Lake Pamona, Georgia, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - South - Georgia - Georgia Coast -

How special is little Lake Pamona on Colonels Island in historic Liberty County, Georgia? A freshwater pond, tidal marshes and the Intracoastal Waterway are all within shouting distance. Only the Georgia Coast Region can give you all of these things plus a healthy dose of salt air. Though part of the mainland, Colonels Island is surrounded by rivers and the Intracoastal Waterway. Colonels Island is home to a major marine terminal farther up the Medway River. Only three miles away, Halfmoon Landing of the North Newport River provides a second route to the open sea and a deepwater landing for sea sailors. At the mouth of the Medway River, St. Catherine Sound is home to lovely and protected St Catherine’s Island. It’s no wonder this coastal area has figured heavily in the history of the United States.

Before European explorers arrived in the area, the islands and marshes around Lake Pamona were home to the Guale Native Americans. Spanish explorers arrived in the 1500s to build churches and attempt to covert the native population. Well before Independence, Puritan settlers arrived to build a colony and a life in what became Liberty County. The church they built is preserved in the city of Midway. The infamous Blackbeard plied his illegal trade along the waterways and it is reputed that his never-discovered treasure is buried somewhere in the area. Two of the three Georgia signers of the Declaration of Independence were from Liberty County and the area saw heavy military action in both the War for Independence and the Civil War. Many hard-working rice and cotton plantations dotted Liberty County before Sherman’s March to the Sea. Most were destroyed but many historical remnants remain. Located less than an hour south of Savannah and the same distance north of Brunswick, Colonels Island has always been in the thick of the action yet has never developed any large cities. Fort Stewart, overlapping the northwestern part of the county, is the largest Army installation east of the Mississippi River. Now, the coastal islands and adjacent mainland are increasingly becoming exclusive gated communities with luxurious upscale homes.

Lake Pamona is a favorite among fishermen whenever they can gain access. There is no public boat launch, but a local landowner gives access for a nominal fee. Gasoline motors are not allowed. Those who have fished the shallow lake swear the largemouth bass are just waiting to take the hook. Other denizens of the not-so-deep here are bream, catfish and crappie. The lake averages four feet deep with a channel that dives to seven feet across it. Only the south side of the lake is developed; the marsh abuts the lake on the north.

Nature is at its best in the areas surrounding the salt marshes. Water and shore birds call the mud flats home. Nearby Melon Bluff features 2,200 acres of natural and managed habitats, pine uplands, sustainable forests, salt marsh, blackwater swamp, fields, lakes and the North Newport River. The preserve is criss-crossed by 25 miles of all-season, unpaved trails for hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, birding and walking. Canoeing and kayaking are popular ways to view the marsh wildlife and water birds. Very near Lake Pamona, Youmans Pond supports black-crowned and yellow-crowned night herons, blue herons, ibis, various egrets, wood ducks, wood storks and common moorhens. Dabbling ducks are common during migratory seasons. Barred and great horned owls, osprey, and turkey vultures are often seen in the area. Colonel Island’s varied habitat supports an amazing variety of wildlife.

Just down the road, one of the areas oldest and most famous bait and charter services still operates. For a visitor wishing to deep-sea or river fish, charters are easily arranged. Here the Lake Pamona resident can arrange for either wet slip or dry dock space on the Medway River. Development is beginning to encroach on the serenity of Colonels Island in the form of upscale housing. More land area is coming under protected status to preserve the natural character of this far reach of the mainland.

There is always plenty to see and do around Lake Pamona. Those with a yen for city lights can always head north to Savannah or south to Brunswick. Both cities provide a variety of cultural activities, arts, music and nightlife venues. But the usual visitor will be more than happy to explore the history and natural areas along the Georgia Coast. Nearby St. Catherine’s Island’s beaches are available to the public during daylight hours only – the interior of this historic island is maintained as an endangered species ‘recovery’ preserve. Owned by the St. Catherine’s Island Foundation, the island’s interior is operated for charitable, scientific, literary, and educational purposes. Nearby Sunbury is one of Coastal Georgia’s ‘dead towns’; once a thriving center of coastal commerce, the port lost business to Savannah. Fort Morris was built here to protect the town during the Revolutionary War. A state park unit here provides interpretive trails, restored historic building and camping with prior reservations.

Also nearby, Seabrook Village is a living history museum dedicated to the freed slaves who settled here on their government-granted lands after emancipation. Exhibits include the grave art of Cyrus Bowens and the Willis Hakim Jones Material Culture Collection of handmade items including everything from a peanut roaster to twig furniture. About 40 miles down the coast, Blackbeard’s Island National Wildlife Refuge occupies a 5,618 acre island off the tip of Sapelo Island. Accessible only by boat, the refuge provides excellent viewing opportunities for shore birds and wildlife. Parts are open during hunting season with by permit.

Vacation rentals exist in the area around Lake Pamona, although rarely on the lake itself. A nearby residential development has plans to include vacation lodgings in the near future. There are many bed-and-breakfast facilities in the area and the occasional ‘fish camp’ or sportsman’s resort can be found on the local rivers. Commercial lodgings are available in the small cities near Fort Stewart and toward Savannah. Real estate is available very near Lake Pamona in the newer developments and also among established homes. So, bring the boat, the binoculars, the camera and the golf clubs and spend some time around Lake Pamona. You’ll never want your Georgia Low Country vacation to end.

Things to do at Lake Pamona

  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Golf
  • Camping
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • National Wildlife Refuge
  • State Park
  • Museum

Fish species found at Lake Pamona

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass

Lake Pamona Photo Gallery

Lake Pamona Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

Surface Area: 101 acres

Shoreline Length: 2 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 7 feet

Average Depth: 4 feet

Trophic State: Eutrophic

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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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