• PO Box 20194, Lehigh Valley, PA 18002

Welcome to Lehigh Valley Kayak & Canoe Club!

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Leading a trip and instructing can be rewarding experiences. All it takes to is a little bit of time and a little common sense…. 

1. Know the body of water you are paddling by recent trip or by scouting. 

2. Select meeting place and time. 

3. Plan easiest way to shuttle.

4. Advise people about the nature of the trip, what class it is, time it will take, 

equipment to bring, how to get to  the meeting place, perhaps supply maps. 

5. Inquire as to paddling ability and level of experience. 

6. Find out how many are coming. Screen out problem situations: For example, 

parents with no experience who want to bring 2- or 3- year old children on a 

whitewater trip. 

7. Make sure participants are members of the LVKCC. Do not accept membership forms at the put-in.Verify membership with the Membership chair or download latest membership list from club website.

8. Be prepared for emergencies ( First aid kit, throw bag, tow rope.) It is highly recommended that someone on the trip is certified in CPR and First Aid.

9. Make sure each person has and wears a P.F.D. 

10. Know who cannot swim, or has any medical or health problems. 

11. Encourage learning of technique on each trip. 

12. Provide or arrange for safety and salvage equipment. 

13. Appoint competent lead and sweep people. Sweep boat has First Aid kit and 

rescue gear. 

14. Announce trip rules and enforce them. 

15. Keep record of participants. 

16. Make sure everyone has a shuttle at end of trip. 

17. Make sure everyone leaves for home with no problems. 

18. Give oral report at next meeting and submit write up if requested. 

 Protocols for Covid-19 or similar infectious diseases during shuttles and land based activities:

  1. Everyone is required to have a face covering while on land.
  2. At lunch breaks masks must be worn when not eating or drinking.
  3. Masks must be worn during shuttles.
  4. Maximum of four people per vehicle during shuttles.
  5. Keep windows down during shuttles.

 Infectious Disease Protocols for Instructors:

 Instructors must do the following while teaching on moving water:

  1. Wear a waterproof neck gaiter mask when on the water  for hands on rescues.
  2. Wear sunglasses or goggles to protect eyes when in close contact with students.
  3. Carry hand sanitizer as well as a basic first aid kit.
  4. Keep an instructor to student ratio of 1:5.
  5. Make sure support boaters can carry out basic instruction to keep groups small.
  6. ACA instructors must have current First Aid/CPR certification if they want credit for teaching a class.
  7. Try to keep a safe distance on the water, no rafting up.
  8. Minimize eddy crowding for instruction. Use big eddies where people can spread out.
  9. Divide larger groups into pods, each with their own instructor.
  10. Encourage self rescues.
  11. Intermediate students should have a demonstrable roll to minimize rescue needs.
  12. Buddy up. Make sure people are comfortable with their buddy being the one most likely to help them out. Have folks the live/work together be buddies if possible.
  13. Everyone must sign the new waiver which states that the LVKCC cannot guarantee that participants won’t be exposed to infectious diseases.

During this time of Covid-19 all trip coordinators and instructors must  ask potential participants the following questions prior to trip:

  1. Have you been exposed to someone with Covid-19 in the past 14 days?
  2. Are you currently in isolation/quarantine?
  3. Do you currently have any Covid-19 symptoms?
  4. Are you at high risk if you contact Covid-19?

Anyone who answers “yes” to one or more of these questions is not allowed on the trip.


January 2, 2020

District Engineer, Philadelphia District

US Army Corps of Engineers

Planning Division

100 Penn Square East

Philadelphia, PA 19107

RE: Francis E. Walter Dam Reevaluation Study

Lt. Colonel Park: 

The Lehigh Valley Kayak and Canoe Club (LVKCC) is a not for profit recreational club that supports and advocates for the paddlesports community in the Lehigh Valley.  We have been in continuous operation since 1989 and currently have over 380 active, dues paying members representing some 250 families from throughout the region.  

The Lehigh Valley Kayak and Canoe Club is one of the largest active paddling clubs in the country, representing all types of paddlesports (kayak, canoe, raft and standup paddle boarding) in all types of water from calm lakes to whitewater to the open ocean.  We support trips in all venues and have an extensive instructional program to provide our members with the latest equipment, techniques and safety.  The Lehigh River is our main venue for trips and training on both simple moving water and whitewater.  Our members regularly use and support access programs for the entire length of the river from White Haven to Easton.  In addition to countless ad hoc trips and activities by our members, the LVKCC conducts as many as two dozen formal trips and classes on the river over the summer and fall months, typically coordinated with the release schedule.  

The LVKCC has been active in its support of whitewater recreational releases to the Lehigh River from FEW dam since the current cooperative management began in 2005.  We regularly send a representative to the meetings when the USACE announces a new plan to make sure that the Corps is aware of our continuing use of this valuable resource.  We were particularly concerned when we learned about the Feasibility Study that would change this process and potentially our ability to use the river as we have become accustomed.

As we understand it, the proposal from New York City is to obtain control over water in the FEW dam to support potential future withdrawals of drinking water from the upper Delaware River.  The water would then be released as needed to support the requirements for water level in the lower Delaware.  We are concerned that this will eventually result in fewer and lower quantity recreational releases to the Lehigh River over the summer.   It seems likely that not only would the releases be less frequent and the quantities undefined, the dates and times would be predicated on water need and not predictable in advance.  This would make it very difficult for us to plan our events, classes and other activities on the river.  

Although it is possible to paddle under base flow conditions in the lower portions of the Lehigh River (between Lehighton and Allentown), our members particularly like to paddle the Class II and III whitewater between White Haven and Jim Thorpe.  This section would not normally run at levels high enough to support recreational paddling except for during storm events.  Unfortunately storm events are not predictable in either date or quantity, therefore planning for club activities in this section would no longer be possible, greatly diminishing our use of the resource.  

The LVKCC and its members wish to declare their strong opposition to any proposal that results in a reduction in either the quantity or frequency of recreational releases to the Lehigh River from the FEW dam for any reason.  Any future management plan must remain consistent with the dam’s authorized purpose for recreation and flood control.  


Pat Beltz, President 

Lehigh Valley Kayak and Canoe Club

c: Dan Caprioli

Steve Rochette