View Full Version : Another day on Lake Jocassee

08-04-2008, 11:12 AM
Here are a few photos from Lake Jocassee yesterday. Right now the lake is about 27 feet below full pool which is about where it has been for most of the summer. My son said there was about five feet of ramp left behind our trailer when launching, so hopefully it won't drop much further.

I don't know if it was the lake level or fuel prices, but there was only about half the number of boats there than are normally there on a summer weekend. The lake level doesn't bother us at all, but some people do seem to be challenged by backing down the long ramp. I saw and heard a couple exchanging many four letter words as he was sitting on a jetski while the girl was trying to back down the ramp unsuccessfully. After 3-4 minutues, she was only halfway down the ramp when she was ordered out of their Hummer so another family member could drive and continue their launching adventure.











08-04-2008, 12:06 PM
Great pictures, thanks for sharing. What is the water temp like with the lake so low?

08-04-2008, 12:44 PM
I didn't look at the water temp, but I can tell you it felt perfect yesterday. Jocasee's water is cold in the spring and cool in early summer, but it's usually great right about now. Keep in mind that most parts of the lake are 100 to over 300 feet deep so a 27' depth difference doesn't change things a lot.

First Born
08-04-2008, 12:49 PM
That picture of the boat ramp makes me giggle everytime I see it. I bet you could set up a camera there and get some good footage.

Dave S
08-04-2008, 01:12 PM
What a beautiful Lake.:thumbsup:

08-04-2008, 02:29 PM
:wow: Wow that's low. The lake is still beautiful though. We have a friend that usually coordinates a Labor Day weekend event at Devils Fork every year and we'll anchor out and sleep on the hook while everyone else camps out..... I'm not sure we'd be able to get our boat in this year if the ramp is that close to running out. We'll probably shift Labor Day to Keowee this year.

08-04-2008, 02:47 PM
That is a long ramp!
It rained all weekend up here... :smt021:smt100:smt021:smt089:smt089:wow::smt013

Our docks are all having to be pulled in, because our water's about 1.5' above what it was about 3-4 wks ago! It's only a few feet below flood stage at this point! I launched my boat Saturday only to sit in the camp and watch it pour all weekend. I'm still drying things out (of course, now I'm off vacation, it's sunny out!)


08-04-2008, 04:49 PM
Gerald, As long as the level stays about where its at now, I think you'll be okay. Our trailers are probably about the same length and we didn't have any problems, and there was a little more ramp left.

Have you ever had a problem with the DNR and staying on the lake overnight? Camping on islands or sleeping on the boat is officially not allowed on Lake Jocassee, and we had a park ranger tell us the DNR does give out tickets for it. It rare that we see a DNR boat on Jocassee, but I did see one launching and heading out at sundown not too long ago.

First Born
08-04-2008, 04:52 PM
Looks like a great spot for a CSR get together :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:

08-04-2008, 06:57 PM
Bill, we missed last year but slept on the hook for the two Labor Day weekends before that and have done it maybe two other times besides that (we usually stay on Keowee). We've never been bothered. On Labor Day weekend you could easily see us right there near the left shore looking off of the ramp and dock all weekend, and no DNR ever bothered to check us out. :huh:

I knew the islands were off-limit but had no clue that we weren't supposed to sleep on the hook.... that's kinda silly.

08-04-2008, 07:05 PM
One benefit of low lake levels for fishermen is mapping stumps and other structure on your GPS so you can find them again when water levels are higher. I've also heard of folks exploring for 'treasure' with metal detectors along the exposed lake bed. Reminds me of the time we were tying off to shore on Dale Hollow Lake, and my sunglasses slipped off my cap; as I was reaching for them over the rail, there went my reading glasses -- plop, plop!

You have shown us all that there is beauty on the water even at low water levels. Thanks for the reminder.

08-04-2008, 07:07 PM
Beautiful spot!!! I can't get over how low it is but the water and scenery is great!
Moving down south doesn't seem so bad the more I see you guys' pictures!

First Born
08-04-2008, 07:14 PM
Moving down south doesn't seem so bad the more I see you guys' pictures!

