Nantahala Power and Light's Bryson Dam

This dam is located on the Oconaluftee River, about a half-mile upstream from its confluence with the Tuckasegee. It was built by the town of Bryson City, and began supplying power from a single generator in 1925. A second unit was added four years later. NP&L acquired the project in 1942, and licensed it with the FERC in 1980 (#2601). The dam is 341 feet wide and 36 feet high. It has a controlled spillway with two tainter gates, an uncontrolled overflow spillway consisting of 4 arch sections, and an integral powerhouse.

Within the power house, two turbine/generators produce about a megawatt maximum capacity with 526 cfs of flow. There is a third bay with a sluice gate that can be used for additional spilling if necessary. The reservoinr is 1.5 miles long, and has a surface area of 38 acres at full pool of 1828.4 feet MSL. Because of the terrain, there is no usable flood storage. The drainage area upstream is given as 188 square miles, with average inflow at 534 cfs. There is a small transformer yard adjacent to the powerhouse, and it looks like the "switchyard" is on the power poles.

Now this is the house for us! Just across the dirt road from the powerhouse.

A local fisherman shows off his catch. Dams are always popular fishing places.