This scenic lake amid the Appalachian Mountains has 130 miles of shoreline and 7,000 surface acres at normal summer pool levels. Chatuge Reservoir, located on the Hiwassee River in western North Carolina, is 13 miles long and extends southeast from the dam into North Georgia. The reservoir is named after a nearby Cherokee settlement. Chatuge Lake is frequently visited by thousands each year who take advantage of all the adventures the lake has to offer.
Many visitors are drawn to the Chatuge Reservoir for its fishing, and thirty-two fish species can be found in the lake. Chatuge has a fair amount of stumps, logs, and brush in places but is not rife with cover. Tournament fishing is common, and several state-record fish have been pulled from the lake's waters. The water is deep, and fishing in depths of 25 feet or more is common on Chatuge. Bass is predominant, with varieties including spotted bass, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, hybrid striped bass, and white bass found in the lake. In addition, Lake Chatuge is home to crappie, sunfish, and channel catfish, as well as walleye and bluegill. Wade fishing for trout is also popular in the Hiawassee River, just below Chatuge Dam. Concrete weirs, installed to increase oxygen levels and water flow, provide the trout with an ideal habitat.