Tellico Dam and Tellico Lake are part of an extension of the Fort Loudon project. The dam diverts water from the Little Tennessee River to Fort Loudon Lake rather than creating electricity. Construction began March 7, 1967 and the filling of the reservoir started on November 29, 1976.
During construction, a new species of fish, the Snail Darter, was discovered. Construction was halted until the species was found in other places such as Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama.
The dam was completed in 1979 and is located 1 mile south of Fort Loudon Dam. It is 129 feet high and 3238 feet long. The cost of the completed project came in around $141,000,000. The Dam created a navigational waterway up the Little Tennessee River and offers access to barges heading up the river. Tellico and Fort Loudon lakes are connected by a canal thus making a lock unnecessary. Such a canal creates the potential for limitless long distance cruising – making it possible to boat to 21 states, the Gulf of Mexico or the Great Lakes.
Tellico Lake consists of 15,860 acres of surface, 373 miles of shoreline and a 2627 square mile watershed. It is located 30 minutes southwest of Knoxville and only minutes from Maryville and Lenoir City.
Visit TellicoLake.net for more information and photos.