes one direction or the other to catch fishable water.

                                I probably made some people mad about this post, but I really don't care.

                                Perhaps the COE just realized long ago that trying to please trout fisherman was like trying to herd chickens. So they just tuned them out. That's what I would do.


                                ^ This post is another reason I wish there was a like button on ngto.
                                Well said. I was complaining, but still got to fish. Making the time. And I'm more curious about the details of the dam them anything else.



                                Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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