Send To A Friend

Boating Links

Dale Hollow Lake

The lake is in both Kentucky and Tennessee. The Dale Hollow dam is located in Tennessee, and the largest part of the 52,542-acre lake is located in Clay County, Tennessee. Dale Hollow Dam and Lake was authorized by the Flood Control Act of 1938 and the River and Harbor Act of 1946. The project was completed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1943, making the lake the oldest artificial lake in Kentucky. The project was designed by the Corps of Engineers and built under their supervision by private contractors. Dale Hollow Dam's hydroelectric generators are used to supply power to the surrounding countryside. The Nashville District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers operates the dam, power plant and reservoir.

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency each maintain jurisdiction over the lake's waters within their respective states. Be aware of a reciprocal fishing agreement between the agencies. Recreational fisherman may be licensed by either state in order to fish in the respective reciprocal zones.


If the name Billy Westmoreland, famed smallmouth angler of Celine, Tennessee, rings a bell, then you know that you've discovered a record-breaking body of fishing water. Billy started his angling career as a guide on Dale Hollow, where smallmouth bass in the 14-to 18-inch range are very common, with good numbers of fish in the 4- to 6-pound size. Dale Hollow Lake currently holds the world record for the largest smallmouth bass ever taken at eleven pounds, fifteen ounces. Dale Hollow also holds the Tennessee state record for lake trout at twelve pounds, thirteen ounces and the Kentucky muskie title at 43 pounds.

The lake and surrounding rivers also contain species such as largemouth bass, crappie, muskellunge, walleye, catfish, gar, and trout. The Obey River below Dale Hollow Dam produced a state record rainbow trout (14 pounds, 8 ounces) and brown trout (26 pounds, 2 ounces). Finally, the lake also holds the Kentucky muskie title at 43 pounds.


   Search Dale Hollow Lake Resources
    Dale Hollow Lake KY Coordinates:
36.63417N -85.28583W
Map It:
Lake Type:
Surface Area:
52,542 acres
Maximum Depth:
118 ft
649 ft
Normal Water Clarity:
4 ft
Major City:


Water Skiing, wakeboarding, and tubing are popular water sports on Dale Hollow Lake. The main recreational use is fishing. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service uses the clear, cold water from Dale Hollow to operate a fish hatchery, which has recently been renovated to increase trout production.

Boating In Kentucky

Boat License - Boat Certificate

Boat Courses

Boat Registration

Boat Equipment Requirements

Boat Insurance Kentucky


Dale Hollow Lake State Park located on the the Kentucky side include a 144-site campground, 60-room lodge, convention center, dining room, 18-hole championship golf course, and a full-service marina with boat ramp access to a 28,000 acre pristine highland reservoir. There are many resources for lodging in the area, check the Lake Resource Guide for more resources.


The closest major city in Kentucky is Monticello. Other nearby Kentucky cities; Burkesville and Tompkinsville. The Kentucky part of the lake is located in Cumberland and Clinton counties.

Fun times at Dale Hollow Lake  dale hollow lake

  dale hollow lake   dale hollow lake

Average Temperatures Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Avg. High  46 Avg. High  52 Avg. High  61 Avg. High  70 Avg. High  78 Avg. High  85 Avg. High  89 Avg. High  89 Avg. High  83 Avg. High  73 Avg. High  62 Avg. High  50
Avg. Low  24 Avg. Low  27 Avg. Low  34 Avg. Low  41 Avg. Low  52 Avg. Low  61 Avg. Low  65 Avg. Low  63 Avg. Low  56 Avg. Low  43 Avg. Low  35 Avg. Low  28