Learn more about Lake Keowee below
Read more fishing reports from Lake Keowee and other popular places at the AHQ Report!
Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains near Clemson, South Carolina, construction of Lake Keowee was completed in 1973. The lake was created to serve the needs of Duke Energy, and lake water cools three nuclear reactors at the Oconee Nuclear Generating Station. The northern end of the lake backs up to Lake Jocassee, the power plant is in the mid-lake section, and at the lower end outflows from the two dams (Keowee Dam and Little River Dam) combine to form the Seneca River and feed one of the major arms of Lake Hartwell. A beautiful, generally clear lake, it is about 25 miles long and oriented north/ south, covers approximately 18,500 acres, and has around 300 acres of shoreline. At the widest it is about 3 miles wide, and the lake averages 50 feet deep.
Unlike many South Carolina lakes, Lake Keowee does not have striped bass stocked by the Department of Natural Resources – nor significant numbers of blueback herring – nor does it have stocked trout. It does have largemouth bass, with some large fish caught each year, but the numbers are dwindling and DNR has launched a habitat restoration project aiming to re-grow native vegetation. The lake still has some big white crappie as well as a very few black crappie, but this population has also dwindled. There are bream and giant catfish in Lake Keowee, with an 89-pound blue catfish caught in the spring of 2020 – and there is little doubt that there are still larger fish swimming. But Lake Keowee is best known for its massive population of non-native spotted bass that feast on the main forage base of threadfin shad.
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