The Coosa River Paddling Club (CRPC) was created by a diverse group of like minded people who all shared a love of adventure in the outdoors and paddling but joined together with one common goal of bringing back minimum and recreational flows to the Coosa River below Jordan Dam.
The CRPC was created in 1991 by Lonnie Carden, Karen Newton, Don Harris, Bill Garnett, Brad Hill, Preston Marshall, Joe Billy Fain, Jeff Johnson and David Haynes. At the time of the creation of CRPC, much of the water being released from Lake Jordan was flowing through Bolden Dam. The section of the Coosa River from Jordan Dam to where the Coosa joins the Tallapoosa River at Fort Toulouse to form the Alabama River was nothing more than a stagnant pool from 1980 to 1991.
After a long hard fight of our early members, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued an order for mandatory releases out of Jordan Dam. FERC’s order requires weekend recreational releases beginning the 1st Saturday and Sunday beginning every weekend after June 15th through the last Sunday in October; a minimum mandatory wildlife fisheries release of no lower than 2000 cfs 24 hours per day 365 days a year; Fisheries Spring Release from April 1st – June 15th of no less than 8000 cfs every day from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Holiday Releases on Memorial Day, July 4th, and Labor Day of 10,000 cfs; a special three (3) day Civic Event release between April 1st – June 15th. The order does contain variances for floods and severe droughts.
Our club members consist of individuals and families from all walks of life and paddling abilities. Throughout the winter and early spring, our members drive many hours in search of whitewater with the knowledge that our dependable Coosa River in our own backyard will soon be releasing its 8000 cfs recreational flows in April when many streams have long sense ceased to flow. Though many of our club members spend countless hours chasing water around the United States in other times of the year, we all return for the Coosa River Whitewater Festival which was first created in 1985 as a joint effort by the City of Wetumpka and Lonnie Carden.
The Coosa River Whitewater Festival, which is open to the general public, is now the total responsibility of the CRPC and is held one time per year. The Festival has reunited many old friends and introduced the sport of whitewater paddling to countless others throughout the years. People from around the United States return to the Festival year after year to watch the various events with the highlight of each festival being the play boaters at the famous Moccasin Gap rapids. The CRPC uses money raised from the Festival for various projects and donations which benefit and enhance this section of the Coosa River and the many people who use its waters.
The CRPC welcomes all levels of paddlers and non-paddlers. Our members are canoeists, kayakers, rafters and non-boaters. We welcome the opportunity to add you and your family to our organization. New members with like minded interest are always welcome. Please come and visit us at one of our general membership meetings.
The Coosa River Paddling Club (CRPC) is an all-volunteer non-profit organization and has applied for its 501c3 IRS designation.