US Army Corps of Engineers
Nashville District Website

Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  What is the average elevation and temperature of Dale Hollow?
  The ordinary high water mark (summer pool) is 651 feet above mean sea level (msl). During the fall drawdown, the lake elevation has reached a minimum elevation of 632 feet msl. The maximum recorded elevation is 660 feet msl. The average surface water temperature is 64 degrees with the warmest recorded temperature of 84 during the month of July and the coolest temperature of 46 during the month of February.


Q:  What is the deepest part of the lake?
  The deepest part of Dale Hollow Lake is the original river channel closest to the dam at 130 feet.


Q:  Where can I tie-up my houseboat? Are there any restrictions for houseboaters?
  Houseboats can tie up just about anywhere on Dale Hollow’s 620-mile shoreline unless otherwise restricted. Areas that are prohibited for houseboat tie ups include the face and adjacent areas of the Dam, Pleasant Grove, the area between Trooper and State Line Island, developed recreation/concession fee areas and other areas posted as "No Houseboats". House boaters should also refrain from tying up adjacent to primitive camping areas unless associated with the camping party that has the permit for that site. Primitive camping sites are reserved for the use of primitive camping only. Houseboats may tie shore-to-shore in coves only when the boat is 75 feet or less from the head of the cove. No cross-ties should be any further than 25 foot from the shore. Vessels on Corps of Engineers managed lakes are prohibited for use as full or part-time residence.

Q:  Can I surface collect for arrowheads or geodes?  Can I dig for artifacts?
   The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has a responsibility for ensuring that properties of a cultural, historical, or traditional nature located on Corps lands are preserved and managed appropriately.  Removal of any artifact, prehistoric or historic, from Federal lands is a violation of both Federal regulations and Federal law.  Conviction for digging for artifacts can result in both substantial financial penalty which could be as much as a $250,000.00 and incarceration of up to five years.   It is all of our responsibilities to ensure that the cultural resources present on Dale Hollow Lake are protected.  To prevent the destruction of these sensitive resources and prevent possible prosecution, please leave any artifact found where you see it. 

Q:  What is the firewood policy?
Firewood Alert: Dale Hollow Lake is included as a firewood quarantine area. When camping or picnicking at this recreation area, purchase your firewood from a vendor who sells certified heat-treated firewood. Don't bring non-certified firewood from home. To help prevent the spread of the Emerald ash borer and other forest pests, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is prohibiting firewood that is non certified heat-treated firewood. Visit the Nashville District firewood policy, or for further information.

Q:  When do I need a primitive camping permit?
  When primitive camping on Dale Hollow, you must acquire a primitive camping permit and be camping within a designated primitive camping area.  Houseboaters that are not involved in camping activities do not need a primitive camping permit nor do they need to locate adjacent to a primitive camping area. Since there are a limited number of designated primitive campsites on Dale Hollow Lake, houseboats should not use these sites for moorage if primitive campers occupy the sites.

Q:  Can I have a campfire on the shoreline of Dale Hollow?
  Criteria for campfires are specifically outlined in Title 36, The Rules and Regulations that Govern Corps of Engineers Water Resource Projects. T-36, Section 327.10 states that ‘Fires shall be contained in fireplaces, grills, or other facilities designated for this purpose.’ Therefore, fires on the open shoreline, including pits constructed of shoreline rock, are not permitted. Portable grills and chimneys are permissible. Furthermore, ‘Fires shall not be left unattended and must be completely extinguished prior to departure.’ Gathering of dead wood on the ground for use as firewood is permitted; no live vegetation is to be cut. Only certified, heat-treated campfire wood is to be burned, and all burned debris and portable grills must be removed and cleaned up upon departure.

Q:  What is Title 36 and how can I obtain a copy?
  Title 36 amended May 5, 2000, is the Rules and Regulations that govern public use of Corp of Engineers water resource development projects. Visitors are bound by these regulations. A fine may be issued to violators of not more than $5,000 or imprisonment for not more than six months or both. A copy of Title 36 Regulations is available from the Resource Manager’s Officeand is posted on most bulletin boards and are available from Rangers, Park Attendants, and lake offices. 

Q:  Can I use metal fence posts, tires or modified docks to moor my boat?
  Title 36, The Rules and Regulations that Govern Corps of Engineers Water Resource Projects, Section 327.20, Unauthorized Structures states that the placement of any structure, including, but not limited to, docks, of any kind upon project lands or waters is prohibited. Devices driven into the ground such as metal fence posts to assist with moorage is also prohibited. History has shown that such items are usually left behind and become a hazard to boaters and swimmers during periods of high water. Tires and old carpets continue to litter our shoreline and are undesirable. Portable rubber mats, floats, and anchors are permissible forms of moorage devices. All moorage devices must be removed from project waters upon departure.

Q:  If I access a Corps of Engineers Day Use Area from the water, do I have to pay the day use fee?
  Day user fees are charged at Pleasant Grove, Lillydale and Obey River Recreation Areas. Day User fees apply to any user of the facility whether they arrive by vehicle or boat. Fees are $5 per vehicle/vessel. Walk-ins are $2 per person. Annual Passes are available for purchase from each of the Corps managed recreation areas. 

Q:  Does the Corps have a discount program?
  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Dale Hollow Lake charges fees at selected camping and day use areas.  Individuals possessing the America the Beautiful (ATB) Interagency Senior or Access Pass will receive a 50% discount on camping fees. The Corps of Engineers will accept the ATB Senior, Access, Interagency Annual, Military and Every Kid in a Park Pass for day use entry fees.   The Corps of Engineers will issue and honor the Corps Annual Pass for day use entry.  To obtain an America The Beautiful Discount Pass by mail order visit their USGS website.   Some of these passes are issued or sold at campground or day use offices operated on Dale Hollow Lake.  Please phone before traveling to ensure the pass desired is available for issue.

Q:  Can I hunt on Government property?
  Hunting is permissible on Government Property during the regulated hunting season. Areas that are restricted to hunting include developed park and recreation areas, commercial marinas, and areas close to private residence.

Q:  Can I have fireworks?
  Fireworks, along with explosives, firearms and other weapons are prohibited on Government Property. Detailed information can be found in Title 36, The Rules and Regulations that Govern Corps of Engineers Water Resource Projects, Section 327.13

Q:  If I purchase property on Dale Hollow, can I cut trees for a view to the lake or have a personal boat dock?

A:  The Dale Hollow Lake Shoreline Management Policy provides policies and guidelines for the effective long-range management and protection of entrusted natural resources. These public lands are managed like our Nation's National Parks; allowing the shorelines and forested hillsides to remain untouched in their natural state. All private floating facilities and other private exclusive use privileges are prohibited. Destruction of public lands and properties, cutting of trees and vandalism is a federal offense. Help us protect your natural resources for long-term enjoyment.  Also, when looking to purchase property that states "Lake Front"-buyer beware!  For specific questions, contact the Resource Manager's Office at 931-243-3136.