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Richard B. Russell Dam and Lake

Welcome to Richard B. Russell Lake and Dam Project, the most recent multi-purpose water resource development built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Savannah District. Due to Federal Laws that prohibit private exclusive use of public lands surrounding the lake, the area remains strikingly beautiful and picturesque. Many visitors express their appreciation with the Corps for maintaining the aesthetic qualities of the lake and shoreline - a unique experience for most outdoor enthusiasts in the area. With its undeveloped shorelines, Russell Lake provides an outdoor experience that goes beyond just fishing - visitors enjoy the beautiful scenery as well as the abundant wildlife.

Please stop by our Visitor Center located in the Operations Manager's Office approximately 4 miles south of Georgia State Highway 72 just off the Bobby Brown State Park Road. Here you can receive local information and purchase Annual Parking Passes. We also have a variety of brochures and pamphlets that will assist you during your visit to the Richard B. Russell Lake and Dam Project.

Visitor Center and office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

News & Events

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SAVANNAH, Ga. – Day use fees will be waived at Hartwell and J. Strom Thurmond projects for veterans, active and reserve component service members, and their families on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, as a small token of appreciation for bold sacrifices. 
SAVANNAH, Ga. – The three reservoirs operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on the upper Savannah River entered Drought Level 2 as of 6 a.m. Sept. 19, when the level of the J. Strom Thurmond Lake dipped to 323.97 feet above mean sea level (ft-msl). When one of the reservoirs enters a drought level the other two also enter that drought level.
ELBERTON, Ga. – The visitor’s center at the Richard B. Russell Project Office will temporarily close on weekends beginning Sept. 18. Office hours Monday through Friday will remain from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. 
SAVANNAH, Ga. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will conduct two youth dove hunts at the Richard B. Russell Project Office Sept. 10 and 17, 2016. The hunts will begin at 2 p.m. and end at approximately 7:30 p.m.
SAVANNAH, Ga. –The three reservoirs on the Savannah River operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers entered the first drought level today when pool elevation at Thurmond Lake dipped below 326 feet above mean sea level (ft-msl). Entering Trigger Level 1 activates the Corps’ drought management plan which limits the discharge rate from the Thurmond Dam.
SAVANNAH, Ga. – Youth can capture the fun of spring and fishing at the 28th annual Kid’s Fishing Derby April 23 at Richard B. Russell Lake.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Richard B. Russell Lake Office invites youth ages 15 and younger to tackle the challenge of catching the famous Southern delicacy: catfish. The event will be held at the Blue Hole Recreation Area located on Highway 81 in Calhoun Falls, South Carolina, from shortly after 8 a.m. until about noon. Gates will open around 7 a.m. for registration.
SAVANNAH, Ga. – Every year thousands of people in the United States mourn the loss of loved ones who could have survived if they had been wearing a life jacket while spending time on or near our nation’s waters. To heighten awareness for the use of life jackets, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) recently launched a new water safety campaign titled “Life Jackets Worn … Nobody Mourns.” The campaign targets adult men as the higher-risk demographic. The effort was developed by USACE, in cooperation with the Corps of Engineers Natural Resources and Education Foundation, a non-profit foundation established to support USACE natural resources and recreation programs.
SAVANNAH, Ga. – The new year ushers in changes to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Savannah District fee structure for recreation day use at boat launches and swimming beaches managed by USACE. Fees for USACE annual passes to these facilities will also change.
Due to recent above-normal rainfall in the upper Savannah River Basin, Savannah District anticipates a need to operate the spillway gates early on the morning of Dec. 31 at the three major dams in the Savannah River system: Hartwell Dam, Richard B. Russell Dam and J. Strom Thurmond Dam.
SAVANNAH, Ga. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Savannah District is scheduled to conduct youth waterfowl hunts at the Richard B. Russell Project Office on the following five dates: Nov. 28, Dec. 12, Dec. 19, Jan. 2, and Jan. 16 (dates subject to change).  Three slots, selected by random drawing, will be available at each hunt for youth hunters ages 9 to 15.
SAVANNAH, Ga. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Savannah District will waive all day use fees for visitors during Fee-Free Day Sept. 26, held in conjunction with National Public Lands Day. NPLD volunteers are additionally eligible to receive a fee-free coupon valid for one year from the issue date.
SAVANNAH, Ga. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Savannah District will hold public workshops Sept. 14 at the Elberton Civic Center and Sept. 15 at the Calhoun Falls Civic Center from 5:30-7:30 p.m. to solicit comments on natural resources management and recreational development. Comments from the public workshop will be used to update the master plan at the Richard B. Russell Project.
SAVANNAH, Ga. –The three reservoirs on the Savannah River operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers entered the first drought level early Sunday morning when pool elevation at J. Strom Thurmond Lake dipped to 325.91 feet above mean sea level (ft-msl). Entering Trigger Level 1 activates the Corps’drought management plan which limits the discharge rate from the Thurmond Dam.
SAVANNAH, Ga. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Richard B. Russell Project Office will conduct two youth dove hunts Sept. 12 and 19, 2015 from 2 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Ten slots, filled by random drawing, will be available at each hunt for youth hunters ages 9 to 15.
SAVANNAH, Ga. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Richard B. Russell Lake Office, in partnership with state and private agencies, will host the 27th annual Kid’s Fishing Derby and Water Safety Program Saturday, April 25, at Blue Hole Recreation Area from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The gates, located on Highway 81 Calhoun Falls in South Carolina, will open at approximately 7 a.m. for early arrivals and registration.

                       

Contact Information

Richard B. Russell Dam and Lake Office
4144 Russell Dam Drive
Elberton, GA 30635-9271

Phone Numbers
706-213-3400 or toll free at
1-800-944-7207