All You Ever Needed to Know About Water...
With more than 50 square miles of surface area covering four counties, there are plenty of differing depths, temperatures, and ecological systems in place. Average water temperatures range from 38°F in the coldest months to over 87°F in the warmest.
Fishing is huge on Lake Norman with local, regional, and even national tournaments taking place on its waters; the various pursuits include bass, perch, catfish, crappie, and even the elusive Lake Norman Monster (Normie!). Go ahead and submerge yourself in all the exciting LKN water facts we have to share!
Length is Interesting, But Depth is Critical
The average lake depth is around 33 feet. Some deeper areas of the main channel are well over 100 feet while the shallower parts, primarily located at the end of the many coves, are just a few feet deep. As you’re cruising around the lake pay attention to the “shoal markers,” these indicate dangerously shallow parts of the lake or rocks just beneath the water’s surface. Best advice would be to not go near these markers, or you’ll be buying yourself a new prop (we’re speaking from some experience on this one!), visit: lnmc.org/navigation/
Lots of Fingers!
The main channel of Lake Norman is massive, several miles wide at its widest point, with several islands to beach your boat. However, the majority of Lake Norman’s shoreline is made up of dozens and dozens of coves, some wider/larger than others. Just remember that the further you go down one of these coves, the shallower the water gets and the closer you are in proximity to people’s homes. Hint – they can see and hear everything you’re doing on your boat!
Boat Size Matters
The size and style of your boat will play a part in where you can travel on Lake Norman. The main channel is located south of Highway 150 and is typically wide open for boats of all shapes and sizes. From sailing boats with tall masts to large party yachts, you will be fine on the main channel. However, Highway 150 runs the entire width of Lake Norman’s northern side and so there are several low clearance bridges that will block the paths of larger boats. If you have a larger yacht and need to get to the northern part of the lake, the Hwy 150 bridge straddling Catawba and Iredell Counties is your best bet since it’s the tallest of the Hwy 150 bridges. But it’s still not tall enough for most sailboats. Speaking of boat size, we don’t recommend hitting the main channel on any boat smaller than 21 feet on a busy/choppy day. Those size of boats are great for the northern portions and smaller coves of Lake Norman, but not the wide-open waters of the main channel.
Duke Energy has All the Power
At "full pond," Lake Norman is 760 feet above sea level. When you hear people talk about the “760 line,” they’re referring to the waterline when the lake is 100% full. On Lake Norman there’s a requirement that no structure can be built within 50 feet of this 760 line. There is also a restriction of planting and/or removing large trees and vegetation within 30 feet of this line. Duke, and the state of North Carolina, want the shoreline to stay as natural as possible. So just know that if you’re purchasing a property that has several large trees within 30 feet of the 760 line, and those trees obstruct your view, you will need a permit from the state of North Carolina and/or Duke’s Shoreline Management to remove those trees. (You can trim the trees, but not remove them if they’re a certain size in diameter.)