Lake Moomaw has been stocked with largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, brown trout, rainbow trout, lake run trout, brook trout, channel catfish, black crappie, yellow perch, chain pickerel, northern pike, gizzard shad, alewife, bluegill and various sunfish.
Gathright Dam and Lke Moomaw provide flood and water quality control along the Jackson and James Rivers in Western Virignia and are located on the Jackson River, 43 miles upstream from its confluence with the Cowpasture River, which, at that point forms the upper James River. The City of Covington is 19 miles downstream from the dam. From the dam, the lake extends 12 miles along the Jackson River. At its normal recreational level of 1,582 feet above sea level, the lake covers a surface area of 2,530 acres and has a shoreline of more than 43 miles.
Gathright Resevoir, as it was originally called, was authorized by Congress in the Flood Control Act of 1946. However, two years later in a similar piece of legislation, Congress stated that the project should be reviewed to determine the desirability of its construction. Lawmakers also questions whether some local funding should be sought based on benefits to be derived from water supply, pollution abatement and other conservation purposes.
In a review report to Congressional Public Works Committees, the Corps recommended that construction be undertaken without requiring local funding support. The project was put in abeyance in 1954, when it appeared that economic justification for Gathright was marginal. In 1957, it was officially "Deferred for Restudy."
The restudy, conducted in 1964, concluded that favorbale economic benefits would prevail by constructing Gathright Dam. Gathright was soon thereafter placed back on "Active" status, and initial construction was underway by 1967. A slowdown in Congressional funding minimized much of the construction work until 1970, when the project went into full gear. In 1978, following the death of Mr. Bejamin Moomaw, the man whose efforts brought the project into the Allegheny Highlands, Congress remanmed the area Gathright Dam, and Lake Moomaw. construction was comleted in 1981.
A Cove at Lake Moomaw-July 2008
On the way to the main body of the lake, there are several little islands scattered about the lake and you can tie up your boat and have lunch on them or sun when the weather is right
Channel leading from boat dock to main body of the lake
Water is let out from the lake area during the Fall and Winter to keep the river levels up downstream note difference between July photo immediately preceeding this one
July 2008 -Boat Dock