First in a chain of six Georgia Power Company power-generation lakes, Lake Burton’s elevation is 1866.5 feet above sea level. Yonah, the last in the chain, has an elevation of 744 feet.
Lake Burton dam was completed on December 22, 1919. The lake was completely filled by August 18, 1920, and began commercial operation in 1927. The dam is 116 feet high and 1,110 feet long. The reservoir covers 2,775 acres and is capable of holding 5 billion cubic feet of water.
There are 62 miles of shoreline. The distance from one end of the lake to the other measures 6.63 air miles and 9.41 river miles.
There are approximately 1,200 private and leased lot home sites on the lake shoreline. For booklets and other information about Lake Burton, call the Georgia Power Land Office at 706-782-4014.
In the forests of the majestic and beautiful southern Appalachians, more than 4,200 plant species have been found. It has been said that more wildflowers, shrubs, vines, herbs and trees grow in this region than any comparable area in the world. In fact, the area is known as the “vegetation cradle” of Eastern North America. Many books are available which describe the most common varieties.
The Lake Burton area of Rabun County is rich with wildlife. Wildlife biologists with the regional offices of the Georgia Game and Fish Commission (404-535-5700) name mallards as the most prevalent duck overwintering in our area. Buffleheads and coots also have large populations.
Migrating species reported include Canada geese, wood ducks, loons and canvas-backs. Sand Hill cranes and Great Blue herons are other transients.
The forests support white-tailed deer, red and gray fox, raccoon, opossum, gray squirrel, flying squirrel, bobcat and a surprisingly large (but secretive!) population of black bear. Ruffed grouse and wild turkey can also be seen. The area is fortunate to also host bald and golden eagles.
The cool, clear water of Lake Burton supports a diverse fish population. The most popular and abundant species are spotted and largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie and yellow perch. Streams feeding Burton are stocked with trout. Contact the Lake Burton hatchery at 706-947-3112.
When fishing for bass, expect to catch three spotted bass for every largemouth. Several spotted bass greater than four pounds have been found in DNR samples.
Casting top-water plugs around visible structures is most effective in the spring for spotted bass. In summer and early fall, the slow crawl of a plastic worm or night crawler along rocky points should be effective. In late fall, spotted bass school in the backs of major coves — shad-imitating crankbaits and vertically jigged spoons are effective on the points.
The highlight of the largemouth bass population is the abundance of large fish. This group of bass should weigh at least five pounds by the time the dogwoods bloom and will be available to anglers in higher numbers than in previous years.
Lake Burton holds state records for walleye (11 pounds) and yellow perch (2½ pounds). Walleye and perch fishing is best in early spring, using minnows fished over weed flats. Catfish are caught all year on a variety of baits. White bass also reach near record breaking size and average almost three pounds (which tops the average size in most lakes). White bass generally school in the coves to chase shad from September to November. Surface plugs, crankbaits and white jigs are all effective during feeding frenzies.