Since there are no life guards, you naturally swim at your own risk. The eastern end is the Tuckasegee River near Bryson City. There are trails to hike off the shoreline. Fontana Dam itself is an engineering marvel. Fontana is a very deep lake, so even with lowered lake levels fishing is not compromised and public access ramps are open all year. At the time it was built, it was the world’s tallest overflow dam at 225 feet and had the largest turbines in the world. Lake Levels ; Fontana; Latest Operating Information WARNING! Next-day release schedules are usually available by 6 p.m. of the current day. The 2,147-mile Appalachian Trail crosses Fontana Dam providing a beautiful view of the lake and powerhouse. Bordered by the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Forest Service, Cheoah Lake’s shores remain undeveloped and pristine. The eastern end is the Tuckasegee River near Bryson City. With plenty of trout to feed upon, the muskie are growing at rapid rates. Maps of the Lake are available at local fishing stores. Free 2020 Travel Guide to the Smokies — Includes the Official 2020 All Aboard for the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad. Today the dam is referred to as the “Fugitive Dam”. And its deep, cold waters provide the ideal habitat for a variety of fish. And many believe it’s one of the best smallmouth bass fishing lakes in the country, including the Fisherman’s Bass Tournament Circuit, which has held a Hall of Fame Classic at Fontana. The story of its origin is effectively portrayed at the Fontana Dam Visitor Center (Open mid-April to November, 9 am – 7 pm, daily). The lake forms part of the southern border of Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the northern border of part of the Nantahala National Forest. July 2020: Sun: Mon: Tue: Wed: Thu: Fri: Sat: 1: 183: 1,703.9: 2: 184: 1,703.9 You’ll find knowledgeable staff, and plenty of boating and fishing supplies. Cheoah is 644 acres and 9.5 miles long. The upper stretch of the lake fishes much like a tailwater river, and a close eye on generation schedules from Fontana Dam is highly advisable. Learn more. In January 1945, when water first came through the dam to produce electricity for WWII industries, the 480-foot-high dam became the highest in the Eastern United States and the fourth highest in the nation. Many towns were submerged shortly after the creation of Fontana Lake, such as Proctor and Judson. From September – November TVA lowers lake levels 60-feet to allow for winter snows and spring rains. The water is clean and clear. Water release schedules can change without notice due to unanticipated weather changes or power system requirements. Rainbows and muskie are stocked by the state of North Carolina. 1,684.45. Fontana Lake is a reservoir impounded by Fontana Dam on the Little Tennessee River located in Graham and Swain counties in North Carolina. Box 509Bryson City, NC 28713. Because the lake is fairly narrow you won’t see much in the way of pleasure boat or jet ski traffic, only the occasional fisherman in search of trout and muskie. September 2019: Sun: Mon: Tue: Wed: Thu: Fri: Sat: 1: 244: 1,696.7: 2: 245: 1,696.4 Use caution! From September – November TVA lowers lake levels 60-feet to allow for winter snows and spring rains. There is only one boat access ramp – Llewellyn Branch – at the upstream end of the lake, just below Fontana Dam. The name is derived from the Italian word for "fountain". Feet MSL. In the mountains, most river and lake banks are simply too steep and too rocky to serve as a beach. Annual Drawdown —Fontana is a man-made lake with lake levels controlled by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). Shuttle service is offered to Eagle Creek and Hazel Creek – two north shore locations where you can spend time fishing, hiking, exploring and camping in the National Park. *Elevations are in feet above sea level. Visit CommonAccess compliant version of this website, A Fontana Spectacle – Opening the Sluice Gates. Large amounts of water could be discharged at any time.  It has an average depth of 135 feet (41 m) and reaches a maximum depth of 440 feet (130 m), making it the deepest lake in North Carolina. Predicted water levels are updated at least once a day, by 1 p.m. Eastern time, and may be updated more frequently when conditions warrant. Read a family’s account of a day at Fontana and Cheoah dams. You will receive a link to create a new password via email. Can't access lake information? More than 90 percent of the land around the Lake is owned by either the National Park Service or the US Forest Service. The lake forms part of the southern border of Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the northern border of part of the Nantahala National Forest. One exception is the Finger Lakes Day Use Area of Fontana Lake where you’ll find a small park with picnic tables, public restrooms and a swimming area. Fontana lake is beautiful. Download the TVA Lake Info app, an easy-to-use resource for operating on and around reservoirs and dams in the TVA region. Available for iPhone and Android devices. As with most dam-impounded lakes, the steep banks are exposed when water levels are low. Learn more about the AT. It has an average depth of 135 feet (41 m) and reaches a maximum depth