Lake Norman is North Carolina’s largest manmade lake, with a surface area of 32,510 acres.
Lake Norman was created in the early 1960’s when the Duke Power Company dammed the Catawba River to generate hydroelectric power.
James B. Duke’s association began purchasing land for Lake Norman in 1901.
The lake is approximately 760 feet above mean sea level.
Lake levels fluctuate on a daily and seasonally level to accommodate electricity generation.
Both the McGuire Nuclear Station and Cowans Ford Hydroelectric Station are located on the shores of Lake Norman. Steam vents from energy production on the lake produce “hot spots” in the lake.
Lake Norman boasts more than 520 miles of coastline. That’s more coastline than North Carolina and South Carolina combined!
The lake was named for Norman Atwater Cocke, a retired president of Duke Power.
Lake Norman stretches 34 miles from Cowans Ford Dam on the southern end to the tailrace of Lookout Lake at the northern end. (Note: Loch Ness in Scotland only stretches for 27 miles!)
Lake Norman’s deepest points are over 100 feet deep. The average depth is about 33 feet.
Approximately 3,200,000,000 gallons of water fill Lake Norman, weighing approximately 13,600,000 tons.
Four counties border Lake Norman: Mecklenburg; Catawba; Lincoln; and Iredell.
In the late 1990’s, a species of freshwater jellyfish found in the lake baffled scientists. The species was not known to exist in either Lake Norman or the Catawba River.
Late in 2000, reports of alligators in Lake Norman began to surface. Later that year, video of a 5-6′ alligator in Lake Norman was released to the local news. Two different alligators were spotted in the lake. No one was able to explain where the creatures came from or how they were surviving in Lake Norman. The alligators were “removed” by wildlife control officers.
The following fish can be found in Lake Norman and the Catawba River: