River Levels Streamgages Weather

Total streamflow across the Catawba River was last observed at 5,306 cfs, and is expected to yield approximately 10,525 acre-ft of water today; about 91% of normal. Average streamflow for this time of year is 5,853 cfs, with recent peaks last observed on 2020-11-13 when daily discharge volume was observed at 93,784 cfs.

Maximum discharge along the river is currently at the Catawba River Below Catawba reporting a streamflow rate of 2,970 cfs. This is also the highest stage along the Catawba River, with a gauge stage of 6.14 ft at this location. This river is monitored from 3 different streamgauging stations along the Catawba River, the highest being situated at an altitude of 1,235 ft, the Catawba R Nr Pleasant Gardens.

The Catawba River is a 220-mile long river that flows through western North Carolina and South Carolina. It was historically significant to Native American tribes such as the Catawba and Cherokee. Today, it provides approximately 1.7 million people with drinking water and powers several hydroelectric power plants. The river has several reservoirs and dams, including the Lake James Dam, the Lake Hickory Dam, and the Mountain Island Lake Dam. These provide flood control, water supply, and recreational opportunities such as fishing, boating, and swimming. The Catawba River also supports agricultural uses, particularly for irrigation and livestock watering, and is home to a diverse array of wildlife, including fish, birds, and mammals.

July 20, 2024







Last Updated 2024-07-20
Discharge Volume 10,525 ACRE-FT
Streamflow 5,306.3 cfs
+1574.1 cfs (+42.18%)
Percent of Normal 90.65%
Maximum 93,784.0 cfs
Seasonal Avg 5,853 cfs
Streamgauge Streamflow Gauge Stage 24hr Change (%) % Normal Minimum (cfs) Maximum (cfs) Air Temp Elevation
Catawba R Nr Pleasant Gardens
USGS 02137727
76 cfs 1.45 ft -17.25
Catawba River Near Rockhill
USGS 02146000
2260 cfs 4.15 ft 63.77
Catawba River Below Catawba
USGS 02147020
2970 cfs 6.14 ft 31.42

Regional Streamflow


Cubic Feet Per Second


Cubic Feet Per Second


Cubic Feet Per Second


Cubic Feet Per Second

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Historical River Levels

The Catawba River (named after the Native American tribes that first settled on the banks) originates in Western North Carolina and the name of the river changes to the Wateree River in South Carolina. The river is approximately 220 miles (350 km) long. It rises in the Appalachian Mountains and drains into the Piedmont, where it has been impounded through a series of reservoirs for flood control and generation of hydroelectricity. The river is named after the Catawba tribe of Native Americans. In their Siouan language, they identified as the Kawahcatawbas, "the people of the river".
It rises in the Blue Ridge Mountains in western McDowell County, North Carolina, approximately 20 miles (30 km) east of Asheville. It flows ENE, forming, along with the Linville River, Lake James. It passes north of Morganton, then southeast through Lake Hickory just north of Hickory, NC, and into the Lake Norman reservoir. From Lake Norman it flows south, passing west of Charlotte, then flowing through the Mountain Island Lake and Lake Wylie reservoirs, where it forms approximately 10 miles (15 km) of the border between North Carolina and South Carolina. The confluence of the South Fork Catawba River and Catawba River is submerged by Lake Wylie near the NC/SC state line.
It flows into northern South Carolina, passing Rock Hill, through Fishing Creek Reservoir near Great Falls, and into the Lake Wateree reservoir, approximately 30 miles (50 km) northeast of Columbia. At the now-submerged confluence with Wateree Creek, it becomes known as the Wateree River.

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