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Old 08-20-2008, 11:32 AM
 
6 posts, read 16,086 times
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I've read that S. Holsten and Watauga, like most lakes in the TVA are drawn down in fall and winter to accomodate for the spring rains. Its documented that S. Holsten is lowered up to 40' while Watauga is lowered by up to 20'. What I haven't been able to find is some indication of how much lake is left after the drawdown. Specifically, what are the boating conditions like during drawdown (Sept thru Feb).

Are there any avid fishermen or pleasure boaters that can elaborate on off-season boating conditions.

Also, what is the water clarity of these lakes. Is the clarity affected by the drawdown or spring rains?

Thanks,
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Old 08-20-2008, 07:16 PM
 
Location: Beautiful East TN!!
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Hello,
Hubby grew up in Carter County and spent a lot of time around Watauga Lake. It is 600 feet deep in most parts of it, so don't think 20 feet is going to effect the boating and fishing much.
Hope that helps.
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Old 08-21-2008, 08:35 AM
 
Location: Kingsport, TN
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There was no drawdown at either lake last year and there won't be again this year, as they're already below normal drawdown levels due to the ongoing drought. Some recent articles:
Water Levels Keep Falling At South Holston Lake | TriCities
TVA officials discuss drought situation (http://www.johnsoncitypress.com/Detail.php?Cat=LOCALNEWS&ID=64466 - broken link)
Low water levels pose boating hazard | TriCities

FWIW, at full pool (1959') Watauga Lake's maximum depth is 305' and its average depth is just 52', per this website:
Watauga Lake Homepage | Lake Watauga | Lakelubbers

As of 8/21, Watauga is 14.8' below full pool while S. Holston is down 28' from full pool (1729'). South Holston's maximum depth at full pool is 245'.

More info on Watauga Lake:
Watauga Lake Magazine
Watauga Lake, Tennessee's Appalachian Mountain Beauty
TWRA - Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency - Watauga Reservoir
TVA: Watauga Reservoir
TVA: Watauga Operating Guide

South Holston Lake:
South Holston Lake Homepage | South Holston Reservoir | Lakelubbers
TWRA - Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency - South Holston Reservoir
TVA: South Holston Reservoir
TVA: South Holston Operating Guide

Last edited by kamoshika; 08-21-2008 at 08:58 AM..
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Old 08-22-2008, 08:40 AM
 
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Wow, excellent information, Thanks.
My wife and I are visiting the Tri-Cities area in early September to continue our hunt for the perfect retirement place. We really enjoy TN and narrowed our search to the Eastern section. We like the Norris Lake area a lot, but before we make any decisions, we'll visit Watauga and S Holston lake areas. We like the idea of being closer to a population area like the Tri-Cities, rather than Knoxville.
Thanks.
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Old 08-22-2008, 12:15 PM
 
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Boone Lake seems to be the lake in the region that is affected the most by TVA Fall drawdowns. This may be more of a perception due to the amount of houses and growth around the lake - S. Holston and Watauga are surrounded by forest property. Boating and fishing should not be negatively impacted by the drawdowns- some of the best fishing spots are accessible after the lake levels drop!
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