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Lake Thurmond (known in Georgia as Clarks Hill Lake) is a reservoir at the border between Georgia and South Carolina in the Savannah River Basin. It was created by the J. Strom Thurmond Dam during 1951 and 1952 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers near the confluence of the "Little River" and the Savannah River. At 71,000 acres, it is the second-largest artificial lake east of the Mississippi River, behind the Kentucky Lake on the Tennessee River. The J. Strom Thurmond Dam is located upstream from Augusta, Georgia.


Lake Thurmondand Dam is one of the southeast's largest and most popular public recreation lakes. The dam Built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers between 1946 and 1954 but the lake was filled during 1951 and 1952 as part of a flood control, hydropower, and navigation project. Its legally authorized purposes now include recreation, water quality, water supply, and fish and wildlife management. Each year, millions of people utilize the many public parks, marinas, and campgrounds conveniently located around the lake to pursue a variety of outdoor recreational experiences -making Lake Thurmond one of the 10 most visited Corps lakes in the nation.


Lake Thurmond is a man-made lake bordering Georgia and South Carolina on the Savannah, Broad, and Little Rivers. The lake is created by the J. Strom Thurmond Dam located on the Savannah River twenty-two miles above Augusta Georgia and 239.5 miles above the mouth of the Savannah River. The lake extends 39.4 miles up the Savannah River, 29 miles up the Little River in Georgia, and 6.5 miles up the Broad River in Georgia, and 17 miles up the Little River in South Carolina, at normal pool elevation of 330 mean sea level, Thurmond Lake comprises nearly 71,100 acres of water with a shoreline of 1,200 miles. The entire Thurmond “Project” contains 151,000 acres of land and water.


Lake Thurmond and Dam is the first Corps of Engineers project to be built in the Savannah River Basin. Hartwell Lake and Dam the second project built in the basin was completed in 1963, and a third project, Richard B. Russell Lake and Dam was completed in 1985. Together these three lakes form a chain of lakes that is 120 miles long. Congress authorized Lake Thurmond in 1944 and construction began in 1946. The project was completed in 1954 at a cost of $79 million.


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