Stretching across the landscape, Smith Lake covers an expansive area of approximately 21,200 acres. This vast reservoir is a testament to both the scale of human engineering and the natural beauty it encapsulates. The water that beckons with its deep, clean, and emerald-green allure spans far and wide, creating an aquatic haven for those fortunate enough to explore its shores.
Adding to Smith Lake's allure is its extensive shoreline, measuring over 642 miles. The lake's periphery is a tapestry of natural wonders, providing ample opportunities for lakeside recreation, picturesque views, and a diverse range of habitats for flora and fauna. The expansive shoreline serves as a canvas for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.
Volume and Dimensions:
The volume of Smith Lake is nothing short of impressive, reaching approximately 1,670,700 acre feet. The lake spans about 35 miles from end to end, although this length can vary depending on the water level. The watershed area, a vast 900 square miles, contributes to the lake's intricate ecosystem, offering a dynamic environment for aquatic life and outdoor enthusiasts.
Water Level Fluctuations:
Smith Lake's water level is subject to fluctuations influenced by rainfall, watershed conditions, and operational schedules. The normal winter pool hovers near 496 feet, while the normal summer pool elevates to 510 feet. An average drawdown of about 14 feet from late summer to winter is a typical occurrence. The lake's surface elevation can vary in response to weather events, making it crucial for local property owners to stay vigilant, particularly during extreme weather conditions.
Floating Docks and Emergency Relief:
The fluctuating water levels on Smith Lake have led to a unique regulation: only floating docks are permitted. This measure ensures that these structures can adjust to changing water levels without causing damage. Additionally, a spillway, designed as an emergency relief system, remains across the road from the Smith Lake Dam boat launch area. While it becomes operable at a 522-foot flood level, to date, it has never come into play, standing as a testament to the lake's carefully managed dynamics.