Between 1959 and 1964 Lake Norman was created as part of the construction of the Cowans Ford Dam by Duke Energy. It is the largest man-made body of fresh water in North Carolina. Lake Norman encompasses 520 miles of shoreline and a surface area of more than 50 square miles. It stretches 33.6 miles long, 9 miles wide with an average depth of 33.5 feet and at some points it drops to 110 feet. Four counties border Lake Norman: Mecklenburg; Catawba; Lincoln; and Iredell.
Duke Power Company has played an integral part in promoting recreation on the lake. In 1964, when the lake was completed, Duke Power Company leased parcels of land to hikers and owners of small weekend cabins for $120 per year. With popularity growing, the land parcel lease prices jumped to $2,500 in just five years. With the building Interstate 77, Lake Norman became highly accessible to residents of Charlotte, causing a flood of homes, restaurants, golf courses, and other recreational facilities. Fishing is popular in Lake Norman with largemouth bass, spotted bass, channel catfish, flathead catfish, blue catfish, black crappie, bluegill, white bass, yellow perch and striped bass a plenty. Because the lake is manmade, all of the fish were introduced into the lake by Fish stocking. The lake is lined with boat docks and canoe and kayak fishing are popular here.