Melton Hill Reservoir, Tennessee, USA
Also known as: Melton Hill Lake
Welcome to the ultimate guide to Melton Hill Reservoir — things to do, where to stay, fun facts, history, stats and more. Let’s dive in!
Topics we cover in this article:
- All About Melton Hill Reservoir
- Things to Do
- Fish Species
- Where to Stay
- Vacation Planning Tools
- Melton Hill Reservoir Map
- Statistics / Weather / Helpful Links
- Shop Melton Hill Reservoir Gifts
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All About Melton Hill Reservoir
Melton Hill Reservoir, also known as Melton Hill Lake, is an impoundment of the Clinch River. Located near Oak Ridge, TN, the reservoir extends 57 miles upstream from Melton Hill Dam to Norris Dam. With over 5,000 acres of water, there is plenty of room to explore, and anglers will find abundant fish populations to challenge them.
Construction on Melton Hill Dam started in 1960 and was finished in 1963. Both the dam and Melton Hill Reservoir are named after a high knob two miles away. Established in 1884, the hill has a US Coast and Geodetic Survey Station used for mapping the area. Owned and operated by the Tennessee Valley Authority, the dam was built primarily for power generation and not flood control, so water levels in Melton Hill Reservoir only fluctuate about four feet annually. It is the only TVA dam on a tributary stream that has a navigation lock. The lock lifts barge traffic 60 feet from Watts Bar Lake and opens the Clinch River all the way to Clinton, TN promoting industry in the area.
Most of the Northwest shore of Melton Hill Reservoir is owned by the US Department of Energy and the opposing shore is privately owned so access to the lake is some what limited. The TVA maintains a campground, however, and there are public boat ramps with access to both Melton Hill Reservoir and Watts Bar Reservoir. The Melton Hill Dam Trail is about a mile from the dam to the lakeshore meandering through the hardwood forest and wildflowers. The reservoir has a nationally recognized rowing course and has hosted a number of national championships. It is used as a spring training site for collegiate teams from all over the Eastern United States.
Melton Hill Reservoir is narrow and riverine with just a few coves making fishing by boat the best choice. The reservoir has healthy populations of Northern pike, skipjack, and herring and is stocked by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency with musky. Melton Hill Reservoir holds three current state records for yellow perch, saugeye, and brown trout, and until recently it also held the world record for landlocked striped bass at 60.5 pounds.
Its beautiful water, boating, waterskiing, and abundant fish populations are sure to make Melton Hill Reservoir a popular designation for anglers and non-anglers alike.
Things to Do at Melton Hill Reservoir
- Vacation Rentals
- Water Skiing
- Wildlife Viewing
Fish Species Found at Melton Hill Reservoir
- Brown Trout
- Northern Pike
- Saugeye Perch
- Striped Bass
- Yellow Perch
Find Places to Stay at Melton Hill Reservoir
If you’re considering a Melton Hill Reservoir lake house rental or hotel, we’ve made it super easy to find the best rates and compare vacation accommodations at a glance. Save time using this interactive map below.
Recommended Sites to Book a Melton Hill Reservoir Vacation
If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Melton Hill Reservoir lodging partners.
- VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
- Booking.com – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, Booking.com connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
- Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
- Hotels.com – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, Hotels.com is an industry leader in online accommodations.
- TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
- Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
- KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
- RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
- CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.
Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.
Melton Hill Reservoir Statistics & Helpful Links
Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed
Water Level Control: TVA
Surface Area: 5,470 acres
Shoreline Length: 193 miles
Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 794 feet
Minimum Elevation (Min Pond): 790 feet
Maximum Elevation (Max Pond): 796 feet
Maximum Depth: 65 feet
Completion Year: 1963
Lake Area-Population: 27,638
Drainage Area: 3,343 sq. miles
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