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North Fork Pound Reservoir

Pound Lake is a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lake that was built in 1966. The impoundment covers 154 surface acres, and includes 13.5 miles of wooded shoreline. Ownership of the land surrounding the lake was transferred to the U.S. Forest Service in 1983.

Pound Lake offers fishing for largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass, as well as bluegills, black and white crappie, channel and flathead catfish and carp. Walleye and muskies are also present, but in lower numbers.

To get to the lake, take Route 23 to Pound; turn west onto Route 630. Follow Route 630 for a mile to the boat landing.

Maps & Directions

To get to the lake, take Route 23 to Pound; turn west onto Route 630. Follow Route 630 for a mile to the boat landing. Map



best bet


best bet





Bass are the most popular sport fish at Pound Lake. Largemouth and spotted bass are more abundant than smallmouths. The spring electrofishing sample turned up some very nice largemouth bass. Abundant forage and a protective limit should produce very good bass fishing opportunities in the near future. Though typically small, spotted bass are abundant enough to provide good action on small surface lures or flyrod poppers.

Pound Lake has provided excellent bluegill fishing for many years. The bluegill fishery seems to have declined somewhat since gizzard shad and alewives were introduced in the 1990s. However, crappie fishing has been improving steadily. A habitat improvement project was completed in 2002 with the U. S. Forest Service. Hinge-cut trees were developed along the shoreline at several locations in the lake. Adult crappie (six to eight inches) were also stocked. Crappie fishing should improve as a result of the habitat improvements, the stockings and the shad forage.

Muskies stocked in the past are still providing a few trophies (See the photo gallery). Channel catfish fishing is improving, because larger fingerlings have been available for stocking the last few years. Flathead catfish are also available for anglers.

The Department stocked walleye fingerlings into Pound Lake each year from 1998 to 2004. Stocked walleyes did not do very well in the lake. Anglers caught a few walleyes, and biologists have collected some during routine sampling. However, good walleye population and fishery did not develop. Walleye stocking has been discontinued at Pound Lake. The walleye stocked from 1998-2004 should provide some limited fishing opportunities for the next few years.

Biologist Reports



  • 14 to 18 inches slot limit.

All bass between 14-18 inches must be released.


  • 10 inches minimum
  • All crappie less than 10 inches must be released.

Other Species

  • Statewide creel limits apply for all species.

Other Regulations & Information

  • Despite being in a national forest, a National Forest Stamp is not required to fish the reservoir.
  • Gasoline motors are allowed, but the entire lake is a no-wake zone.

Facilities, Amenities, and Nearby Attractions

Nearby Attractions


  • Fee
  • Parking
  • Handicap-Accessible
  • Food Concession
  • Picnic Tables
  • Grills
  • Restrooms


  • Hiking Trails
  • Bike Trails
  • Viewing Blinds
  • Observation Platforms
  • Fishing Pier/Platform
  • Boat Ramps
  • Motorboat Access
  • Horsepower Limit
  • Electric Motor Only
  • Paddle Access
  • Camping
  • Primitive Camping Only

There are boat ramps at Pound and Wise Landings, with campgrounds and picnic areas at Canepatch, Phillips Creek, Hopkins Branch (primitive) and Laurel Fork.

More Information

For more information about the lake’s fisheries contact the Marion DWR office.

For more information about camping or picnic facilities contact the U.S. Forest Service Clinch Ranger District at 276-328-2931.