• Length: 520 Miles
• Surface Area: 32,510 Acres
• Drainage Area: 1,790 Square Miles
• Average Depth: 34 Feet
• Maximum Depth: 110 feet
• Length: 34 Miles
Lake Norman, created between 1959 and 1964 as part of the construction of the Cowans Ford Dam by Duke Energy, is the largest manmade body of fresh water located in North Carolina.
Lake Norman is fed by the Catawba River, and drains into Mountain Island Lake to the south. It was named after former Duke Power president Norman Cornelius. Lake Norman is sometimes referred to as the "inland sea" of North Carolina; it offers 520 miles of shoreline and a surface area of more than 50 square miles. Full pond at Lake Norman is 760 feet above mean sea level. Interstate 77 and North Carolina Highway 150 cross Lake Norman at different points.
Lake Norman provides electricity to the Piedmont region of the Carolinas. It powers the generators at the hydroelectric station at Cowans Ford Dam, and is used by Marshall Steam Station and McGuire Nuclear Station to cool the steam that drives their turbines. The lake supplies water to Lincoln County, Iredell County, Mooresville, Charlotte, and other towns in Mecklenburg County, particularly Davidson and Huntersville.
Duke Power partnered with the state of North Carolina to establish Lake Norman State Park. It has also built two bank fishing areas and eight public boating access areas along the shoreline. One site is leased to Mecklenburg County and one to Iredell County. Popular game fish in Lake Norman include catfish, crappie, bluegill and yellow perch, as well as striped, largemouth, white bass along with multiple types of turtles.
Lake Norman is also the location for one of the International Jet Sport Boats Association (IJSBA) tour stops. Team Tweek, a race team headquartered in Mooresville, helps promote and coordinate the annual event.
Lake Norman is also the location of Lake Norman Yacht Club which is the host of many South Atlantic Yacht Racing Association (SAYRA) sailboat races throughout the year. Davidson College also owns and operates a "Lake Campus" for students on Lake Norman.