Clay County Chamber of Commerce

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History of the Lake


Each year the lake provides recreational opportunity's to millions of visitors. Because of the  climate and relatively temperate climate and relatively long recreation season, visitors have many opportunities to fish, hunt, camp, picnic, boat, canoe, hike, ride horseback, and enjoy the outdoors.

Dale Hollow Lake belongs to you. Treat your lake and surrounding area with respect by keeping it clean and attractive.
yourself, have a safe visit and come again.


The Dale Hollow Lake Shoreline Management Plan provides policies for the effective long-range management and protection of
entrusted natural resources. These public lands are managed to allow the shoreline and forested hillsides to remain in their
natural state with no provisions for private exclusive use. Enjoy these unique resources while helping to protect them for generations to come. "Take only pictures, leave only footprints".


Dale Hollow Dam and Lake was authorized by the Flood Control Act of 1938 and the River and Harbor Act of 1943. Power generating units were added in 1948, 1949 and 1953. The project was designed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and built by private contractors under the supervision of he Corps. The dam, power-plant and reservoir are operated by the Nashville District of the Corps of Engineers.

Dale Hollow Dam is located approximately three miles East of Celina, Tennessee on the Obey River, 7.3 miles above its juncture
with the Cumberland River at river mile 380.9. Dale Hollow Lake covers portions of Clay, Pickett, Overton and Fentress Counties in Tennessee and Clinton and Cumberland Counties in Kentucky. The project consists of 27,700 surface acres of water and 24,842 acres of surrounding land.



The excellent water quality of Dale Hollow Lake is important to the operation of the Dale Hollow National Fish Hatchery located just below Dale Hollow Dam. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service operates the hatchery on 40 acres of land leased from the Corps of Engineers. Built in 1965, and expanded in 1994, the Dale Hollow Hatchery is the largest Federal trout hatchery East of the Mississippi producing 1.5 million trout annually - and average production of 300,000 pounds - for distribution in Alabama, Georgia
and Tennessee. The hatchery is open to visitors every day from 7 AM to 4 PM.

The lake abounds with fish and wildlife and is the home of one of the largest wintering Bald Eagle populations in the area. The magnificent birds are generally seen from mid-December through mid-February.



Dale Hollow's crystal clear waters makes scuba diving a popular pastime. Divers must display a "Diver Down" flag in the area where they are diving. Boaters should be alert to the "Diver Down" flag and keep a safe distance away. For more information on scuba diving and boating regulations, contact the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, (1-800-262-6704).



The Friends of Dale Hollow Lake, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the protection and conservation of Dale Hollow and support of the Corps of Engineers. For membership information call 931-243-3136.



Dale Hollow is one of the multipurpose projects that make up the Corps of Engineers' system for development of the water resources of the Cumberland River Basin. This system is an important part of a larger plan of development for the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers.

As a major unit in the system, Dale Hollow Dam and Lake functions to control the flood-waters of the Obey River and contribute to the reduction of flood levels at municipal, industrial and agricultural areas along the Cumberland, lower Ohio and Mississippi Rivers.

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Information on a new book on the History of Dale Hollow Lake written by Darren & Sheryl Shell.


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