Pee Dee River
Catchment area of the Pee Dee Rivers
Fishing on the Pee Dee River in Yauhannah, South Carolina
The Pee Dee River or Great Pee Dee River is a river in the United States. It has its origin in the Appalachian Mountains in North Carolina, where its upper reaches is known above the mouth of the Uwharrie Rivers Yadkin River. The river is largely accompanied by dams for flood control and hydropower generation. The river's name is derived from the Indian tribe of the Pee Dee. Tribe and river gave the name for the Pee Dee region known in the northeastern counties of South Carolina.
The river is navigable to the Fall Line in Cheraw (South Carolina) and was from the colonial era to an important trade route. Near the river mouth near Georgetown was up to the turn of the 19th to the 20th century, one of the largest wood-processing company. The pine forests along the river were felled and the trunks herabgeflößt the river, where they were cut and shipped to the northern areas of the United States and Europe.
The flood plain of the lower reaches of the river was used until the mid-19th century to the intensive cultivation of rice. Rice was at that time one of the most important goods that were exported from Georgetown. After the Civil War, rice cultivation declined by the end of slavery and because of increased competition. Two hurricanes in the early 20th century eventually destroyed most of the irrigation channels and therefore attracted a line under rice cultivation in the area.
Today, the river is no longer used extensively for shipping. However, it is still an important source for the generation of hydroelectric power and drinking water supply, but also serves to recreation and leisure. While the river in South Carolina largely to flow freely through dams exist in the upper reaches in North Carolina several dams. By opening and closing the flood gates strong fluctuations in water flow caused, which sometimes led to controversy over the distribution of water between the two states, especially during dry periods. To a lesser extent commercial fishing of Alosae and on the lower reaches of shrimp also exists. For the recreational fishing and boating, the river is well-suited, which is why there are numerous boat launch. The majority of the river runs through pristine forests, however; grow along the shore, especially Nyssa, Nyssa sylvatica and oak. Herons and alligators are widely used on the river, occasionally one meets on bald eagle.
The river section downstream from U.S. Highway 378 to the Winyah Bay is a designated Scenic River.
Among the tributaries include Lumber River, Little Pee Dee River, Lynches River, Black River and Waccamaw River. The river empties into the Winyah Bay and thus into the Atlantic Ocean.
Snow Iceland is a large island at the mouth of the Lynches River. On it was during the Revolutionary War, the headquarters of General Francis Marion. The island granted him and his militia a safe retreat, as his camp was not found by the British.