Leesville Lake Information
History: Leesville Lake and Smith Mountain Lake were constructed in the early 1960’s with completion in 1963. Smith Mountain Project is a 636-megawatt pumped storage hydroelectric facility that utilizes an upper reservoir (Smith Mountain Lake) and a lower reservoir (Leesville Lake). Water stored in Smith Mountain Lake first passes through turbine-generators in the powerhouse to produce electricity and is discharged into Leesville Lake. Most of the water is retained in Leesville Lake and pumped back into the Smith Mountain Lake for re-use. A portion of the water goes through the turbine-generators at the Leesville powerhouse to generate additional electricity and to meet the minimum discharge requirements of the project’s operating license.
Ownership: Leesville Lake and Leesville Dam are owned by American Electric Power (AEP) www.smithmtn.com
Operation of the Lake: Power is normally generated by allowing water to pass through the turbines at Smith Mountain Lake. That water flows into Leesville Lake and eventually through the turbines at Leesville Dam. At periods of low electrical demand the turbines at Smith Mountain Lake are reversed and water is pumped from Leesville Lake back into Smith Mountain Lake. The normal operating range of Leesville Lake is from elevation 600 up to elevation of 613.
The plat for Heron Landing will reference the 620 contour. The high water level and the flowage easement held by AEP is located along the 620 contour. All lot acreages are calculated to the 620 contour. Lots do extend out beyond the 620 contour which insures that lot owners will always have access to the lake and any docks they construct.
Leesville Lake Statistics: Leesville lake is approximately 17 miles long, includes 100 miles of shoreline, and encompasses approximately 5,000 surface acres. Its project boundary is the 620 foot contour elevation while the project fluctuates between the 600 and the 613 foot contour elevations.
Docks: Private docks are allowed and are subject to the AEP Shoreline Management Plan. All docks must be permitted by AEP. Waterfront lots with at least 100 feet of shoreline are permitted to have a dock.
Fishing: Fishing at Leesville Lake has been very good in recent years. Anglers catch Largemouth and Striped Bass, Crappie and Bream. Largemouth fishing is best in spring and fall. Striper fishing is best in fall and winter. Leesville Lake hosts several tournaments throughout the season.
Boating: State boating regulations are the only regulations boaters at Leesville Lake are subject to. There are no horsepower restrictions. Pontoons and fishing boats are the most popular boats found on the lake.