Lake Wylie Page

Information, maps and links for Lake Wylie

Lake Wylie Dam aerial 1A


 Lake Wylie - Bridging the Catawba River's transition into the Palmetto State, Lake Wylie's 25+ mile course here is more remenisant of a large, wide river than a lake. Created in 1904, it is the oldest lake on the Catawba River and the third largest.   It has a total surface area of 12,139 acres and it has 67 miles of shoreline in Mecklenburg County.  Water stays in Lake Wylie for about 32 days before flowing through the dam and into the Catawba River.

Lake Wylie is used for recreation, drinking water, industry, and power generation.  It is the primary source of drinking water for several communities including Belmont, NC, Ft. Mill, SC, Tega Cay, SC, and Rock Hill, SC.  In addition, there are 3 electricity producing stations on the lake as well as recreational facilities of 7 public boat ramps, 5 marinas, two fishing access areas and one botanical garden. The Allen Steam Station, a Duke Energy generating station on Lake Wylie contains one of the EPA's 45 active High Hazard Coal Ash Ponds.  It also has an unlined inactive coal ash disposal area.  The Catawba Nuclear Station located on the southern end of the lake is the single largest water consumer in the region as is readily apparent from the large cloud of steam typically hovering over the facility.

As a result of poor development and poor waste disposal practices, Lake Wylie has a number of environmental issues including fish advisories for mercury and PCBs, excessive levels of nutrients, coal ash discharges and seeps, sewage overflows, sediment and stormwater problems, and run-off from concentrated animal feedlot operations.

Although the water in the lake is generally safe for recreational activities, public health officials generally discourage swimming in the lake within 48 hours of a major rain event, and after sewage spills.  Information about sewage spills is generally publicized through the county health department websites, signs and local newsmedia.  Additional information information is available at the following web sites:


A large and active Lake Wylie Covekeeper group meets on the second Wednesday of each month.

Go to the Lake Wylie Covekeepers page 

           View Lake Wylie in a larger map
For News about the Charlotte area of the Catawba River Basin click here.
For News about the S.C. portion of the Catawba River Basin click here.
Links to regulations and guidance documents applicable to the Mecklenburg County portion of Lake Wylie:

 Statistical information and links to Duke Energy information about the lakes can be found here -> Lakes


Video Tour of Lake Wylie




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Jan 25, 2017 NC Riverkeeper Report
From the perspectives of 12 NC Riverkeepers, this report discusses how multiple environmental issues pose challenges in the pursuit of clean, plentiful water. Whether you are in North Carolina or downstream in South Carolina, read this report about the state of environmental enforcement.
Dec 13, 2016 Community Foundation of Gaston County grants $5,000 to CRF for Riverkeeper Program
The Community Foundation will fund Catawba Riverkeeper's work in Gaston County.
Dec 12, 2016 A Successful Launch of our Water Education Program at Great Falls Elementary
Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation in partnership with 4-H Clemson Cooperative Extension successfully completed our pilot Education Outreach Program with 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students from Great Falls Elementary.
Sep 27, 2016 Lake Wateree Fall Cleanup a Sweeping Success
86 volunteers collected 5,490 pounds of trash from Lake Wateree
Jun 13, 2016 Dozens of Youth Reached in Water Education Outreach Program Pilot Lessons
More news…
Report Pollution in the Catawba River

Help protect your River! 

Tell your Riverkeeper if you see:

  • Sewage Overflows
  • Failure to control sediment from construction sites
  • Illegal clearing of buffer areas
  • Fish kills 
  • Unpermitted discharges
  • Other issues that concern you

Click here to fill out a pollution report or to report water pollution to Catawba Riverkeeper by phone, call 1-888-679-9494 or 704-679-9494.  In addition, to informing your Riverkeeper, you should also report spills or contamination to federal, state and local environmental officials.

To report South Carolina water pollution call 1-888-481-0125.

To report North Carolina spills or fish kills, call your local regional Department of Environment & Natural Resources office during normal business hours (704-663-1699 for most Catawba basin areas or (828) 296-4500 for Burke, Caldwell, McDowell and other mountain counties) or 800-858-0368 after hours.  (For more information on NC spill reporting, click here)


The Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation is a proud member of EarthShare North Carolina, the North Carolina Conservation Network, River Network and the Waterkeeper Alliance.  It also in in an alliance with Clean Air Carolina to address issues, such as sprawl, that cause air and water problems.

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715 N. Church St., Suite 120 . Charlotte, NC 28202 . Phone: 704.679.9494 . Fax: 704.679.9559