Discover the Deepest Lake in Fulton County

Written by Kaleigh Moore
Updated: July 27, 2023
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Fulton County in Georgia is home to countless natural wonders, including several mesmerizing lakes. Among them is Cowart Lake. Not only is Cowart Lake the deepest in the county, but it also boasts of incredible fishing opportunities. 

The lake has an ample supply of different species of fish, which makes it an excellent spot for fishing enthusiasts. Also, the lake’s surroundings are popular for its warm weather, relaxed atmosphere, and picture-worthy natural landscapes making it a peaceful retreat from the city.

Location of Cowart Lake

Cowart Lake is located in Fulton County, Georgia. It’s a few miles from Atlanta and is easily accessible by car. The nearest town is Fairburn, which is just about 2 miles away from the lake.

In addition, many other urban areas are nearby such as East He Point, GA, South Fulton, GA, and College Park, GA. Also, the lake is surrounded by striking landscapes and lush forests such as Enon Forest and Sherbrooke Forest.

Aerial view of Lake Allatoona in Georgia just after the sunset

Georgia is home to countless natural wonders, including several mesmerizing lakes.


History of Cowart Lake

Cowart Lake was formed in the early 1900s when a reservoir was built across the Chattahoochee River as the “City Water Supply.” The reservoir was intended to supply water to the nearby City of Atlanta, Fairburn, suburb Granada, and the neighborhood Wexwood Glen. 

Over the years, the dam-lake was maintained and protected by the Cowart family, who have owned the land around it for more than 100 years. So, in appreciation, the lake was later renamed Cowart Lake after the family.

The Cowart family was an influential family and they assumed a crucial role in the improvement of the area. William G. Cowart was the first individual from the family to settle in the region during the 1820s. He and his family possessed a lot of land in what is presently Fulton District.

The Cowarts were likewise associated with local legislative issues and helped lay out the city of Fairburn. In subsequent years, the family has been involved in different businesses in the area, including agriculture and banking. Today, the Cowart name is still connected with the region, and their commitments and contributions to the area are still recognized.

Cowart Lake is a safe house for anglers, with a wealth of largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, and channel catfish.

How Deep is Cowart Lake?

Cowart Lake is a little lake, estimated to be roughly 135 square acres in size (1 square kilometer). Its depth goes from 10 to 30 feet, making it a phenomenal area for fishing and boating.

A few tiny streams feed into the water body. Besides, the lake is encircled by lush greenery and towering hills, resulting in beautiful scenery.

Fishing in Cowart Lake

Cowart Lake is a safe house for anglers, with a wealth of largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, and channel catfish. The lake is supplied routinely, making it an ideal area for amateur and experienced anglers.

The irregular lake bed all through the lake makes for a diverse submerged ecosystem, giving favorable habitat to different fish species and other water life.

Along with that, the lake’s clear water makes it an optimal spot for fishing, as the fish are easily visible. Thus, fishers from everywhere in the county flock to this area to get the different fish species.

You will be really glad to note that there are a few boat ramps situated around the lake, giving simple access to the anglers who like to fish from a boat.

Nevertheless, the law in Georgia requires fishermen aged 16 and more seasoned to carry a Georgia fishing permit while fishing. You can apply for a permit from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

A fishing pole bent with a fish on the line

Cowart Lake is a popular fishing spot with its wealth of largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, and channel catfish.

©Darryl Brooks/

Factors That Contribute to the Thriving Fish Populations in Cowart Lake 

1. Food

One of the essential factors that add to the overflow of fish in Georgia’s lakes is the accessibility of food. Likewise, Cowart Lake has an abundant food supply, which supports fish and other aquatic animals. The food comes from different sources, including decomposing natural matter, overflow from nearby areas,  green underwater growth and different plants.

2. Warm Waters

The state’s warm environment implies that the water temperatures in most of its lakes stay high consistently, giving the ideal climate for fish to flourish. This warmth also encourages the growth of the many plants and green growth that give food to fish and other aquatic organisms.

3. Favorable Habitat

Cowart lake has an ideal mix of shallow and deep areas, which provide different environments for different types of fish to live in. Additionally, the presence of structures like submerged trees and bushes creates hiding places for fish to avoid predators.

4. Low Depth

Unlike the deepest lakes in Georgia, Cowart Lake is relatively shallow. Therefore, sunlight easily passes through the water to the bottom. The daylight is fundamental for the development of plants and green growth, which provide food and nourishment to the majority fish species. Moreover, the clarity of the water in the lake allows easy penetration of sunlight, which gives an ideal condition for the thriving fish populations.

Fishing Spots

Cowart Lake offers several fishing spots that you can explore. Some of the popular spots include the fishing pier, the dam area, and the inlet. The fishing pier is accessible to anyone and is an excellent spot for beginners. The dam area offers a bit more challenging fishing, and you’ll need to climb down to access it. The inlet is another great spot to try your luck.

Fishing Regulations

It’s essential to know the fishing regulations when fishing in Cowart Lake. The City of Atlanta owns the lake while the Atlanta Watershed Department manages it. In general, all Georgia fishing regulations apply to the lake. 

Georgia is home to an assortment of fish species, and each has its own rules and guidelines. For instance, the fishing season for trout in specific streams is confined to some months, while species like largemouth bass can be fished all year. It’s vital to check the Georgia State Fishing Guidelines guide prior to going out on your fishing excursion to ensure you adhere to the most recent standards and guidelines.

