Lakes, Boating, & Fishing
Lake Richard B. Russell
Richard B. Russell State Park
2650 Russell State Park Drive
Elberton, GA 30635
Located on a 26,650-acre lake, Richard B. Russell State Park offers some of the state’s finest fishing and boating.
Lake Russell is managed as a “conservation lake” and as such the undeveloped shoreline provides a unique fishing experience in an unspoiled setting. Federal regulation prohibits private shoreline development, and the lake is protected by a 300 ft. collar of protected land.
Lake Russell is distinctive in that it maintains habitat for a diverse assemblage of warm-water, cool-water, and even cold-water sport-fish. The dominant and most popular fish species targeted and caught by anglers on Lake Russell include warm-water species – black bass (spotted and largemouth), crappie, and catfish. Due to the fact Lake Russell is managed as a “conservation reservoir” the lake provides exceptional habitat in the form of standing, downed timber and other woody debris. This extraordinary habitat is popular with both the fish and fishermen. The headwaters of Lake Russell along the Savannah transition into a short river tailrace segment of the about 1-mile extending up to the Lake Hartwell Dam. Due to the cold-water releases upstream from Lake Hartwell, Lake Russell provides habitat for a cold- and cool-water fishery. The backwaters of Lake Russell and the Hartwell tailrace area provide cold- and cool-water habitat for trout. Both states stock this area with more than 30,000 trout annually. The tailrace fishery is accessible via developed recreational bank access areas, including handicap accessible piers on both sides of the river channel. The trout fishery is largely for recently stocked fish, but occasionally anglers catch larger hold-over trout that have grown out in the river and/or lake. The tailrace area and the depths of Lake Russell also provide excellent cool-water habitat for striped bass. The current S.C. state record striped bass, 63 pounds, was caught in 2009 from Lake Russell. In recognition of the trophy striped bass potential of Lake Russell both SCDNR and GADNR recently enacted regulations to protect, sustain, and enhance the trophy striper fishery.
1155 Marina Drive
Elberton, GA 30635
Beaverdam Marina offers boat slips for rent, as well as boat repair.
In Elberton take Hwy. 72 east toward South Carolina. Drive 10 miles and turn left onto Marina Drive. From South Carolina take 72 west, cross the lake into Georgia, Marina Drive will be 2 miles on your right.
Clifford’s Restaurant at Beaverdam Marina – Clifford’s is open during the spring and summer with a variety of menu options in dining area with a view of the marina.
Calhoun Falls Marina
46 Maintenance Shop Road
Calhoun Falls, SC 29628
A lighted marina offers 36 rental boat slips. Thirty-two of the 36 slips include water and electricity and access to sewage pump-out, restroom with hot showers and in-boat refueling. Slips are rented on a yearly basis. A boat ramp provides private boat access to Lake Russell.
86 standard campsites in one of the best campgrounds in the state park system
14 walk-in tent sites
2 picnic shelters for your next family gathering
1 rental community building that accommodates up to 60 people
36 rental boat slips in the marina
1 tennis court and 1 basketball court for your recreational use
1.75 mile loop trail for walking and exercise
318 acres providing access to beautiful Lake Russell
J. Strom Thurmond Dam and Lake / Clarks Hill Lake
510 Clarks Hill Highway
Clarks Hill, SC 29821
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ J. Strom Thurmond Lake is a man-made lake bordering Georgia and South Carolina on the Savannah, Broad, and Little Rivers. The lake is created by the Thurmond Dam, located on the Savannah River 22 miles above Augusta, Ga., and 239.5 miles above the mouth of the Savannah River. The lake extends 39.4 miles up the Savannah River, 29 miles up the Little River, and 6.5 miles up the Broad River in Georgia, and 17 miles up the Little River in South Carolina. At full pool elevation, Thurmond Lake comprises nearly 71,100 acres of water and 1,200 miles of shoreline. The Thurmond Project was designed for flood control, hydropower, fish and wildlife, water quality, water supply, downstream navigation and recreation. It’s one of the top 10 most-visited Corps lakes in the nation.