Nestled in the Foot Hills of the North Georgia Blue Ridge Mountains
Carters Lake embraces a spectacular tract of foothills scenery in the Blue Ridge
Mountains of North Georgia. Its sparkling waters and rugged shoreline provide a beautiful
surrounding for a variety of recreational opportunities which include camping, fishing,
picnicking, boating, mountain biking and hunting.
Carters Lake has 3200 surface acres and is more than 450 feet deep its 62 miles of
natural shoreline boasts no private docks or developments, the lake is named after
Farrish Carter who owned property nearby in the 1800's. Carters Dam is the tallest
earthen dam east of Mississippi river.
The Coosawattee Wildlife Management Area at Carters Lake consists of approximately
6,060 acres of mountain land in Gilmer and Murray Counties. This area is open for
deer hunting with archeryequipment only. Small game and turkey may be hunted with
firearms during open seasons (see current Georgia Hunting Regulations for season
dates). The terrain is typical of the Southern Appalachian foothills and upper Piedmont
region. Forest types in the Carters Lake area consist primarily of upland hardwood
and mixed pine hardwood stands. Elevations range from 700 feet in valleys to 1376
feet on ridge tops. To further supplement natural sources of food for wildlife in
the area, food plots have been established by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources
and the Army Corps of Engineers.
Hunting is permitted on most of the public land adjacent to Carters Lake (see map).
Hunting is also allowed in campgrounds (archery only) after they are closed for the
season. When campground gates are closed for the winter no vehicle access is permitted. During
the annual wheelchair hunt, no archery hunting will be permitted (wheelchair hunt
dates posted in Georgia hunting regulations handbook). Hunters may gain access to
remote areas of the lake by boat using Corps of Engineer boat ramps around the project.
Developed recreation areas posted with orange safety zone signs are closed to all
hunting. Please consult the Georgia Hunting and Fishing regulations for additional
Come enjoy a variety of recreation activities while visiting Carters Lake Day Use
Areas. Carters Lake has eight day-use areas which offer a variety of recreation facilities.
Day use areas are located at Woodring Branch, Doll Mountain, Harris Branch, Ridgeway,
N&S Re-regulation Areas, North Bank, Damsite, and Visitor Center. In addition to
individual picnic tables which are free, large picnic shelters that can accommodate
groups can be reserved in advance for a fee by calling the project office at (706)334-2248.
Harris Branch Park has a public beach open from early May through Labor Day. Use
caution when swimming there are no lifeguards at Harris Branch. A per vehicle use
fee is charged at most day use areas at Carters Lake. Fees can be paid at self deposit
fee vaults or at staffed entrance stations. Visitors may also purchase an annual
pass that allows vehicles to gain access at no cost to Corps day use areas.
Boaters visit Carters Lake to enjoy its solitude and scenic beauty. Whether you're
in a powerboat, sailboat, or paddling along the shoreline in a canoe, Carters Lake
offers everyone an enjoyable boating experience.Carters Lake has seven public boat
ramps for easy access. Boat ramps are located at Damsite, Doll Mountain, Woodring
Branch and Ridgeway. The re-regulation pool also has a boat launch located near
the powerhouse off old Hwy 411. boaters launching outside a developed campground
are required to pay a $4 launching fee or purchase an annual day use pass. No fee
is required to launch at the re-regulation pool ramp. Carters Lake Marina is available
to serve all your boating needs throughout the year. Cabin rentals can also be made
by calling Carters Lake Marina at 706-276-4891. You can also visit the Carters Lake
Marina Website at: www.carterslake.com
For Your Safety
When visiting Carters Lake, we recommend that you review
the following safety messages for a safe and enjoyable time:
Be Alert to underwater hazards such as submerged stumps, logs and rocks that are
present in the lake.
Be especially careful when approaching the shoreline because depth of water will
vary from time to time and place to place.
Never dive into water of unknown depth.
Be alert to hazards such as poisonous plants, insects and snakes that inhabit the
Keep children under close supervision at all times, especially when they are in or
near the water.
Wear life vests at all times.
Do not use alcohol while in, on or around the water.
File a trip plan with someone to let them know where you will be and when you plan
Swim in designated swimming areas. (In all other areas except those designated "no
swimming," individuals may swim at their own risk.)
Do not overload your boat. Remember, safe boating is not overloading.
Carters Project offers fishermen diverse opportunities in terms of locations to fish
and fish species. In addition to Carters Lake, anglers can fish the re-regulation
pool or Coosawattee River. Carters Lake is approximately 11 miles long with 3200
acres and 62 miles of shoreline. Shoreline fishing locations are limited due to steep
shoreline terrain. Boaters can access the lake via six boat ramps. Deep clear water
and a rocky shoreline characterize Carters Lake. The re-regulation pool or lower
lake is located below Carters Lake and can be accessed from a boat ramp near the
Carters Powerhouse off Old Hwy 411. Re-regulation pool conditions (water depth and
surface acres) fluctuate based on powerhouse discharge. Fishing on the lower lake
is peaceful and few PWC's or pleasure boats operate on the shallow waters. Limited
shoreline fishing opportunities also exist on the lower lake. Swift water fishing
in the Coosawattee River can be found below the re-regulation dam. Two concrete fishing
decks have been constructed along the river accessible from Old Hwy 411. Picnic tables,
a hiking trail and bathrooms are also provided at the downstream fishing areas. A
handicapped accessible ramp is provided on the south side fishing area. An active
fish stocking program by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources along with native
fish found in the lake provide diversity for anglers. Fish species include bass (largemouth,
smallmouth, hybrid, stripped, spotted) crappie, walleye, bream and catfish.