High Rock Lake Association

The High Rock Lake Association Inc. was chartered by the State of North Carolina in 1954. Our Mission Statement has not changed since that time.  For more than 67 YEARS property owners around High Rock Lake and many others who love the lake and river have recognized the need for this organization. The Association is managed by a Board of Directors who serve on a voluntary basis and without compensation.  The Officers of the Association are also unpaid volunteers, and any meals served at our meetings are paid for personally by Directors, Officers, and Visitors.

New Member Benefits

  • Get emails sent directly to you; more timely communication pertaining lake levels, or weather that could impact the lake
  • Lake events,  such as the Rowan Chamber Dragon Boat Festival, Saturday, July 24 and High Rock Lake Clean Sweep, Saturday, September 18. 

HRLA Committees 

If you are a member and would like to serve on one of our many committees to make a difference, please send us an email at HRLA@hrla.com

with your interest and which committee makes sense for you. The committee chair will reach out to you. Committees and what they do are listed below:

       Memberships - lets get the word out and introduce HRLA to High Rock Lake homeowners

       Promotions/Advertising/PR/Newsletters - do you have creative marketing ideas, love to write; this committee is for you.

       Events/Activities - currently, we have three BIG events on our association calendar: July 4th dock decorating contest, Dragon Boat Festival and CleanSweep; we need volunteers for all of these! 

The HRLA Accomplishments

ü  In 1967-1968 obtained a change in the operating procedures by Alcoa intended to limit lake drawdown to 5 feet or less 96% of the time during the recreational season. Obtained Alcoa's promise that in years of severe drought, drawdown would not exceed eight feet.

ü  Successfully fought to stop construction of a nuclear power plant on the Yadkin River, which would have consumed 75 million gallons of water daily from the river.

ü  Obtained changes and clarifications to the 1998 pier specifications.

ü  Worked to achieve major reductions in proposed regulations sought by Alcoa in its Shoreline Management Plan.

ü  Very active in petitioning the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to demand Alcoa operate the lake in accordance with the intent of the 1968 license amendment during the 2002 drought and severe drawdown.

ü  Negotiated the terms of the Relicensing Settlement Agreement, obtaining major changes to the FERC License Application that ensure High Rock Lake is operated to provide the Recreational, Environmental, and Economic benefits that are important to our Members. The new License, makes sweeping changes in lake operations, ensuring much improved lake levels and less fluctuation. The new License also incorporates changes to the Shoreline Management Plan.

     In the early days of the Korean War, when extra aluminum production was needed there was a special arrangement between Alcoa and Duke Power among others which had the responsibility for two years of keeping the water level on High Rock Lake unusually stable and high.

     At this time, Alcoa sold several large tracts of water-front property in the Southmont area. Oakwood Acres was sold to a land development company from Connecticut. The company subdivided and resold the land to prospective lake cottage owners in the early 1950's, where several homes were built. 

     As the Korean War concluded, the water in High Rock Lake became quite unstable and at times disastrous for recreational use. Many of the new lake cottages owners, largely from Greensboro, Winston-Salem and High Point were unhappy about the situation. This resulted in the formation of the High Rock Lake Association in 1954 with the purpose of addressing the water level problem and other serious problems such as the increased level of pollution in the lake water.

     The High Rock Lake Association grew with membership to include lake residents, recreational users and even local businesses. The groundwork was laid for HRLA to improve and protect the recreational values on the lake and efforts to see that the surrounding communities in the upper Yadkin river basin improve on their sewerage treatment facilities: an effort to focus on sensible river flow for the public interest. HRLA directors attending countless meetings (at their own expense) and hearings before municipal officials in Winston-Salem, Thomasville, Lexington, Spencer, Elkin and other towns; as well as utility and power commissions in Raleigh, and Washington.

     Lawrence Pfefferkorn, Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Directors of HRLA, and president through much of the 1950's and 60's, estimated that he wrote more than one hundred letters to area media contacts about the lake problems. He said most of his letters were printed, and were often supported by editorial comments and were a big help to the cause.

     In 1967, the work of HRLA bore fruit as Alcoa, Duke Power, CP&L and the Federal Power Commission all agreed to a revision of the contracts amongst the entities. This resulted in new HRL water control rules which meant  a high water level from May 15th to September 15th each year, and more gradual and less severe draw-down at other times of the year.

     The next decade found HRLA engaged with Duke Power Company over the proposed Perkins Nuclear Plant. HRLA's position regarding the plant cooling techniques, together with Duke's inaccurate electrical demand projections and the Three Mile Island incident all led to Duke Power Company's eventual cancellation of the project.

     HRLA continues its work toward less pollution of the lake water, and for improvements to the recreational values on and around the lake. Our efforts are focused to facilitate cooperation between property owners of High Rock Lake and the new dam ownership, Eagle Creek RE, the Federal Power Commission, the N.C. Wildlife Commission and other interested parties in fostering and protecting the recreational values and public interest of High Rock Lake - "the Playground of the Piedmont".


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