Lake Oliver, Alabama & Georgia, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - South - Alabama - River Heritage - Georgia - Presidential Pathways -

Located in west central Georgia in the Presidential Pathways region, Lake Oliver is a 2,150-acre lake that has one shoreline in Georgia and the other in Alabam’s River Heritage region. Formed by the Chattahoochee River and the Oliver Dam, the lake is part of the Georgia Power lakes, which also includes Lake Harding, Goat Rock Lake, and North Highlands Lake. Completed in 1959, the Oliver Dam was created to help supply hydroelectric power to the region and is the main water supply for the City of Columbus. Lake Oliver is located north of North Highlands Lake and south of Goat Rock Lake in Muscogee County, a mecca for outdoor recreation for the last 20 years.

Activities at Lake Oliver include fishing, bank fishing, hunting, water skiing, picnicking, hiking, biking, boating, and kayaking. Because some of the lake’s lower acreage is in the city limits of Columbus, it receives heavy boat traffic during the summer months. Cabins and houses dot the 40-mile shoreline of the long, narrow reservoir, as well as recreation areas including Goat Rock Recreation Area, City Marina, and the Chattahoochee RiverWalk.

Goat Rock Recreation Area, located below the Goat Rock dam, is a beautiful park with bank fishing, picnicking, day use areas, restrooms, and area lighting for night fishing. Located on the undeveloped north shores of Lake Oliver, Goat Rock Recreation Area is a great place to get away from the hustle and bustle of Columbus. Operated by the City of Columbus is City Marina, a marina with several paved public boat ramps, boat docks, a fishing pier, picnic areas, parking, fishing supplies and bait shop, and refreshments. Connecting City Marina with Lake Oliver is the Chattahoochee RiverWalk, a 15-mile long park that runs along the Chattahoochee River. With the first four miles being completed in 1996, the RiverWalk is now a very popular recreation site for walkers, runners, bikers, and rollerbladers.

After a long day in Columbus and the surrounding area, head back to Lake Oliver for a leisurely afternoon to fish for bream, largemouth bass, spotted bass, hybrid striped bass, white bass, crappie, bluegill, and redear sunfish. The best time of year to fish is fall and spring when the water is too cool for other water lovers. Launches are located at City Marina, Goat Rock Recreation Area, and Goat Rock Dam on the Alabama side of Lake Oliver.

Other off-the-lake activities include the Coca-Cola Space Science Center, the National Civil War Naval Museum at Port Columbus, and the Heritage Tour and Park. The science center has the Mead Observatory for astronomical viewing, hands-on exhibits, and a theater, while the 40,000 square foot Civil War Naval Museum offers displays, interactive exhibits, and an ironclad simulator. For a tour of historic sites, head to Heritage Park where the industrial heritage of Columbus is celebrated.

Real estate is readily available along the shores of Lake Oliver with vacation rentals and lodging in Columbus and some of the other small towns near the lake. For a quiet weekend on a beautiful Georgia lake, head to Lake Oliver in the fall or spring. With Columbus situated on the shorline, Lake Oliver uniquely offers the solitude of the outdoors with the convenience of the big city.

Things to do at Lake Oliver

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Kayaking
  • Water Skiing
  • Picnicking
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Hunting
  • Museum

Fish species found at Lake Oliver

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Redear Sunfish (Shellcracker)
  • Spotted Bass
  • Striped Bass
  • Sunfish
  • White Bass

Lake Oliver Photo Gallery

    Lake Oliver Statistics & Helpful Links

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    Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

    Water Level Control: Georgia Power Company

    Surface Area: 2,150 acres

    Shoreline Length: 40 miles

    Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 335 feet

    Minimum Elevation (Min Pond): 333 feet

    Maximum Elevation (Max Pond): 337 feet

    Maximum Depth: 50 feet

    Completion Year: 1959

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    Trophic State | LakeLubbers

    Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

    An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

    A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

    A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

    The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


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    Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

    This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

    Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


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    Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


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    Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

    Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


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    Completion Year | LakeLubbers

    This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

    The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

    You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


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    Water Volume | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

    You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

    Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

    1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

    The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


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    Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

    You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


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    Average Depth | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

    Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

    Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


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    Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

    At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


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    Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

    Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

    When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


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    Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

    You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


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    Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

    This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

    A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

    When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

    You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


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    Surface Area | LakeLubbers

    This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

    The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

    You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


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    Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

    This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

    Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

    "Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


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    Lake Type | LakeLubbers

    There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

    - A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

    - A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

    - A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

    "Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


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