Lake Spivey, Georgia, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - South - Georgia - Atlanta Metro -

One of the most sought-after addresses in the Atlanta Metro Region is Lake Spivey. The approximately 500-acre lake east of Jonesboro originated in 1957 when Dr Walter Spivey and his wife built a dam across Rum Creek on property they purchased here. The property, previously a cattle farm and later a peach orchard, quickly flooded to form Lake Spivey. An adjacent water body, Lake Jodeco was created by Dr Spivey and his Jonesboro Development Company in 1947. Local lore says there was a small settlement at the location of the dam at one time called Mayday. Little knowledge of this former settlement exists but a mill stone was located during dam excavations, leaving one to speculate that there may have been a mill, possibly with a dam, there sometime in the past. What IS known about the area is that the area around Jonesboro was the site of several major battles during the Civil War; artifacts are sometimes found during building excavations in the area around Lake Spivey. Indeed, the location only 20 miles south of Atlanta and less than five miles east of Jonesboro saw much military action during the Civil War and is the area featured as Tara in the classic, “Gone With The Wind.”

Originally a day resort open to the public attracted major national artists such as Pink Floyd and BB King to Lake Spivey. An estimated 500,000 visitors a year flocked to Lake Spivey to enjoy the water and the entertainment. However, Dr Spivey’s widow deeded the entire property to the Lake Spivey Civic Association in 1984. Terms of the deed stated that the property be managed in trust for “the exclusive use of property owners” who pay lake maintenance fees and other assessments. Lake Spivey has since become a highly desirable and extremely private bedroom community of Atlanta. Development has been carefully managed to maintain the exclusive nature of the shoreline and surrounding area. Only property owners having deeded access are permitted to use the lake, although other housing exists in the immediate area. The entire development is upscale, with lovely designer homes, excellent landscaping and well-maintained public facilities. Several marinas are provided with assigned slips to assure all authorized residents have a berth for their watercraft and authorization decals are monitored to limit unauthorized access. All types of watercraft are permitted, including pontoons, sail boats, jet skis, power boats canoes and kayaks. Lake Spivey is the only lake in the Atlanta Metro region that allows water skiing and tubing; no-wake areas are strictly enforced and the decisions of the Lake Safety Committee are upheld.

The amenities available to Lake Spivey residents are a major attraction to many prospective property owners: residents of over twenty development ‘communities’ have access to all of amenities with membership. These include an 18-hole golf course in a country club atmosphere, organized tennis center, pool and waterpark, weight/fitness center, hiking and biking trails, volleyball courts, the two fishing lakes, picnic areas, putt-putt and an incredible beach. The Reid Stevens Heritage Park and Wildlife Sanctuary is located just north of Lake Spivey, very near Clayton County’s International Park. A 15K Road Race is an annual event and the Founder’s Day Festival raises funds for a variety of charities and community projects. Several wetland areas around the lake are maintained in undeveloped, protected state and herons, ducks and hawks are commonly seen.

Fishing at Lake Spivey is excellent for those lucky enough to gain access. A regularly-scheduled Monday-night fishing tournament keeps residents vying for the weekly and annual records of heaviest total weight catch and largest individual fish. Lake Spivey holds the Georgia State record for black crappie. Largemouth bass, hybrid striped bass, and large channel catfish are also much sought-after game fish here. Over 20 small creeks and inlets feed Lake Spivey, providing excellent spawning habitat for bluegill and panfish.

Real estate takes many forms here: apartments for mature citizens, cluster development to reduce homeowner maintenance needs and traditional homes. The area is well-supplied with private schooling options and arts venues dot the entire Jonesboro area. Vacation rentals are occasionally available however most rental properties are leased on a yearly basis. Famous renters in the past have included Burt Reynolds and Lonnie Anderson and Jim Nabors. Although real estate at Lake Spivey and Lake Jodeco commands a premium price, bargains can occasionally be found. Commercial lodgings are available at nearby Jonesboro and north toward Atlanta. Private rentals and bed-and-breakfast lodgings can be found in the surrounding area. Just east of the lake, the community of Stockbridge offers common small-town amenities such as grocery stores, movie theaters and necessary services. It is to the west near Jonesboro that the widest variety of attractions and amenities can be found.

Jonesboro plays a large part in Georgia popular history. Several major battles were fought near here during the Civil War. Local historians can relate much local lore regarding battles, casualties and particulars. The Clayton County Visitors Bureau can provide information on how to find more information and many Civil War buffs enjoy following the old roads cited in the history books to barely remembered fields, knolls and creeks. But one of the major draws of the Old Jonesboro Depot where the Visitors Bureau is located is the Road To Tara Museum. Here, period costumes and movie memorabilia from the timeless film, “Gone With The Wind’ are preserved in the area of the book’s location. Margaret Mitchell’s great-grandfather owned a plantation near Jonesboro before the War. The main north-south highway through Jonesboro, the former Old Atlanta Road, is named Tara Blvd. Nearby on Jodeco Rd, Stately Oaks Plantation offers a restored 1839 Greek Revival Antebellum home, log kitchen, country store, tenant house and one-room school house at the Margaret Mitchell Memorial Park. Those interested in the work of local artists must visit the Arts Clayton Gallery on Main Street, where the works of local artists both modern and traditional are available for viewing and sales. Special events are staged at the Gallery throughout the year according to season.

The Clayton County Performance Arts Center produces several performances each year featuring both local artists and touring performances. And just up the road in Morrow, another legacy of Dr Spivey is memorialized in the form of Spivey Hall at Clayton State University. Dedicated to concert performances, a regular concert schedule brings world-renown musical artists to perform for the public. Clayton County Parks and Recreation maintains a number of parks and green spaces in the Jonesboro area in addition to the Clayton County International Park near Lake Spivey.

Locate less than 20 miles south of Atlanta, Lake Spivey is within a 15-minute drive of the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Close enough for easy access to Atlanta’s cultural and nightlife scene yet far enough away to ensure privacy and solitude, Lake Spivey is immediately west of the I-75/I-675 interchange. A visit is within the reach of anyone in the Atlanta area. Come to Lake Spivey and check out some of the lovely homes available. You may find that that Lake Spivey is calling you! Heed the call!

Things to do at Lake Spivey

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Fishing Tournaments
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Jet Skiing
  • Water Skiing
  • Tubing
  • Golf
  • Tennis
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • Museum
  • Movie Theater

Fish species found at Lake Spivey

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Black Crappie
  • Bluegill
  • Catfish
  • Channel Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Striped Bass
  • Sunfish

Lake Spivey Photo Gallery

Lake Spivey Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: Lake Spivey Civic Association

Surface Area: 500 acres

Shoreline Length: 9 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 773 feet

Maximum Depth: 40 feet

Completion Year: 1957

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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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