Lake Jocassee

Located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Escarpment of South Carolina, the 7,650 acres of Lake Jocassee and its 75 miles of shoreline are mostly surrounded by wilderness; primarily the Nantahala National Forest and the Jocassee Gorges Management Area. There is but a single public launch ramp and development has been very limited. The lake is part of Duke Energy’s Keowee-Toxaway Project which includes the Oconee Nuclear Station and the Keowee, Jocassee and Bad Creek hydroelectric stations.

The lake was formed by the impoundment of the Whitewater River and its tributaries in the early 1970s.

Land acquisition for what would eventually become the Keowee-Toxaway Project was quietly undertaken by the South Carolina Land & Timber Company, a Duke subsidiary, commencing in 1963. In 1965 Duke publically announced its intention to obtain the necessary licenses and permits to construct the Keowee-Toxaway Project at an initial estimated cost of $700,000,000. The land acquisition company was renamed Crescent Land & Timber Company in 1966.

Land clearing in both the future Lake Keowee and Lake Jocassee basins began in 1967. Construction continued on at both Project sites for the next three years. Water began accumulating in Lake Keowee in 1969. Lake Jocassee commenced filling in 1971. It’s hydroelectric station began commercial power generation in December 1973. The Project received a new license for an additional thirty years effective September 1, 2016.

You can read the License Order which licensed the Keowee-Toxaway Project for an additional thirty years:
Keowee-Toxaway 2016 License Order

When full (“Full Pond”), the surface of Lake Jocassee is 1,100 feet above mean sea level. You can check the level of Lake Jocassee: Lake Jocassee Level

Lake Jocassee History – About 8 1/2 minutes
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Lake Jocassee Access Map

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