"So bad"...how many southern people do you know that have moved north and then how many northern people do you know that have moved south.... :huh:

08-04-2008, 10:04 PM
Gerald, As long as the level stays about where its at now, I think you'll be okay. Our trailers are probably about the same length and we didn't have any problems, and there was a little more ramp left.

Have you ever had a problem with the DNR and staying on the lake overnight? Camping on islands or sleeping on the boat is officially not allowed on Lake Jocassee, and we had a park ranger tell us the DNR does give out tickets for it. It rare that we see a DNR boat on Jocassee, but I did see one launching and heading out at sundown not too long ago.

I haven't heard that. I asked specifically about sleeping on the boat anchored next to the camp ground. I tried to pay for a camp site to be accomodating, and was told by the rangers that they have no jurisdiction, and didn't have a problem with it. I even used the restrooms and showers. My friends pulled their camper there and got a camp site. Just don't try to camp on the island where they have camp sites set up, where you have to pay for thoes. I'm with Gerald, never been bothered. I stayed for 4 days and 3 nights. Not a dime.

I have to edit and say offically I did have to pay for parking, or is it an entrance fee, I forget. It wasn't much. 5 bucks a day.

At Ease
08-04-2008, 10:18 PM
That is tough to see the southern lakes so low! As a contrast, we just had to postpone weekend before last because the CT river was so high. Way to many logs, branches and sometimes stumps to dodge. I grew up in western NC and although I love my home state and the south, the north isn't all bad...that is once they get to know you...hard to get biscuits and gravy up here, but the lobster isn't half bad...

08-04-2008, 10:59 PM
It's been a long time since I talked to that ranger about camping on the lake, so maybe he did just mean camping in the islands or shore. Or maybe I don't remember what he really said.:grin:

Although, I did have a client (an attorney) who specifically said when he slept on his bowrider on the lake, he kept a fishing pole right next to him with a line in the water. He said fishing or boating overnight on the lake was okay, so he would just tell the DNR officer he fell asleep fishing if it ever became a issue. But its entirely possible that he was mistaken also.

I guess I'll have to ask a DNR guy or park ranger about it the next time I'm up there to clear up my confusion. With that being said, I personally don't really see it being a problem if you keep a low profile. There are not any pump out facilities on Lake Jocassee, so long term stays would be a problem, but that shouldn't be a problem for a night or two. And like I said, we only see law enforcement on the lake on maybe 20% of our trips.

08-04-2008, 11:20 PM
Oh yeah, for you northerners... Those photos aren't real. I just photo-shopped my boat into some pictures of Canadian lakes I found. You might want to check around up there for nice spots. There are no nice lakes down south, just shallow ponds full of muddy water, snakes, alligators, and toe-eating crawdads. And don't forget about those guys you saw in the movie Deliverance. We have to deal with the likes of them on a regular basis as well. Not fun...

Okay, I'm really just kidding about all that.:grin::grin::grin::grin::grin: I have absolutely nothing against northerners. In fact I married one. My wife is from Syracuse, NY. There are a whole bunch of people that have moved south into our area, but I have no complaints about that since it keeps our local economy growing and me in business. And yes, we do have some very nice areas to boat in as well.

08-05-2008, 06:41 AM
Lemme clarify that I meant moving south wasnt so bad, I meant leaving my hometown area..Have lived in MA my entire life and meant nothing about people or geography.
In a nutshell, the more we boat, the more the admiral and I think we would like to move farther south to enjoy the longer season was all.
That better Wesley???:smt001

First Born
08-05-2008, 06:42 AM

08-05-2008, 07:56 AM
Looks like a great spot for a CSR get together :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:

Wesley, Jocassee is the prettiest lake I've ever been on. Keowee is the second prettiest; when you're on Keowee and look north at the gorgeous mountain background, that's where Jocassee is. Jocassee has about nine waterfalls and sits in the valley of those mountains. It is deep in places (I think over 400 ft) and the water is cool enough in areas that it is the only lake in SC that has indigenous trout that survive year-round.

There's things to consider if we scheduled a CSR meet up there though. It is undeveloped.... the only real public boat ramp is the one at Devils Fork State Park (where several of those photos were taken) and there is no fuel or pumpout available on the lake, so you've got to splash with a full tank and if you use it up you have to trailer up out, go a few miles down a road to fill up, then return to the ramp and resplash. And to my knowledge there's no local motels so the only way to stay there for the weekend is on the hook or at the campground. I know that camping for some means a hotel and no way a tent, so that might put a damper on it.

