Clinch, river, c.300 mi (480 km) long, formed by the junction of two forks in SW Va., and flowing generally SW across E Tenn. to the Tennessee River at Kingston. Its waters and those of its tributary, the Powell, are used to make a reservoir at Norris Dam; at its mouth the Clinch forms Watts Bar Reservoir. The river is thus an important part of the system of the Tennessee Valley Authority. In the 1970s controversy arose over the growing pollution problem of the waters and the effect upon fish.
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