Fontana Lake & Dam
The highest dam east of the Rockies is located just 35 miles West of Bryson City, North Carolina. Towering 480 feet in height this dam backs water for 29 miles and provides a major source of energy for the Tennessee Valley. With 10,640 acres of water surface Fontana provides great recreational water activities such as boating, knee-boarding, water-skiing and some of the best Pike and Bass Fishing anywhere.
Chambers Creek, Eagle Creek, Forney Creek, Hazel Creek, Lands Creek, Nolands Creek, and Pilkeys Creek, which are tributaries that feed Fontana Lake, offer the trout fisherman a rare opportunity to catch native trout in creeks where few men have fished since the lake covered the communities, roads and townships that once thrived here. The whole town of Judson was submerged in water and communities like Hazel Creek, Proctor, Sugar Fork, and Medlin were cut off from the outside world because the lake covered the only access road, but some of the old cemeteries, chimneys, and roads still remain which will fascinate any history buff. Hazel Creek was and is an enchanted land for the folks who lived there. Click here for stories about Hazel Creek and the Road To Nowhere.
Facts About Fontana Dam
Height: 480 feet.
Length: 2,365 feet.
Thickness at base: 376 feet.
Power: Three generating units with a total capacity of 241 megawatts.
Construction started: January 1, 1942.
Start to fill reservoir: November 7, 1944.
First electricity generated: January 20, 1945.
Project cost including switchyard: $74,681,000.
Drainage area: 1,571 square miles.
Reservoir volume: 1,443,000 acres-feet.
Lake Area: 10,640 acres
Lake Length: 29 miles.
Shoreline: 248 miles.
Man-hours to build: 34.5 million.
Total concrete poured: 2.8 million cubic yards.
Annual area rainfall: 75-80 inches.