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Special Construction Standards for the Tellico River

TVA proposes to develop a river corridor along the upper Tellico River portion of Tellico Reservoir. This would be a linear greenspace along both stream banks of selected tributaries entering the reservoir, managed for light boat access at specific sites, riverside trails and interpretive activities.

The purpose of a river corridor is to afford opportunities for the recreating public to enjoy natural settings in a riverine environment. Portions of the Tellico River have these characteristics and are worth preserving for future generations. The upper Tellico River is predominantly undeveloped, with some exceptions where subdivisions have sprouted or adjoining landowners have developed private water use facilities. A portion of the Tellico River offers free-flowing water that transitions to a lake environment and flat water. Much of the river is not navigable by large boats due to inadequate year-round water depth and underwater obstructions.

The area proposed for use as a river corridor is the portion of the Tellico River from below Sloan Bridge upstream to the end of TVA’s land and landrights for a distance of about 7.7 miles. The river corridor includes the upstream part of Parcel 131 and Parcels 134, 135, 136, 137, 138 and 139. The corridor, not including islands, would affect 216 acres of TVA land and 20.6 miles of shoreline.

The river corridor designation includes specific guidelines for private water and land use requests from landowners with ingress and egress rights along the shoreline. The purpose of these guidelines is to allow a qualified landowner to have a private water use facility while ensuring the protection of the natural settings along the shoreline. Once a landowner’s rights for a water use facility have been verified, and the usual 26a compliance checks have been completed, the additional proposed guidelines for river corridor water use facilities outlined below would apply.

Guidelines for Private Water Use Facilities

The type or style of the water use facility allowed on the river corridor would depend on the location of the site. Generally, the further upstream the facility, the more restrictive the approval. The access rights of a landowner requesting a water use facility must first be verified and the 26a compliance checks (navigation, flood control, public lands, and environmental) must then be completed. Additional guidelines such as those listed below would be applied in reviewing applications for water-use facilities on the river corridor:

  • In the upper and middle regions of the river corridor, approved facilities would be parallel to the shore and designed for the purpose of launching and mooring light watercraft such as canoes and johnboats.
  • No launching ramps, retaining walls or other types of facilities that are the cause of major ground disturbance would be approved.
  • The applicant would be allowed to access the facility by the clearing of a pathway only. The width of the pathway would be restricted to six feet or less and would be located to avoid any potential conflict with sensitive natural or cultural resources.
  • No clearing to the right or left of the pathway would be permitted.

Restrictions of the kind described above would be included in permits for water use facilities on the river corridor in addition to restrictions contained in TVA’s Shoreline Management Policy.


For more information, see the documents below:

Tellico Reservoir Land Management Plan
Tellico RLMP Map—Panel 1
Tellico RLMP Map—Panel 2
Tellico RLMP Map—All


For more information concerning these special construction guidelines, contact Debra L. Rutherford at 865-632-1311.