Kerr Lake

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Kerr Lake
USACE John H Kerr Dam and Lake.jpg
John H. Kerr Dam and Lake in Mecklenburg County, Virginia
Location North CarolinaVirginia border, United States
Coordinates 36°34′16.13″N 78°19′33.59″W / 36.5711472°N 78.3259972°W / 36.5711472; -78.3259972Coordinates: 36°34′16.13″N 78°19′33.59″W / 36.5711472°N 78.3259972°W / 36.5711472; -78.3259972
Type Reservoir
Primary inflows Roanoke River, Dan River
Primary outflows Roanoke River
Basin countries United States
Surface area 50,000 acres (200 km2)
Average depth 30 ft (9.1 m)
Max. depth 100 ft (30 m) (at John H. Kerr Dam)
Surface elevation
  • 300 ft (91 m) (dead storage)
  • 310 ft (94 m) (power storage)
  • 320 ft (98 m) (flood storage)

Kerr Lake /kɑr/ (officially John H. Kerr Reservoir, also known as Bugg's Island Lake[1]) is a reservoir along the border of the U.S. states of North Carolina and Virginia. It is impounded by the John H. Kerr Dam, constructed between 1947 and 1952 to produce electricity and to provide flood control. Kerr Lake is owned by the US Army Corps of Engineers, and is the largest reservoir in Virginia. It is located in parts of Vance, Granville, and Warren counties in North Carolina, and Mecklenburg, Charlotte, and Halifax counties in Virginia. At its maximum capacity, it is one of the largest reservoirs in the Southeastern United States, covering approximately 50,000 acres (200 km2) and bordered by over 850 miles (1,370 km) of shoreline. The lake is named for Congressman John H. Kerr of North Carolina, who supported the original creation of the lake.

The lake is an impoundment of the Roanoke River (also called the Staunton River in Virginia). The Dan River and several smaller creeks also feed the lake. The lake is upstream of Lake Gaston. Just downstream from the John H. Kerr Dam, and visible from the viewing platform below the dam at Tailrace Park, lies Buggs Island, named for Samuel Bugg, an early settler. North Carolinians know this body of water as Kerr Lake, while Virginians know it as Buggs Island Lake or Buggs Island Reservoir.[citation needed]

The large lake is widely popular with both North Carolinians and Virginians for fishing and recreational purposes. For fishing, the lake has an abundance of large-mouth bass, striped bass (the only certified lake in Virginia to have a naturally reproducing population), crappie, catfish and bluegill. Camping is also a popular activity, with many campsites (run by the Army Corps of Engineers, North Carolina State Parks and Virginia State Parks) lining the shore including Kimball Point, North Bend Park, County Line, Hibernia, and others. Campsites for both tents and RVs are available. Jet-skiing and water-tubing occur often on the lake. Recreational motor boating and sailing also occur on the lake, with three privately operated marinas available: Steele Creek and Satterwhite Point in North Carolina, and Clarksville in Virginia. These marinas have rental slips for sail and motor boats, with additional amenities including fuel docks, marina stores, and some organized yacht clubs. The Carolina Sailing Club stages monthly regattas for several one-design sailing classes from April through October.

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