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Lake Monticello

Lake Monticello, also formally known as Monticello Reservoir, was created in 1978 as a pumped storage facility managed by South Carolina Electric and Gas. It provides cooling water for a single-unti nuclear reactor and its outflow goes directly into Parr Reservoir. Both lakes comprise the Fairfield Hydro Station and the V.C. Sumner Nuclear Station. This is not a tourist lake, but anglers and boaters are welcome to use all 54 miles of shoreline except for 7.2 miles located within the "Nuclear Exclusion Zone" around the reactor. A smaller 300-acre lake named Monticello Recreation Lake is attached to Lake Monticello, divided by a dike at the northern end where Hwy 99 crosses the larger 6,700-acre lake.


Fluctuations in lake depths up to three feet per day are common at Lake Monticello, and this constant rise and fall in water levels can affect fishing. The lake is noted for its catfish, and varieties of this species in the lake include blue, channel, white, bullhead, and flathead. Other game fish include largemouth and smallmouth bass, crappie, white and yellow perch, bream, carp, and gar.


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    Lake Monticello South Carolina Coordinates:
36.5335N -86.730W
Map It:
Lake Type:
Surface Area:
6,700 acres
Maximum Depth:
89 ft
387 ft
Normal Water Clarity:
3 ft
Major City:


Lake Monticello does not have a marina or boat slips available, but it has two boat ramps. One is located at Highway 215, and this is a public ramp. The other ramp also is located at the north end of the lake off Highway 99. Fishing gear and bait are available in local towns.


Although Lake Monticello Park doesn't have available camping, visitors can find everything from RV camping to primitive camping immediately north in Sumter National Forest. Fairfield County accomodations in Ridgeway and Winnsboro include B&Bs, hotels, motels, and campgrounds. Further south in Columbia, you can find a wide range of accommodations for any budget.

Review the Lake Resource Guide for additional lodging.


Lake Monticello is located entirely within Fairfield County in Jenkinsville, South Carolina. Since the lake is located only 35 miles from Columbia, visitors have easy access to lodging and other amenities throughout Fairfield County, especially in Winnsboro and Ridgeway.

Fun times at Lake Monticello  Lake Monticello

  Lake Monticello   Lake Monticello

Average Temperatures Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Avg. High  55 Avg. High  60 Avg. High  67 Avg. High  76 Avg. High  84 Avg. High  90 Avg. High  94 Avg. High  92 Avg. High  86 Avg. High  76 Avg. High  67 Avg. High  57
Avg. Low  30 Avg. Low  32 Avg. Low  38 Avg. Low  47 Avg. Low  56 Avg. Low  65 Avg. Low  69 Avg. Low  68 Avg. Low  62 Avg. Low  49 Avg. Low  39 Avg. Low  32