Georgia fishing regulations include fishing hours as well as size and ownership limits for various types of fish. Size limits refer to the minimum size required to be legally caught, while ownership limits refer to the number of fish you can keep. These limits help prevent overfishing and protect fish stocks.

Additionally note that in specific regions authorities demand that some varieties and sizes of fish are immediately released into the water after fishing. Catch-and-release fishing is a well-known practice among fishermen and it helps conserve fish stocks by allowing fish to reproduce and mature. However, it is important to practice proper catch and release techniques to maximize the chances of a released fish surviving.

A largemouth bass jumping out of the water.

It’s important for anglers to abide by state regulations when fishing in order to help preserve the health and balance of aquatic ecosystems.

©Ryno Botha/

Fishing Seasons

Although anglers can fish in the lake all year, it’s best to fish in Cowart Lake all during the spring and fall. During the spring, the water temperature is perfect for certain species of fish, including largemouth bass, bluegill, and crappie. Whereas in the fall, the water temperature cools, and the fish become more active.

However, if you wish to fish in the summer, it’s ideal to fish in the deeper parts of the lake where the fish retreat to stay cool. The best time of the day to fish is in the early morning or late night when the water is cooler. 

More Tips for Catching Fish in Cowart Lake

Fishing on Cowart Lake can be somewhat trying for those new to the area. One of the main tips is to use the right bait. Different fish respond contrastingly to different types of lure, so it’s vital to do all necessary investigations and find the best bait for the fish species you intend to catch.

What’s more, close to the dam where the water is deepest and the fish are most active is one of the most outstanding spots to begin. Another perfect spot is on the shore of the lake.

Can You Swim in Cowart Lake?

Cowart Lake is a stunning destination, but because it’s a source of drinking water for local communities, swimming is strictly prohibited. Furthermore, there are no lifeguards present, so swimmers should exercise extreme caution and adhere to the advice of the local authorities.

Are There Alligators in Cowart Lake?

Not really. There are no reported alligator sightings in the lake making it safe for family adventure.

Other Things To Do Around Cowart Lake

Besides fishing, adventure seekers and water enthusiasts can also engage in the following:

1. Vacationing

Cowart Lake is a vacation paradise for visitors looking to unwind and relax. 

The lake’s warm environment and delightful coastline make it appealing for those hoping to get away from the cold weather months. Many vacationers go sunbathing and loosening up on the shores while absorbing the sun and enjoying the picturesque views.

Additionally, its proximity to major metropolitan regions means easy access to top-of-the-line facilities and lavish resorts that guests can appreciate. Furthermore, the encompassing scene of slopes, forests, and islands adds to the appeal of the lake and lends to a tranquil setting for nature-cherishing guests.

2. Hiking

Cowart Lake is encircled by a few grand hiking trails and stops where you can hike, climb, run, walk, or cycle while enjoying the breathtaking views of the waters. The most popular hiking trails are Cochran Shoals Park, Northside Trail, Doll’s Head Trail, and Peachtree Creek Greenway Hills Trailhead.

Close up of hiking boots walking along a dirt path through the woods.

Taking a leisurely hike around Cowart Lake is the perfect way to get closer to nature and take in the sights and sounds of this beautiful area.


3. Boating and Kayaking

You can immerse yourself in the country’s natural beauty and take in the beautiful scenery around the lake by boating, kayaking, and paddle boating. How thoughtful of the authority to include a public boat ramp and dock? These additions are helpful for people who want to launch boats from the shore. Not just that. There are several businesses around the lake that offer rental services for boats, and kayaks.

4. Birdwatching

The state of Georgia is well-known as a birding habitat and a rich migrant bird stopover. And it’s no surprise to see the scores of avian creatures attracted to the region. Georgia is graced with abundant native trees and shrubs which provide bird food in the form of seeds, fruits, and flowers. Moreover, the swamps, marshes, wet prairies, and some of the best national parks in Georgia offer feeding grounds for marshland birds. 

As well, the dense forage of the wild growth offers a convenient venue for hiding and nesting. Moreover, extensive beaches accommodate shorebirds and are also an excellent breeding spot for birds that like to nest away from civilization and disturbance.

So, if you love to watch birds you can drop by Bob Callan Trail, Fernback Forest, and Georgia Audubon among others, and enjoy lively animations of the feathered family in their natural habitat. 

5. Water Sports

Adrenaline junkies can enjoy the quaint waters of the lake and stay active and healthy, by taking part in water sports such as jet skiing, canoeing, snorkeling, parasailing, and wakeboarding. 

Discover the Magic Yourself!

Are you an avid angler, adventure seeker, or outdoor enthusiast looking for a new destination in Georgia? Cowart Lake is worth a visit whether you want to pass the hours away fishing, or looking to explore or research Georgia’s beautiful outdoors. Its incredible depth, crystal-clear water, and picturesque surroundings never cease to amaze its visitors. 

However, this write-up can only give you a shallow glimpse of what awaits you at this fascinating natural wonder. So, why not explore the depths and discover its magic for yourself!

The photo featured at the top of this post is © AJ4TBama / CC BY-SA 3.0 – License / Original

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