The Largest Lake In North Carolina,
or The Largest Man Made Lake in North Carolina,
or The Largest Man Made Lake Entirely in North Carolina,
or 2nd largest, 3rd , 4th or is Lake Norman the 5th largest lake in NC?
|I'll start with the easy facts. Lake Norman (at full pond) has 32,510 acres of
surface area, it can hold 3.4 trillion gallons or 1,093,600 acre-feet of water.
Next is Lake Mattamuskeet, the only natural lake in the top 5. It has a surface
area of about 40,000 acres. This makes Mattamuskeet much larger than Lake Norman
in surface area. However Mattamuskeet has an average depth of 2 feet. So, it has a capacity of 80,000 acre-feet of water and Lake Norman has a
capacity of 1,093.600 acre-feet of water. As you can see Lake Norman holds more
water but Lake Mattamuskeet covers more area.
Next are the 3 lakes built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. They are
Lake, B. Everett Jordan Lake and
John H. Kerr Lake. The problem is the way the
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers builds lakes. There is no "Full Pond" level for
these lakes, like there is for Lake Norman. The primary purpose of these lakes is
flood control. Because of this, the water level can vary by more than 50 feet.
In comparison, Lake Norman rarely varies by more than 7 feet.
The largest of the 3 is John H. Kerr at 83,200 acres at maximum flood-control
pool. The bulk of Kerr Lake is in Virginia with only a small portion in North
Carolina. Next is B. Everett Jordan at 51,830 acres at spillway design flood
level. The smallest of the 3 is Falls Lake at 39,960 acres at spillway design
flood level. These 3 lakes have a maximum capacity that is much greater than
Lake Norman in acres covered and the capacity to hold water. However
they have never been at maximum capacity and often cover
less area than Lake Norman.
So there you have it. The 5 largest lakes in (or partly in) North Carolina.
Which is the largest will depend on your point of view. I prefer to think Lake
Norman is The Best Lake in North Carolina!