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Tellico Lake

Tellico Lake is a reservoir created by the Tennessee Valley Authority in 1979. The Tellico Dam impounds the lower Tellico and Little Tennessee Rivers. This reservoir was TVA's last major project, and it was nearly halted by a Supreme Court decision on the Endangered Species Act over the snail darter.

Originally planned as an extension of Fort Loudoun Reservoir, the Tellico Dam diverts water through a short canal into Fort Loudoun. The canal allows barges to enter the Little Tennessee River without a lock, and it also helps to regulate flooding. TVA has banned all residential development on properties around the lake that have not been sold. This ban makes parts of the lake very inviting for visitors who prefer some isolation for their water sports and for sports fishing.


A cool-water impoundment, Tellico Lake offers excellent bass and brown and rainbow trout fishing. Other game fish include crappie, bluegill, catfish, and walleye.


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    Tellico Lake Tennessee Coordinates:
35.7778N -84.2597W
Map It:
Lake Type:
Surface Area:
16,000 acres
Maximum Depth:
60+ ft
859 ft
Normal Water Clarity:
3 ft
Major City:


Five marinas with boat docks and slips provide everything a boater or angler might need right at lakeside. Seventeen boat ramps and access areas surround the lake, allowing for both boat and bank fishing. If you make this area your home, you also can find trailer and dry boat storage.


Tellico Lake is located north of the Great Smoky Mountains, but if you're into camping you can find campgrounds near and around the lake. Blount County, located to the east of the lake, offers a variety of campgrounds, cabin rentals, and lodges. They also provide hotels and motels, B&Bs, inns, resorts, and a motorcycle center with a campground.

The lake's close proximity to Knoxville provides visitors to the area with plenty of accommodations of all types. Just a short drive to I-75 can take you into the heart of Knoxville within an hour.

Review the Lake Resource Guide for additional lodging.


Tellico Lake is close to urban and rural activities. Just 30 miles from Knoxville via I-75, visitors also can reach the Great Smoky Mountain National Park in less than two hours. The Knoxville McGhee Tyson Airport is located just 22 miles from the lake. Extending across Blount, Monroe, and Loudon Counties, this lake comes close to other towns such as Maryville, Louisville, Lenoir City, and Loudon.

Fun times at Tellico Lake  Tellico Lake

  Tellico Lake  Tellico Lake

Average Temperatures Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Avg. High  49 Avg. High  53 Avg. High  62 Avg. High  71 Avg. High  77 Avg. High  83 Avg. High  86 Avg. High  85 Avg. High  80 Avg. High  70 Avg. High  61 Avg. High  51
Avg. Low  28 Avg. Low  31 Avg. Low  37 Avg. Low  44 Avg. Low  51 Avg. Low  59 Avg. Low  62 Avg. Low  62 Avg. Low  56 Avg. Low  46 Avg. Low  38 Avg. Low  31