Tims Ford’s sprawling arms of water are popular with canoeists, kayakers and anglers—not to mention fishermen of all stripes.
Tims Ford Reservoir is on the Elk River in south central Tennessee. It extends 34 miles upstream to the northeast from Tims Ford Dam. In addition to power generation and recreation, Tims Ford provides water supply and flood damage reduction downstream on the Elk River, primarily for Fayetteville, Tenn.
TVA monitors water temperatures in the Elk River closely so that it can adjust the operation of Tims Ford Dam to protect a wide diversity of aquatic life. A cold water trout fishery is supported upstream, and downstream warm-water sport fish thrive—as do a many endangered species. Read more about this unique ecosystem in our story Preserving Life on the Elk River.
Tims Ford: Facts + Figures
- Construction of Tims Ford Dam began in 1966 and was completed in 1970.
- The dam is 175 feet high and stretches 1,580 feet across the Elk River.
- Tims Ford Dam is a hydroelectric facility. It has one generating unit with a summer net dependable capacity of 40 megawatts. Net dependable capacity is the amount of power a dam can produce on an average day, minus the electricity used by the dam itself.
- The water level in Tims Ford Reservoir varies about 15 feet in a normal year.
- Tims Ford has a flood-storage capacity of 219,600 acre-feet.
More Information on Tims Ford Reservoir
The Unified Development of the Tennessee River plan
stressed TVA was to provide flood control, navigation and electricity for the region. TVA’s dams are tangible evidence of its primary mission: improving life in the Tennessee Valley. We’re celebrating the plan with an in-depth look at 32 of the dams it comprises.
Tims Ford Dam is operated in such a way as to provide tailwater temperatures cold enough to support a thriving trout fishery, yet warm enough to support the endangered boulder darter. Read more about wildlife at this unique dam.
Kayaking, rafting and trout fishing—all activities that you can do in the tailwaters below TVA dams—are growing in popularity. Find out more about how you can “go with the flow” and get involved with these fun sports.