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Cordell Hull Lake is located at the base of the highland rim on the Cumberland River in Smith, Jackson, and Clay counties of middle Tennessee. The dam is located 5 miles upstream of the city of Carthage, Tennessee. Cordell Hull Lake is operated for the primary purposes of navigation, hydropower generation, and recreation.
Cordell Hull Lake provides a variety of outdoor recreational opportunities for millions of visitors each year. Because of the temperate climate and relatively long recreation season, visitors have numerous activities from which to choose, including fishing, hunting, camping, picnicking, boating, hiking, and more.
Cordell Hull Lake provides boaters with a wide variety of opportunities to enjoy their respective recreational interests. Cordell Hull Lake's 11,960 acres of water offer an opportunity for all types of recreation. Canoes, sailboats, fishing and hunting boats, pleasure boats, and personal watercraft all share the waters.
Cordell Hull Lake offers two developed campgrounds and two areas for primitive camping.
With 381 miles of shoreline and 22 boat-launching ramps, Cordell Hull Lake offers a fishing opportunity for anyone with or without a boat. Cordell Hull Lake provides a desirable cold and warm water fishery. Adequate cold water is present year-round; roaring river and its tributaries provide the lake with adequate warm water. Roaring River and its tributaries, Blackburn Fork and Spring Creek are excellent smallmouth bass and rock bass streams.
The most popular species of fish in Cordell Hull Lake include white bass, hybrid rockfish (a cross between the white bass and the rockfish), rockfish (striped bass), largemouth bass, catfish, crappie, gizzard shad. A valid Tennessee state fishing license is required to fish on Cordell Hull Lake. There are 3 developed fishing piers at the Defeated Creek recreation area.
Swimming on Cordell Hull Lake is one of the more popular water-based activities. Swimming is prohibited at launching ramps, mooring points, marinas, and posted areas. It is allowed elsewhere in specifically designated areas that are off-limits to boaters of all kinds. The Corps of Engineers operates four such swim areas on Cordell Hull Lake: Roaring River, Wartrace Creek, and Defeated Creek. All have sand beaches and playground equipment. Salt Lick Creek Campground includes a sandy beach for registered campers. All areas offer picnic sites, group shelters, boat launching ramps, and bathrooms.
Cordell Hull Lake is named after one of America's outstanding statesmen, Cordell Hull. Hull served in the Tennessee and US House of Representatives and in the US Senate, and was largely responsible for the creation of the United Nations. For his efforts towards promoting world peace and harmony, he was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in 1945.
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