Lake Michie

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Lake Michie
Location Durham County, North Carolina, United States
Coordinates 36°09′40″N 78°50′30″W / 36.161092°N 78.841667°W / 36.161092; -78.841667Coordinates: 36°09′40″N 78°50′30″W / 36.161092°N 78.841667°W / 36.161092; -78.841667
Type reservoir
Primary inflows Flat River
Primary outflows Flat River
Catchment area 168 sq mi (440 km2)
Basin countries United States
Surface area 480 acres (1.9 km2)
Surface elevation 341 ft (104 m)
Settlements Durham

Lake Michie is a reservoir in central North Carolina, within the Neuse River watershed. The lake is located in northern Durham County near the town of Bahama. Fed principally by the Flat River, Lake Michie is the primary reservoir for the city of Durham. The reservoir dam was completed in 1926.[1]

In addition to retaining drinking water for the city, the concrete and earthwork dam, built between 1924 and 1926, supplied hydroelectric power to Durham until 1960, when the generators were removed.[2]

Recreational area[edit]

Lake Michie offers some of the finest Largemouth Bass fishing in the Piedmont of North Carolina. Rent a boat and motor or launch your own boat for a relaxing day of fishing without the hassles found at larger lakes. Other fish found in the lake include Bull Catfish, Mud Catfish, Channel Catfish, Flathead Catfish, Blue Catfish, Chain Pikerel, Longnose Gar, and various others.


In 2004 city officials were considering expanding the lake, which normally supplies Durham with 30–35 million US gallons (110,000–130,000 m3) of drinking water per day to address future water needs and reverse the ongoing reduction in lake volume by sedimentary deposits.[3][4]

2007 drought[edit]

During the drought of 2007, both Lake Michie and the Little River Reservoir, Durham's primary sources of drinking water, were severely affected, despite a reduction in daily water use from 37 million US gallons (140,000 m3) per day to 22.16 million US gallons (83,900 m3) per day.[5][6] As of 2 December, the lake level had fallen to 15 ft (4.6 m) below full.[7] By March 2008 Lake Michie was once again filled to overflowing, thanks to above average rainfall.[8]


  1. ^ "Water Supply and Treatment Division". City of Durham. Retrieved 2007-10-25. 
  2. ^ "City Council Meeting Minutes" (PDF). City of Durham. 2006-12-18. Retrieved 2007-10-25. 
  3. ^ Fishman, Margie (2004-01-22). "Rare mussels threatened". News and Observer. Retrieved 2007-10-25. 
  4. ^ "USGS Programs in North Carolina". U.S. Geological Survey. Retrieved 2007-10-25.  |chapter= ignored (help)
  5. ^ Dees, Matt (2007-12-06). "Durham looks for water". News and Observer. Retrieved 2007-12-06. [dead link]
  6. ^ "Water Management - Water Conservation Information". City of Durham. Archived from the original on 2007-12-12. Retrieved 2007-12-06. 
  7. ^ "Uncharted Territory : Durham, NC has only 59 days of Easy Water Left". 2007-12-02. Retrieved 2007-12-06. 
  8. ^ Bowens, Dan (2008-03-05). "Rains Raise Raleigh, Durham Reservoirs". Retrieved 2008-03-06. 

External links[edit]