River and Creek levels receding to normal - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

River and Creek levels receding to normal

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CALDWELL COUNTY, NC (WBTV) -

Kayakers were out enjoying the swift water of Wilson Creek on Monday, just a week after floodwaters raced through the area.

"It's at the perfect level for us now," said one of the kayakers. 

Wilson Creek has always been a popular outdoor destination but in the past year, water levels were below normal much of the time because of drought conditions. The flooding from last week put more water into the Wilson Creek Gorge than has been for some time.

While the raging floodwaters have receded, there is still runoff and spring water flowing into the creek at such a pace that levels are still somewhat elevated. North Carolina Wildlife officers said Monday that the levels right now are just right for fish to thrive in.

So, officers from the Armstrong Fish Hatchery in Marion put more than a thousand fish into the creek Monday. "We're putting some pretty big ones in too," said Gary Gouge.

Monday was a normal fish stocking day but extra important said officials. The floodwaters last week moved a lot of the fish that were in the creek downstream. "Lots of them," said fisherman Tim Pearson. "I've caught more downstream than up here," he said. Pearson said he hopes the stocking will replenish the creek. "After the flooding the water is really clear now and good for fishing."

While the extra water may have made it better for Kayakers and the fisherman, the receding water has left a lot of trash and debris. Huge logs are caught on boulders in the stream and boards and other debris can be seen along the shoreline and in the bushes. A community-wide cleanup along Wilson Creek is scheduled for this weekend. Officials expect that most of the trash will be hauled away.

As to where the water levels will stabilize, officials are not sure. Many think the aquifer system may have been significantly recharged by the flooding rains last week but won't be sure for several weeks.

In the meantime people getting into the creek have been warned to be careful of whirlpools and other spots of deep water.

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