Keowee however is nearly just as pretty and has all that stuff..... we plan to be there this Labor Day and it would be nice to see some CSR people. *hint* The big difference in Keowee and Jocassee is the development - if you want to get away from it all, Jocassee can feel like you're going back in time. No houses, no development, just God showing off some of His best work. Keowee has been discovered by all of those northerners and they're building gazillions of million dollar mansions all over the lake.

08-05-2008, 10:07 AM
Gerald is right, a multi-day get together would be a problem on Jocassee, but it would be a great place for a day trip since it would not be too bad of a drive from the Charlotte, Columbia, and N. Georgia/Atlanta areas. Anyone interested?

08-05-2008, 10:12 AM
Sure sounds like a neat place. When are you thinking of going? MS Judy has not been pulled at all this year from our local lake.

08-05-2008, 10:49 AM
Would Keowee be easier to get to and more to do like a place to eat via the water?

08-05-2008, 11:39 AM
Lake Jocassee is about 15-30 miles north of where most people would be coming from, but in my opinion, there is a world of difference between the two lakes, and the extra drive is worth it.

Keowee is a very nice clean lake with views of the mountains in the distance. But it is very rapidly being developed with home communities and can be pretty crowded on weekends.

I think if I was driving from further away, I would rather drive a few minutes longer to get to the really clean and scenic lake. From where we live in Greenville, it's just 15 minutes further to Lake Jocassee than Keowee.

There is one outdoor restaurant on Lake Keowee at the Lake Keowee Marina. There are no restaurants, or any other services, on Jocassee other than Devils Fork State Park which has a campground, ramps, picnic shelters, restrooms, a small store, and a snack bar that is sometimes open . We always pack a lunch, and usually stop for dinner on the way home. We could bring a portable grill to use on one of the many beaches on the lake.

I don't have any dates in mind. Let me check with the admiral on possible dates and we can start a new thread on a possible getaway.

08-05-2008, 09:17 PM
Devils Fork has some "camping cabins" on the lake don't they? Seems I remember some friends renting them. Seems they are rather pricy though. They are past the boat ramp area, in the park. Jocassee is beautiful, about as close to the sort of boating Neheliaha???(spelling) does, I would guess.
Keowee is a great and clean lake with all the facilities available, like Gerald said. If there is interest in a meet on Keowee I could check on our employee docks and facilities. We have restrooms and slips available. Let me know.

08-06-2008, 07:46 AM
Oooooh Mike yes I'd be interested. This may deserve another thread though because this is turning into a full-blown hijack - sorry Bill.

Both lakes have so much to offer; Jocassee to get away from it all or Keowee if you prefer modern conveniences. If we do try for a group getogether, the one thing that hasn't been mentioned in this thread is that the water level at Keowee is gauranteed - they have to keep it full for the nuclear power plant - so we would not be dealing with low water ramp issues and etc.

08-06-2008, 11:08 AM
I start my outage season late in Sept. but sometime in Oct. time frame Oconee starts their outage.
Gerald have you been by the Duke employee docks and looked at them? I'm not sure but I think I remember it having room for six boats. There is also a cove on the other side that could be used for rafting or beaching. The boat ramp is there also with plenty of secure parking. I'll have to talk to our represenative about access for "guests" but I'm sure something could be worked out.

08-10-2008, 08:47 AM
Guys, I would be very interested in trailering my 200 over to either lake. We have never explored any other lake other than Lake Lure since its only a 2 minute drive for us to the ramp. But with several problems with the town and the lack of rain, we can no longer launch our boat on Lake Lure. So keep me posted, a labor day trip would be awsome for us.

08-12-2008, 09:58 PM
put my name in the interest collum, if work premits I'd be willing to get together with the group on either Jocassy or Kewawee(spell) we went up there last fall and had a ball.

08-13-2008, 07:35 AM
Mike I haven't seen the Duke docks or known about them. We are now confirmed that we'll be at Keowee during the Labor Day weekend so I think I'll start another thread since I kinda helped turn this one into a fullblown hijack from the subject of Jocassee (sorry).