Mountain Island Lake Page
Information, maps and links for Mountain Island Lake
Mountain Island Lake - A few winding river miles from the Cowan's Ford Dam the Catawba enters the last lake of the chain entirely bounded by the state of North Carolina, Mountain Island Lake. While only 1/10th the size of Lake Norman, this lake provides drinking water to over 3/4 of a million people in the Charlotte, Mount Holly, Gastonia area.
Mountain Island Lake was created in 1924 with construction of the Mountain Island Hydroelectric Station. At full pond, the Lake has a total surface area of 2,788 acres and 27 miles of shoreline in Mecklenburg County. On average, water stays in Mountain Island lake for 11 days before flowing into Lake Wylie
Duke Energy operates a hydroelectric generating station at the dam. According to the EPA two of the 44 highest hazard coal ash ponds in the United States are located at the closed Riverbend Steam Station. Coal ash from the coal ash ponds is currently being removed. In addition to the issue of safety at the ash pond dams, the Riverkeeper continues to be concerned about contamination of ground water by the coal ash stored at the station. In 2010 Catawba Riverkeeper tested fish tissue, water and bottom sediment samples adjacent to the outlet of Duke's coal ash ponds on Mtn. Island Lake. for heavy metals and PCB's. The results showed high levels of both contaminates and eventually led to a State issued fish consumption advisory. As of 2015 there are fish consumption advisories in effect for the fish in Mountain Island Lake.
There are two public access boat ramps on the lake, a fishing pier at Mecklenburg County's Latta Plantation but no marinas. Just below the dam is a handicapped accessible public tailrace fishing area. MIL also has an active Covekeeper program.
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