of 440 feet (130 m), making it the d… For more information, read this History PDF. Annual Drawdown —Fontana is a man-made lake with lake levels controlled by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). Those fortunate enough to go boating on Fontana Lake have a unique perspective of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Fontana is a very deep lake, so even with lowered … Fontana Lake is a reservoir impounded by Fontana Dam on the Little Tennessee River located in Graham and Swain counties in North Carolina. Fontana Lake is bordered on one side by the Great Smoky Mountains. Short of a multi-day hike, Fontana Lake provides the only access into the most remote areas of the National Park. When autocomplete results are available use up and down arrows to review and enter to select. The shore is steep and drops off quickly in most areas. The 29-mile long, 11,700-acre Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) lake has more than 240 miles of shoreline. Water release schedules are updated periodically throughout the day. Cheoah Dam was made famous in the 1993 movie “The Fugitive” in which Harrison Ford “jumped” from the top of the dam to avoid capture by Tommy Lee Jones. Vital safety information. This ramp and adjacent fishing pier are both handicapped accessible. While the maximum controlled elevation of the lake (top of dam gates) is 1,710 ft (520 m), the normal Summer surface elevation is 1,703 ft (519 m). Along with a 29-mile (47 km) stretch of the Little Tennessee, Fontana Lake also extends across the lower 11 miles (18 km) of the Tuckasegee River (which flows southward from Cherokee and Bryson City) and the lower 5 miles (8.0 km) or so of the Nantahala River, extending into the scenic Nantahala Gorge. WATER LEVEL. Fontana Lake Water Level. below full pool of 1,710.00. Cheoah is fed largely by the tailrace of Fontana Dam, which provides a constant flow of clear, cold water that remains at consistent temperatures year around. Obey all posted safety regulations and precautions! The 2,147-mile Appalachian Trail crosses Fontana Dam providing a beautiful view of the lake and powerhouse. Depending on water levels, the lake is about 17 miles (27 km) long. Observed Data. Observed water levels also are updated periodically throughout the day. The only thing I do not like about this lake is there are no beaches to park on. Fontana is named after a Montvale Lumber Company logging town that was once situated at the mouth of Eagle Creek on the lake's north shore. Learn more about the AT. Fontana Lake is unique in many ways. In fact, record size muskie and walleye have been pulled from its depths. There are a number of private marinas where you can rent a boat, or put your own boat on the lake. Depending on water levels, the lake is about 17 miles (27 km) long. At places the view is unobstructed from the lake level to the top of towering Clingmans Dome, the Park’s highest peak. When the lake is at the normal summer level, a boat may be used to access remote trailheads such as Hazel Creek. Unlike most lakes in the area, shoreline development has been kept to a minimum. Discharges are in cubic feet per second and are reported at the end of the hour. Bryson City - Swain CountyChamber of Commerce 210 Main StreetP.O. The town is small and very welcoming. I would highly recommend going to the Nantahala outdoor center, there are alot of different activities and it is also very nice and fun to sit by the river and watch the rafters and kayakers.  NC 28 roughly parallels the southern shore of the lake and US 19 between Bryson City and Wesser/Lauada briefly skims an inlet at the extreme southeastern edge. If you're having technical issues with the website, please click here for assistance. Level is 25.55 feet. From the observation tower on Clingmans Dome, on a clear day the lake can be seen nearly a mile below. If you want to have a long weekend Fontana is the place to go. , "Fontana Lake, North Carolina, USA Vacation Info - Lakelubbers", U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Fontana Lake, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Fontana_Lake&oldid=980179891, Protected areas of Swain County, North Carolina, Protected areas of Graham County, North Carolina, Bodies of water of Swain County, North Carolina, Bodies of water of Graham County, North Carolina, Articles using infobox body of water without alt, Articles using infobox body of water without image bathymetry, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 25 September 2020, at 02:15. Want your lake info to go? Cheoah Lake was formed in 1919 and is the oldest dam on the Little Tennessee River.  The lake has many inlets into coves and many islands formed from former mountain peaks, especially near the eastern end. They also have very nice camping grounds. Rainbow, brown, and brook trout call Cheoah home, with some trout reaching several pounds. Please enter your username or email address. 3:00:00 AM. Sunday, November 1, 2020. Generation Releases. Both lakes — the 26 mile-long Fontana and the smaller Cheoah — provide exceptional boating for recreation and fishing. Finger Lakes is also a popular access area for canoes, kayaks, paddle boards and other non-motorized boats.
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