Relicensing Studies


The following technical studies were conducted by independent consultants from 2003 to 2005.  Copies of these studies are available upon request.


Economic Study


  • Surrounding Counties Economic Impact Analysis Study: This study evaluated the positive economic impact of the Yadkin Project reservoirs on tourism and property values in local communities.  In addition, the study considered the impact of low water levels in the reservoirs.


Cultural Resources Studies


  • Cultural Resource Studies: These studies surveyed historic and archaeological sites located near the Yadkin Project, considered the eligibility of these sites for the National Register of Historic Places and evaluated appropriate measures to protect these sites.


Fish & Aquatics Studies


  • Reservoir Fish and Aquatic Habitat Assessment: This study mapped the aquatic habitat within the Yadkin Project, identified the areas of most significant habitat and evaluated the impact of the Yadkin Project’s hydroelectric operations on these habitats.

  • Tailwater Fish and Aquatic Biota Assessment: This study examined important aquatic habitats in the tailwaters of the four dams and evaluated the impact of the Yadkin Project’s hydroelectric operations on these habitats and their use by fish and other aquatic organisms.

  • Habitat Fragmentation Study: This study evaluated the impact of the Yadkin Project’s operations on fragmenting riverine and stream habitat with the Yadkin River basin.

  • Fish Entrainment Study: This study examined the potential for resident and migrating fish to be entrained into the powerhouse intakes and considered the effect that such entrainment might have on fish mortality and populations.


Recreation, Shoreline and Aesthetic Studies


  • Recreation Use Assessment: This study evaluated current and projected recreational use of the four reservoirs (High Rock, Tuckertown, Narrows, and Falls) and considered whether current facilities were adequate to meet recreational demand.

  • Recreation Facility Inventory: This study conducted a detailed inventory of existing public recreation facilities and assessed their condition.  The results were combined with results of the Recreation Use Assessment to determine what additional recreation facilities and improvements would be needed at the Yadkin Project during the term of the new license.

  • Shoreline Management Plan Comparison Study: This study compared the existing Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) with plans in place at other reservoirs in the Southeast US.  The results identified similarities and differences and recommended changes to the Yadkin SMP that would provide a balance between shoreline development and environmental concerns.

  • Regional Recreation Evaluation: This study examined recreation use and facilities in a regional context.

  • Recreation Economic Impact Study: This study estimated the positive economic effect of recreational use of the reservoirs to the surrounding counties.

  • Overall Project Aesthetic Study: This study evaluated the aesthetics of the reservoirs from public access points and considered how the visual quality of the reservoirs might be affected by the Yadkin Project’s operations.

  • Uwharrie National Forest Aesthetics Study: This study included a more detailed assessment of the visual quality of the reservoirs from the Uwharrie National Forest.


Water Quality Studies


  • Water Quality Monitoring Study: This study examined reservoir and tailwater water quality based on four years of monthly water quality monitoring data collected at more than 20 monitoring stations located throughout the Yadkin Project. In addition, the study examined how water quality is impacted by reservoir water levels and flow releases.

  • Sediment Fate and Transport Study: This study reviewed existing data and literature to understand the sources of sediment in the Yadkin Project, and to estimate the load of sediment that is retained within the reservoirs.


Wildlife and Wetlands Studies


  • Wetland and Riparian Habitat: This study mapped the location and extent of wetlands and other important wildlife habitat areas located along the reservoir shorelines.  The study also considered the impact of reservoir water levels on these habitats.

  • Transmission Lines and Project Facility Habitat Assessment: This study evaluated the impacts to wildlife and vegetation associated with Alcoa-Yadkin’s required maintenance of transmission lines and generating facilities.

  • Invasive Exotic Species Assessment: This study inventoried the presence of nuisance invasive plants and animals at the Yadkin Project, and considered how these species could be managed to reduce their impacts on native species and habitats.

  • Avian Inventory: This study inventoried bird use of the reservoirs and shorelines, and considered the impact to these uses associated with the Yadkin Project’s operations.

  • Rare, Threatened and Endangered Species Assessment: This study surveyed the Yadkin Project for rare species and their habitats.  The study also considered the impact to rare species associated with the Yadkin Project’s operations.

  • Bald Eagle and Great Blue Heron Nesting Survey: This study was a continuation of annual surveys conducted by Alcoa-Yadkin of nesting use and nesting success at the Yadkin Project by these two important bird species.

  • Yadkin River Goldenrod Assessment: This study inventoried the location of this rare plant at the Yadkin Project, and evaluated the potential impact to the plants from flow releases.