Major lakes in Tennessee include Kentucky Lake, Lake Barkley, Norris Lake, Pickwick Lake, Watts Bar Lake, Old Hickory Lake, Cherokee Lake and Chickamauga Lake. The largest of these bodies of water, by far, is Kentucky Lake, which covers 160,000 acres in western Tennessee. Lake Barkley is the second-largest body of water in Tennessee, and it is located east of Kentucky Lake.
Kentucky Lake is part of the Tennessee Valley Authority, which built dams along major rivers during the Great Depression. This body of water, which is part of the Tennessee River, is 184 miles long and covers more acreage than any other artificial lake in the eastern United States. Kentucky Dam generates power through five turbines while managing floods in the Mississippi River Valley. Kentucky Lake filled in 1944 after six years of construction.
Lake Barkley is the companion to Kentucky Lake. Both of these lakes are connected by a canal. Lake Barkley is 104 miles long and covers nearly 58,000 acres. Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley are popular recreational and fishing lakes in western Tennessee.
Tennessee's Wildlife Resources Agency oversees 18 lakes throughout the state, which range in size from 12 acres to 560 acres. Larger lakes are managed by the federal government because of flood control issues and hydroelectric projects.