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Welcome to Claytor Lake Online! You will find information on the State Park, Activities, Boating, Fishing, Watersports, and Real Estate....all pertaining to Claytor Lake!

A picture of Claytor Lake Dam, part of AEP

Basic Information

Claytor Lake is in Pulaski County, Virginia is a 4,500 acre (18 kmē), 21 mile (34 km) long man made lake on the New River created for a hydroelectric project of Appalachian Power Company. Located in Claytor Lake State Park, it is named for W. Graham Claytor (1886-1971) of Roanoke, Virginia, a vice president of Appalachian Power who had supervised construction of the dam and creation of the lake in 1939.

A picture of Hiwassee Trestle

Hiwassee Trestle

Located on the New River Trail, a former railroad line, crosses Claytor Lake. The bridge was built in 1931 by Virginia Bridge and Iron Co. of Roanoke, a subsidiary of the Norfolk and Western Railway. The trestle is 951 ft (290 m) long.

A young man enjoying Wakeboarding on Claytor Lake

Popular activities

People enjoy all sorts of fun water activities at Claytor Lake include powerboating, sailing and various watersports. There are even some clubs who dive at the lake due to the incredible depth near the dam of 95 feet! You can expect there to be a good mix of sports during the peak season from May to September.

A father and a young boy Fishing at Claytor Lake


Sport Fishing has also become a major attraction at Claytor Lake. The most plentiful fish in the lake are referred to by the locals as "bluegills" and are a form of perch. Most commonly they are in the 6" to 8" (15 - 20 cm) range and weigh less than a pound. Catfish are also popular in Claytor Lake, some of them getting quite large (well over 50 lbs. (22 kg)). The main sporting varieties are largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and striped bass. Large and small mouth bass fishing tournaments are a regular seasonal event at Claytor Lake with weights of 15 to 20 lbs. (6.7 - 8.9 kg) per fisherman being an average winning catch. All tournament fishing is catch and release and most is done by local clubs. Striped bass fishing occurs year round with various techniques. The average "striper" (as they are locally known) is about 8 lbs. (3.6 kg) but catches close to 30 lbs (13.4 kg), have been reported.

Claytor Lake State Park Beach with lifeguards

Claytor Lake Beach

Lastly, if you like to get outdoors and tan, Claytor Lake Beach is the place to be. The beach is located inside Claytor Lake State Park. There are lifeguards on duty, a floating dock with diving boards, and a beach with shallow areas to wade and swim in.