• River: Santee River
• Surface Area: 60,400 Acres
• Shoreline: 210 Miles
• Volume: 1,425,000 Acre Feet
• Average Depth: 19 Feet
• Maximum Depth: 75 feet
LAKE MOULTRIESOUTH CAROLINA, USA
Lake Moultrie is the 3rd largest lake in South Carolina at 60,400 acres. Located in Berkeley County, Lake Moultrie and Lake Marion make up the Santee Cooper Reservoir. Lake Moultrie is the smallest of the two impoundments. History
Constructed in the Cooper River Drainage, over half of Lake Moultrie's shoreline is contained within a network of dams and dikes. This depression era electrification project was originally designed to route the Santee River flow down the Cooper River. However, since 1985 flow has been re-diverted to the Santee River through an Army Corp of Engineers canal and hydroelectric dam located near the town of St. Stephen.
The St. Stephen Dam is equipped with a fish lift that allows passage upstream for sea run anadromous fish species
like American shad and blueback herring. Lake Moultrie’s Pinopolis Dam has a boat lock that allows both boat traffic and anadromous fish passage.
Most of Lake Moultrie, unlike Lake Marion, was timbered before impoundment. However, caution is urged when navigating in shallow water on Lake Moultrie, as many submerged stumps are present on its gently sloping shorelines.
Aquatic vegetation is present in backwater sloughs and in the 900-acre Hatchery section of the lake. Originally constructed to be a separate impoundment within Lake Moultrie, the remnants of the Hatchery dike still provide enough shelter to allow significant aquatic vegetation growth that provides habitat for largemouth bass, pickerel, bream, and many other species.
Once away from the shoreline, the stump hazards decrease and the majority of Lake Moultrie is suitable for pleasure boaters and fisherman alike. Much of the open water varies in depth from 10-feet to 30-feet deep, as numerous underwater humps and contour breaks exist throughout the lake. The lake is 14-miles across at its widest point, and a marked navigational channel runs from Pinnopolis Dam to the Diversion Canal.
The closure of Lake Marion Dam in 1941 trapped a founding population of striped bass and a thriving population developed in the reservoir. Investigations of this population first demonstrated that striped bass could complete its life cycle entirely in freshwater.