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Randleman Lake is the Piedmont Region of North Carolina's newest lake and recreational hotspot. Although originally proposed by the US Army Corps of Engineers in 1937 as a flood control measure on the Deep River, the actual construction wasn't completed until 2006. During that time, the Corps determined that the cost of the dam and reservoir outweighed the flood control benefit and withdrew support of the project. After a full 50 years of no construction, the newly-formed Piedmont Triad Regional Water Authority (PTRWA) developed a plan for a smaller reservoir to serve as a drinking water resource for the cities of Archdale, Greensboro, High Point, and Randleman, the town of Jamestown, and parts of Randolph County. Twenty years of land acquisition, environmental studies and a few court challenges made area residents worry the new lake would never be completed. But the lake is finally finished and full. Water is being drawn into the new, state-of-the-art treatment plant for dispersal to area municipalities. And, the new lake is open for fishing.
Having a brand-new, 3000+-acre lake in close proximity to the High Point-Greensboro-Winston-Salem triad has generated a lot of excitement. Competing interests have all worked to gain a foothold on recreational rights to the lakeshore. Owned in its entirety by the PTRWA, the water authority holds not only the water body itself but all access to the shoreline under strict protection to protect water quality. A buffer zone 200 feet wide around the perimeter of the lake prevents contamination of the water supply; this buffer zone will become a healthy habitat for a variety of wildlife and birds. As Randleman Lake lies in both Randolph and Guilford counties, a great deal of negotiation and cooperation has resulted in a workable system of regulations and allowable activities. One 500+ acre public park is located near the northern end of the reservoir and offers picnic areas, trails, bird watching, athletic fields, a dog park and playground.
Southwest Park is jointly owned by the PTRWA and Guilford County. The park contains a boat launch ramp for non-motorized boats and a small marina where boats, kayaks, canoes and small boats can be rented. A second boat launch and marina are located near the south end of the lake where some motorized boats are allowed. Privately-owned boats may be launched, but the number of motorized craft is strictly monitored. No more than 100 motorized boats are allowed on the lake at one time and must obey wake restrictions, no-motors areas and no access to the shore at any location other than the two launch areas. A 25 mph speed limit is in effect in all motorized areas. No fishing from the bank is permitted except from PTRWA-provided fishing piers. No privately-owned boats may remain overnight, and all boats must be off the water by the posted curfews. Randleman Lake is being managed to remain as natural as possible, with walking trails and a bird watching overlook provided at Southwest Park. There is no swimming, no water skiing or provision for personal watercraft. Sailboats are permitted as long as their overall height doesn't exceed 12 feet.
If this all sounds like much of the Lakelubber-style 'fun' is prohibited at Randleman Lake, just take a look at the fishing! The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission has stocked the lake with 120,000 largemouth bass, as well as 60,000 channel catfish. Crappie and sunfish moved into the lake from nearby streams and ponds. The lake opened for fishing in 2010 and already shows signs of developing into a prime largemouth bass fishery. In order to assure the maximum number of fish reach 'lunker' size, the PTRWA may institute a 'slot limit' on the size of fish that can be removed. A slot limit would protect fish that otherwise would be of legal size, in order to let them continue to grow to record-breaking size. Other native fish are present in small numbers, and it will take several years for the lake ecology to stabilize to support more native species. Good underwater structure in the form of submerged trees and brush provides excellent fish habitat. Already, fishing forums are abuzz over the great fishing at Randleman Lake. There are plenty of accommodations in the Triad area to provide lodgings for anglers and their families.
The Triad area provides many activities to keep a vacationing family busy. The area is home to a variety of arts venues, such as the performance studios at Festival Park and concerts at White Oak Amphitheater in Greensboro, special interest museums like the Doll and Miniature Museum of High Point, the Richard Petty Museum in Randleman for NASCAR fans, SciWorks in Winston-Salem, and the Greensboro Children's Museum. Adult-themed events like the North Carolina Shakespeare Festival and the Wyndham Championship PGA Tournament draw annual visitors, while the Greensboro Coliseum Complex is home to major sporting events and many expositions and concerts. Long noted for the manufacture of fine furniture, the Triad cities have evolved into a major research and technology center. Regardless of technical progress, history remains a big part of the area, with a number of historical museums, restored period buildings and centers commemorating both the Civil War and the struggle for Civil Rights.
Although there are no lodgings directly on Randleman Lake, the surrounding area provides hotels, motels, bed-and-breakfasts, campgrounds and RV parks. Private rentals may also be available near the lake and will no doubt expand now that the lake is open to the public. Some real estate is available near the lake, and more new construction is expected in the near future. Randleman Lake is a great place to enjoy fishing and quiet lakefront surroundings in a wooded and natural landscape. The entire Triad region eagerly awaits your exploration, and the lunkers are lurking down at Randleman Lake.
*Because Randleman Lake is so new, most statistics such as depth and capacity are not yet available.
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