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Chatuge Lake

Chatuge Lake is a Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) reservoir that was completed in 1942 by impounding the Hiwassee River in Clay County, North Carolina. The resulting 7,000-acre lake straddles the North Carolina-Georgia state line, providing water recreation for boaters and anglers. The dam is located about 121 miles from of the mouth of the Hiwassee River where it meets the Tennessee River.

Chatuge Lake is surrounded by the Nantahala National Forest in North Carolina and by the Chattahoochee National Forest in Georgia. Despite this seeming isolation, real estate and lodging availability abounds north and south at the closest towns of Hayesville, NC and Hiawassee, GA. Numerous coves and fingers in this lake provide over 132 miles of shoreline filled with camping and water recreation spots.


Anglers can enjoy great sport fishing both in Chatuge Lake and in the Hiwassee River below the dam. TVA installed a concrete weir below the dam to increase oxygen levels for fish, which provides a great environment for wade fishing for trout. Although the lake is basically infertile and clear, anglers have captured some prize fish here in past years. Michael Hogsed caught a hybrid bass here in 1996 that weighed in at 17 pounds, seven ounces. A world-record hybrid bass was caught on the Georgia side of Chatuge Lake in 1995. The hybrid bass population was not stocked from 1996 to 2009, so it was all but gone until 2010 and 2011, when the GA-DNR began stocking the hybrid bass again.

Best bets today for fishing in the lake include largemouth, spotted, and white bass and bluegill. Crappie are available, but not prolific. Channel catfish and carp will bite just about anything you might drop in the water at this lake.

Anglers in boats on the lake and its tributaries are covered if they have either a GA or NC fishing license and are not anchored to the shore or to a pier or boat dock. Shoreline fishing or wading must be accompanied by licenses from the shores from which you are fishing, and anglers must follow all the regulations from that particular state. Senior and youth licenses exemptions are honored by both states on the lake.


  Search Chatuge Lake Resources
    Chatuge Lake North Carolina Coordinates:
35.0175N -83.7911W
Map It:
Lake Type:
Surface Area:
7,500 acres
Maximum Depth:
25+ ft
361 ft
Normal Water Clarity:
3 ft
Major City:


Boat ramps are available both at the reservoir and below the dam. Ramps are available at the following locations in North Carolina, including marinas:

  1. Chatuge Cove Marina
  2. Chatuge Dam Reservation
  3. Gibson Cove Recreation Area
  4. Ho Hum Campground
  5. Jackrabbit Mountain Recreation Area
  6. Lakeview Cottages and Marina
  7. Ledford Chapel Recreation Area
  8. Penland Point Campground

Chatuge Lake has two marinas in North Carolina and two marinas in Georgia. The marinas offer pontoon boat, jet ski, kayak, and paddle boat rentals, and they also offer accommodations and food.


Lodging is readily available along the shore and throughout the parks and in the two towns close to Chatuge Lake. You have choices of campgrounds, RV parks, and cottages spotted along the shorelines. You also can find resorts, cabins, condos, and hotels in Hiawassee, GA, and in Hayesville, NC.

Review the Lake Resource Guide for additional lodging.


Chatuge Lake is located in Towns County, Georgia, and in Clay County, North Carolina. The lake also is located in the middle of a box created by Interstates 75 (North Carolina and Georgia), 85 (Georgia and South Carolina), and 26 (South and North Carolina), which effectively puts this lake in proximity to four major cities in four states, including Atlanta, Georgia; Greenville, South Carolina; Knoxville, Tennessee; and Asheville, North Carolina. The two closest towns to the lake are Hayesville to the north and Hiawassee to the south.

The closest large town is Ashville at 104 miles. Ashville has a regional airport, whereas Atlanta and Knoxville have larger airport facilities. Both of those towns are located over two hours' drive from the lake.

Fun times at Chatuge Lake  Chatuge Lake

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Average Temperatures Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Avg. High  49 Avg. High  53 Avg. High  60 Avg. High  68 Avg. High  75 Avg. High  82 Avg. High  85 Avg. High  84 Avg. High  79 Avg. High  70 Avg. High  61 Avg. High  51
Avg. Low  25 Avg. Low  28 Avg. Low  34 Avg. Low  41 Avg. Low  50 Avg. Low  58 Avg. Low  62 Avg. Low  61 Avg. Low  55 Avg. Low  43 Avg. Low  35 Avg. Low  28