• River: Catawba River
• Length: 150 Miles
• Surface Area: 6,812 Acres
• Average Depth: 65 Feet
• Maximum Depth: 150 feet
Lake James is a large reservoir in the mountains of Western North Carolina which straddles the border between Burke and McDowell Counties. Lake James is named for James B. Duke, one of the founders of Duke Energy. Lake James has a surface area of approximately 6,812 acres, with 150 miles of shoreline. Full pond elevation is 1,200 feet.
Built over a seven-year period beginning in 1916, Lake James required the construction of three dams: Linville, Paddy Creek and Catawba.
Duke Energy provides four public boat access areas on the lake and one fishing and canoe access point below the hydroelectric station. Lake James State Park also provides public recreation opportunities. Two boat access points are leased to the State Park and the other two, as well as the tailrace fishing and canoe access point, are provided in cooperation with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.