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Thread: River vs Lake

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Kingston, TN
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    257

    Default River vs Lake

    Is there a generally accepted spot below Norris Dam where the Clinch River quits being called a river and becomes Melton Hill Lake? I know it's considered Melton Hill up beyond Oak Ridge Marina where the rowing regattas are held, and I think it's still Melton Hill further upstream toward Clinton (muskie fishing area?), but where does it become the Clinch River again? Hwy 25E bridge at Clinton? Hwy 61 bridge below the church? Somewhere else?

    I would say Watts Bar Lake ends (for all practical purposes) above the Kingston Steam Plant at the confluence of the Clinch and Emory Rivers, but what about on the Tennessee River Side. I think it's still considered Watts Bar Lake upstream to at least Whitestone Inn, maybe even Dogwood Shores, but does it extend upstream past I-40 to Loudon?

    Speaking of the Tennessee River, it is officially formed at the confluence of the Holston and French Broad, but how far does it flow as a river before becoming Fort Loudoun Lake. I believe Fort Loudoun Lake extends at least as far as Neyland Stadium, but how much farther upstream does it go?

    What about the various stretches of the South Holston or the Little Tennessee? Is there an official cutoff point for any of these designations, or is it just a matter of personal opinion?
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Knoxville
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    275

    Default

    I know Watts Bar Lake is generally considered to run right up to Ft. Loudon dam. For most rivers, your referring to the spot where a river goes from being that of a free flowing river to that of an impoundment. I think most believe that point on the Clinch is around hwy 61.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Norris, TN
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    Default

    I have always considered the area from the H-61 bridge downward as where the riverine/tail-water transitions to placid/impoundment as an active lake. Of-course; the trout do not discriminate; nor do most of the other fish.

    Also; the transitional area fluctuates depending on the flow rate of the dam and the impoundment level of Melton Hill.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Lenoir City, TN
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Stana Claus View Post
    ...
    Speaking of the Tennessee River, it is officially formed at the confluence of the Holston and French Broad, but how far does it flow as a river before becoming Fort Loudoun Lake. I believe Fort Loudoun Lake extends at least as far as Neyland Stadium, but how much farther upstream does it go?

    What about the various stretches of the South Holston or the Little Tennessee? Is there an official cutoff point for any of these designations, or is it just a matter of personal opinion?
    Interesting question, Stana.
    • Below is how TVA showed the extent of Fort Loudoun Lake on a piece of the Shooks Gap quadrangle.
    • I believe South Holston as a river is only that in VA as the headwaters of S. Holston Lake and for a short stretch as the tailwater of Fort Patrick Henry lake to its confluence with North Fork Holston River at Kingsport forming the Holston River. Boone Lake lies in between the other two impoundments.
    • I traced on maps the Little Tennessee all the way from Tellico Dam, which flows empties directly into the Tennessee River all the way into the Nantahala Forest in NC before it shows as a free flowing stream near the community of Needmore. That area is shown on the Wesser quadrangle.
    – JF
    Last edited by JoeFred; 02-09-2013 at 02:46 AM.
    “Joe” Fred Turner
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Chattanooga
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    22

    Default

    Interesting question. Had never thought about it in those terms. I would imagine a rule of thumb could be where the river backs up to. Poorly worded. Let me try another way.

    If the dam built is say 50 feet tall and raises the river elevation from say 700 ft to 750 feet, I would guess that if you went upriver to the point where the surface was above 750. Logic would say above that point water was flowing into the lake (ie a river). Below that point you would say water was being backed by the dam.

    Look at Chickamauga lake. Presently the above the dam elevation is just under 677 feet. The down stream side of Watts Bat is 685 feet. So the drop is 8 feet over 59 river miles. Around Soddy it "feels" like a lake, around Dayton it "feels" like a river. I'd say that some where between those two points the surface elevation crosses that 677 foot mark. So around Dayton would be where the river / lake "evolution" takes place. This would mean that most of the 8 feet of drop occurs between Watts Bar and Dayton.

    Or it is possible I need more coffee this morning.

    Dave
    Last edited by dwardmba; 02-10-2013 at 09:15 AM. Reason: Typo

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