North Fork of Pound River Lake

Huntington District
Published Jan. 10, 2024

The North Fork of Pound River is a part of the upper reaches of the Big Sandy system.  On its way to the Ohio River, the waters from North Fork flow northeast and meet the South Fork River to form the Pound River.  The Pound River then flows into the Russell Fork River near Haysi, Virginia.  The Russell Fork cuts through the Allegheny Mountain range to join the Levisa Fork then meets the Tug Fork at Louisa and forms the Big Sandy River.  

North Fork of Pound River Lake  was authorized by Section 4 of Flood Control Act of 1938. Primary project purposes are flood risk reduction, water supply, fish and wildlife enhancement, and recreation. Dam was completed in January 1966 and serves a drainage area of 17.2 square miles. The lake is impounded by a rock-fill dam with an impervious core, 122 ft. tall and 600 ft. long with an uncontrolled saddle spillway. Outlet works include an intake structure with three sluice gates that discharge through a horseshoe tunnel through the right abutment of the dam.  A duel selective withdrawal system bypasses the main gates. The project has one Corps managed day use area. Ownership of the land surrounding the lake was transferred to the U.S. Forest Service in 1983. 

Historical Info
Construction began in 1963 by the US Army Corps of Engineers under the Flood Control Act of 1960. The rock fill dam was completed in 1966 at a cost of $6.2 million. The dam is 122 feet high and 600 feet long. Water releases from the dam are controlled by three gates (3 feet wide, 6 feet high) located in the intake structure. Lake elevation is maintained at 1611 feet above sea level. During the fall the lake elevation is lowered 10 feet to hold water from fall and spring runoff. The lake covers 154 surface acres and includes 13.5 miles of wooded shoreline. The U.S. Forest Service obtained ownership of the lands surrounding the lake in 1983.