The Nitty Gritty
People have discovered that Lake Norman is a great place to live, work, and play. Cowans Ford Dam created the largest man-made body of fresh water in North Carolina when it dammed the Catawba River in 1963. Lake Norman is an “inland sea” with 520 miles of shoreline and a surface area of more than 32,475 acres.
Lake Norman is made up of 520 miles of pristine shoreline that includes Eastern Lincoln County, creating the perfect lifestyle. With close proximity to major interstates, but with out the frantic pace of a metro environment, Lake Norman offers attractive business
opportunities, waterfront living, a talented workforce of professionals to meet every business or family need. People have discovered that Lake Norman is a great place to live, work, and play.
• Year Built: 1959-1964
• Area: 32,510 acres at full pond
• Length: 33.6 miles
• Width: 9 miles
• Shore Line length: 520 miles
• Maximum Depth: 110 feet
• Average Depth: 33.5 feet
• Capacity: 3.4 trillion gallons of water
• Volume: 1,093,600 acre-feet
• Elevation at full pond: 760 feet above MSL
• Retention Time: 207 Days (average)
• Drainage Area: 1,790 square miles
• Average River Flow at Cowans Ford Dam: 1,726 MGD
• Named for: Norman Atwater Cocke (former president of Duke Energy)
• Source of the Catawba River: Catawba River rises in the Blue Ridge Mountains of McDowell County, approximately 20 miles east of Asheville.
• Lake Level: Call 1.800.829.5253
• Location: Lat: 35.5177689 Lon: -80.9557724
History of Lake Norman
Cowans Ford Dam created the largest man-made body of fresh water in North Carolina when it dammed the Catawba River in 1963. Lake Norman is an “inland sea” with 520 miles of shoreline and a surface area of more than 32,475 acres. Named after former Duke Power president Norman Cocke, Lake Norman is nearly as large as the other 10 lakes on the Catawba combined.
The water of Lake Norman is used in two ways to provide electricity to the Piedmont Carolinas. It’s used to power the generators at Cowans Ford Hydroelectric Station and by Marshall Steam Station and McGuire Nuclear Station to cool the steam that drives the turbines. This steam is condensed back to water so it can be pumped back through the plants and used again.
The lake provides a dependable supply of water to Lincoln County, Davidson, Mooresville, Charlotte- Mecklenburg and Huntersville.
Recognizing that Lake Norman is an invaluable recreational asset, Duke Power makes every effort to keep it an attractive place to live and play. Duke Power partnered with the state in the establishment of the Duke Power State Park. In addition, Duke has built two bank fishing areas and eight public boating access areas along the shoreline. The public can also enjoy free tours and exhibits offered by the Energy Explorium, Duke’s energy information and education center located near McGuire Nuclear Station.
Many of the Duke Power public access areas operate in partnership with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and vari- ous recreation and law enforcement agencies.
Energy Explorium –
McGuire Nuclear Station Visitor Center
For More information on group tours, programs and McGuire Nuclear Station tours, call (704) 875-5600 or 1-800-777-0003
Lake Norman Duke Power State Park
Lake Norman U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary
Lake Norman Power Squadron
North Carolina Boating Safety Coordinator NC Wildlife Resources Commission
Lake Norman Marine Commission www.marinecommission.com/norman.htm
Other Important Numbers
NC Wildlife Resources Commission
Duke Power Lake Neighbor Information Line Duke Power Lake Management
919-733-3391 803-762-5000 800-443-5193 or 704-382-8086
If you are not right on the waterfront the following access areas are available: • Beatties Ford Access Area
• Little Creek Access Area
• Westport Marina and Dry Storage
Information provided By lincolneda.org