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Lake Lanier, Georgia

Lake Lanier, Georgia

Lake Lanier is a reservoir located in the northern part of Georgia, spanning five counties: Hall, Forsyth, Dawson, Gwinnett and Lumpkin. The largest portion of the lake is in Hall County, which is also home to the city of Gainesville, the county seat and the largest city on the lake. Forsyth County has the second largest share of the lake, followed by Dawson, Gwinnett and Lumpkin counties. The lake was named after Sidney Lanier, a Georgia poet and musician who wrote a famous poem called “The Song of the Chattahoochee”, which is one of the rivers that feeds the lake. The lake was created in the 1950s by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for flood control, power generation and recreation. It is also one of the most popular lakes in the southeast for recreation and tourism, attracting millions of visitors every year.

Lake Lanier Characteristics and Statistics

Lake CharacteristicStatisticUnit
Surface area37,000acres
Shoreline length692miles
Maximum depth160feet
Average depth60feet
Elevation1,071feet (summer)
Fishery typeWarmwater

Lake Lanier Fish Species

Lake Lanier is a paradise for anglers, as it hosts a variety of fish species that can provide a thrilling and rewarding fishing experience. Some of the most sought-after fish in Lake Lanier are the bass, which include largemouth bass, spotted bass, striped bass and hybrid bass. These fish can grow to impressive sizes and put up a strong fight. They are usually found in deep water with structure and cover, such as sunken trees or ledges. Some of the best spots for bass fishing are Shady Grove Ledge, Bald Ridge Hump and Brushy Hump. Other popular fish in Lake Lanier are crappie, catfish, walleye, bluegill and sunfish. These fish are abundant and tasty, and can be caught using different techniques and baits. They tend to hang out in the shallows or along the shoreline, especially at night. Crickets, worms and grasshoppers are the best baits for bluegill and sunfish fishing. Lake Lanier also holds several fish records for Georgia, such as the largest striped bass and hybrid bass ever caught in the state. Whether you are a beginner or an expert angler, you will find Lake Lanier to be a fishing destination like no other.

Lake Lanier Fishing Records and Average Weight

Fish NameAverage Fish Weight in LakeRecord Fish Weight
Largemouth Bass5-8 lbs17 lbs 9 oz
Spotted Bass2-4 lbs8 lbs 2 oz
Striped Bass10-15 lbs47 lbs 12 oz
Hybrid Bass5-10 lbs25 lbs
Crappie0.5-1.5 lbs4 lbs
Catfish5-10 lbs44 lbs
Walleye2-4 lbs14 lbs
Bluegill0.25-0.5 lbs3 lbs
Sunfish0.25-0.5 lbs1 lb


If you are looking for a place to stay near Lake Lanier, you have plenty of options to choose from. You can enjoy the comfort and convenience of the Legacy Lodge, which offers luxurious guest rooms, a saltwater swimming pool, a fitness center and multiple dining options. You can also stay at the Lanier Islands Resort, which features a golf course, a marina and a seasonal waterpark. For a more rustic and cozy experience, you can rent one of the Lake Lanier Cottages, which are fully furnished and equipped with modern amenities. You can also camp at the Don Carter State Park or the Margaritaville RV Resort, which offer scenic views and access to the lake. No matter what your preference and budget are, you will find a lodging option that suits your needs and expectations.

Lake Lanier Lodging

Lodging NameLocationDistance to LakeLink to Lodging Website
Lanier Islands ResortBufordOn the lakeWebsite
Don Carter State ParkGainesvilleOn the lakeWebsite
Legacy LodgeLanier IslandOn the lakeWebsite
Lake Lanier CottagesFlowery BranchOn the lakeWebsite
The Guest Lodge GainesvilleGainesville7 milesWebsite

Lake History

Lake Lanier was built as a result of the Flood Control Act of 1944. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began construction of Buford Dam in March 1950 and completed it in December 1956. The lake was filled by July 1959. The project cost $45 million and displaced more than 250 families, 15 businesses and relocated 20 cemeteries along with their corpses. The lake also submerged more than 50,000 acres of farmland and forest.

The lake was originally intended for water supply, flood control and natural resources protection, but soon became a popular destination for recreation and tourism. The lake hosts many events and activities throughout the year, such as fishing tournaments, boat shows, concerts, festivals and fireworks. The lake also features several attractions, such as Lanier Islands Resort, Lake Lanier Olympic Park, Margaritaville at Lanier Islands and Lake Lanier Canopy Tours.

Lake Lanier is a beautiful and versatile lake that offers something for everyone. Whether you are looking for a relaxing getaway, an adventurous experience, or a fun-filled family vacation, Lake Lanier has it all. Come and discover Lake Lanier, Georgia’s ultimate getaway.

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