Cape Fear-Haw River Navagation Hazard 4/28/07

Discussion in 'NORTH CAROLINA RIVERS TALK' started by riddleofsteel, Apr 28, 2007.

  1. riddleofsteel

    riddleofsteel New Member

    Messages:
    353
    State:
    NC
    Mybe I am the only one that did not know about this but hear is the warning;

    I put in at Avent Ferry NC Wildlife boat landing on the Cape Fear River above Buckhorn Dam this morning. Area was at pretty much normal level with 16 ft of water in the channel just above the boat landing. Channel levels were 16 to 10 ft all the way around McKays Island and to the confluence of the Deep and Haw Rivers. We turned up the Haw River to try and motor up to the base of Jordon Dam to do some fishing. I marked one big hole just beside the plywood plant at 21 ft with some big fish. Dead stripers and carp were floating everywhere I counted over 25 dead fish from one pound to probably around 25 lbs dead including a big flathead. I do not know what killed them but the abundance of dead fish may have contributed to the lack of bite this AM

    Now for the problem; As I was crossing under the highway bridge at US 1 I struck a rock, concrete or piece of iron that threw my outboard out of the water. It bashed my skeg and TRASHED my prop. This is in the CENTER of the channel between the two center bridge supports. We went back with the trolling motor and it is just out of sight under the water's surface with ZERO indication it is there as far as water disturbance or ripples. My 1648 Jon Boat draws about 4.5" of water loaded and it allowed the boat to cross over it. When the outboard got there the skeg threw the motor up and it slammed down on whatever it is just in time to let the prop grind itself against it. I was only going just above an idle. I shudder to think what damage it would have caused at any speed at all.
    I saw some huge boats on that stretch of the river today from bass boats to Carolina Skiffs to big ski boats. I talked to some guys back at the landing and they did not seem to be aware of the problem. Of course none of them said anything about going up that high on the Haw.

    If you go up there beware.
     
  2. greggofish

    greggofish New Member

    Messages:
    214
    State:
    Holly Springs, NC
    There is a buoy there normally. The recent high water washed it away.. It was put there last year after a guy hit it hard and messed up his outboard. He tried to sue the State but it did'nt work out. The Buoy was the answer. That is old debris and will flat destroy a boat. Go far left and it's about 8-10feet deep...you can run it on plane.

    That bouy is layed over everytime the river is high and I guess it finally let go.... Someone is going to get killed if they don't put a more permanent buoy there...glad it wasn't you.

    Sucks about the dead fish.....
     

  3. riddleofsteel

    riddleofsteel New Member

    Messages:
    353
    State:
    NC
    I saw a buoy marked "Danger" stuck in the floatsom down stream on the way back. A little late though.

    Are there any more hazards on the way up to the dam or near the dam I should know about ?

    What about on the Deep River side?

    Thanks for the reply
     
  4. riddleofsteel

    riddleofsteel New Member

    Messages:
    353
    State:
    NC
    Maybe a sign on the bridge marking the proper channel might be a better solution.
     
  5. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    Bridges are some of the worst places for debris.
    Every bridge I've encountered on the Cape Fear has a scrap yard under it.
    Seen more then a few scrap yards on the Neuse too.

    The junk is bad enough but it also provides a good anchor point for log jams to pile up.

    I bet there isnt any type of clause in these highway and bridge contracts dealing with construction debris left in the rivers.
    The new I-295 Bypass at Fayetteville I think has enough crap in the river around those bridges to get a good start on another set of bridges.
    Anything from steel cable to iron to concrete to chunks of steel.
    I've worked in construction long enough to know what probally happens to the construction debris once its time to demobilize off the project.
    Chunking it all in the river is alot cheaper then hauling it off.

    The trestle at Fayetteville seems to always have a huge log jam or one in the making. There is a bunch of stuff in the deep water around that trestle. I would imagine if you took the water away it would look like somebody was farming sinkers and hooks because I know there is bunch down there. I've lost my share and probally a couple more people's share but I have to say, I've caught some decent fish there.
     
  6. riddleofsteel

    riddleofsteel New Member

    Messages:
    353
    State:
    NC
    The problem at the US 1 bridge on the Haw above Buckhorn Dam is that the flat water from the dam hides the debris. A personally think it is hard like concrete from looking at what it did to my prop. If there had been some current there I might have had a chance to see ripples or a little standing wave or something. You go from 8 to 9 feet of flat water in an old river channel to right on top of a huge chunk of HARD debris. I don't think you could successfully sue the state or the bridge contractor but I do agree someone is going to get hurt bad there or destroy their boat.

    greggofish's comment about running the proper passage "on plane" proves my point. By the depth of the channel and the lack of any sign of danger it is just a matter of time before someone goes flying up the river "on plane" choses the logical path up the center of the river and comes to sudden and
    deadly stop.
     
  7. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    Above Fayetteville there is concrete dam under water that spans the river.
    If you are way up on the 295 bridge you see a slight ripple but even then it looks like wind ripple.
    Been many a boat and motor tore up on that thing

    That was built in the early 1900's when someone had the brilliant idea to divert the river through downtown. If you walk the land you can still see places where the new river channel was beginning to be dug.
     
  8. WylieCat

    WylieCat Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,177
    State:
    NC
    That sounds like a good place for an underwater demolition team to practice!! :lol:
     
  9. mack in n.c.

    mack in n.c. Member

    Messages:
    287
    State:
    cary nc
    that rock has been marked by several buoys for at leasts 15 years......that said some years there isnt a buoy there as it gets washed away..whomever is marking that rock would better serve us by like someone said putting up some kind of sign on the brigde with like danger!! rock!!! and an arrow pointing down......mack
     
  10. mack in n.c.

    mack in n.c. Member

    Messages:
    287
    State:
    cary nc
    looked back in my diary...(i keep problay too much info on my fishing trips) and that rock was marked in 1997 and water was low and it is definatly a rock.......also in 1997 it was eaten up with scrapes from boats......no telling how many boats have hit it when it is not marked......
     
  11. riddleofsteel

    riddleofsteel New Member

    Messages:
    353
    State:
    NC
    Story of my life!

    LOL

    I guess that I came out pretty good in the long run. I lost an aluminum prop that is trashed. and dented my skeg a little. I have a prop on the way and the skeg now has CHARACTER. I will have to run the engine with a new prop to be sure but I do not think the drive train is damaged. As hard as the prop hit that rock it was probably a good thing I had an aluminum prop. A stainless prop would have transmitted more of the impact to the lower unit and gears.

    I have been think of switching over to a composite prop like the Piranha. They give even more sacrifice when they hit something real solid yet as efficient as aluminum and have replaceable blades so if you only damage one or two blades you can replace just what is torn up.


    I was also think we should start a thread documenting some of these hidden dangers to navigation in NC rivers and lakes. I know we can not document every rock or log but if you know of a hidden danger in a busy waterway that is not posted or marked or that the buoy keeps getting washed out it would be nice to build a data base.
    That is how early nav charts came into being. Boat pilots kept diaries and well marked personal charts and shared info with other pilots.

    What do you think?