Chickamauga Dam is the fourth of the TVA's main river projects, and is located 20 miles northeast of Chattanooga. Construction began in January 13, 1936 and the dam went into operation four years later. The filling of Chickamauga Reservoir began January 15, 1940. The water shed for the reservoir is 20,790 square miles.|
Chickamauga Dam is 5,800 feet long and 129 feet high. Completion of the project took over 500,000 cubic yards of concrete and almost 3,000,000 cubic yards of earth and rock, with a cost of almost $40,000,000. A total of 13.9 million man hours were required to complete the Chickamauga Reservoir and Dam project.
Chickamauga Reservoir, with 810 miles of shoreline, has 35,400 square acres of surface area.
It was constructed for the purpose of electric power, flood control, navigation, recreation, an adequate supply of water and other related benefits. The lock at Chickamauga Dam is 360 feet by 60 feet, and raises boats and barges up to 50 feet to Nickajack Lake.
Chickamauga got its name from a tribe of indians that broke away from the main body of the Cherokee Nation. The Chickamauga tribe lived in villages nearly a mile long all along the Chickamauga Creek which flows into the main river body just below the dam.
The counties surrounding Chickamauga Lake include Rhea County, Hamilton County, Meigs County, Bradley County, and McMinn County.
Millions of visitors yearly are attracted to Chickamauga Lake. The area offers two state parks, two county parks, four municipal parks, and two wildlife centers. Boating, swimming, fishing, camping, water skiing, jet skiing, and other water related activities are offered on Chickamauga Lake.