John H. Kerr Reservoir Businesses
• River: Roanoke River
• Length: 800 Miles
• Surface Area: 48,900 Acres
• Volume: 3,364,500 Acre Feet
• Average Depth: 30 Feet
• Maximum Depth: 100 feet
Kerr Lake (officially John H. Kerr Reservoir, also known as Bugg's Island Lake) is a reservoir along the border of the U.S. states of North Carolina and Virginia created by the John H. Kerr Dam. The dam construction started in 1947 and took 2,100+ workers in three shifts, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, more than four years to complete, and was finished in 1952 to produce electricity and to provide flood control. It is the largest reservoir in Virginia. It is owned by the US Army Corps of Engineers. It is located in parts of Vance, Granville, and Warren counties in North Carolina, and Mecklenburg, Charlotte, and Halifax counties in Virginia. At its maximum capacity, it is one of the largest reservoirs in the Southeastern United States. The lake has over 850 miles of shoreline and covers approximately 50,000 acres (200 km²). The lake is named for Congressman John H. Kerr of North Carolina, who supported the original creation of the lake.
The lake is an impoundment of the Roanoke River (also called the Staunton River in Virginia). The Dan River and several smaller creeks also feed the lake. The lake is upstream of Lake Gaston. Just downstream from the current John H. Kerr Dam, and still visible from the viewing platform below the dam at Tailrace Park, lies Buggs Island, named for Samuel Bugg, an early settler. North Carolinians know this body of water as Kerr Lake. Virginians know it as Buggs Island Lake or Buggs Island Reservoir.
Camping is a popular activity, with many campsites (run by the Army Corps of Engineers, North Carolina State Parks and Virginia State Parks) lining the shore including Kimball Point, North Bend Park, County Line, Hibernia, and others. Campsites for both tents and RVs are available. Jet-skiing and water-tubing occur often on the lake. Recreational motor boating and sailing also occur on the lake, with three privately operated marinas available: Steele Creek and Satterwhite Point (in North Carolina) and Clarksville (in Virginia). These marinas have rental slips for sail and motor boats, with additional amenities including fuel docks, marina stores, and some organized yacht clubs. The Carolina Sailing Club stages monthly regattas for several one-design sailing classes from April through October.