Frequently Asked Questions

We want to take this opportunity to summarize what HRLA does, what it means for homeowners (permanent residents and weekenders alike) to have a voice that cares about what you do, the viability of lake living in a peaceful setting, for all to enjoy the lake for years to come.

1. How is the Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) and how does it affect my property?

The SMP is the agreed upon rules for High Rock, Badin and Tillery Lake property owners, which include the following guidelines: (1) the design of private individual and shared piers; (2) allows private piers in subdivisions developed prior to May 1, 1987, with a 50-foot lot width; (3) reduces the minimum water depth at private piers and multi-use facilities from 8 feet to 6 feet; (4) permits boat lifts with supports resting on the reservoir bottom; (5) allows a sitting area within the 100-foot forested setback; (6) relaxes limitations on vegetation removal in the 100-foot forested setback to improve water views, among other things; and (7) removes voluntary guidelines for timbering operations because most of the measures are already contained in the forested setback requirement.

2. How long has HRLA been around and what is the mission statement?

High Rock Lake was chartered in 1954 "To Foster and Promote the Welfare of High Rock Lake and the Yadkin River". High Rock Lake is becoming an asset to both Rowan and Davidson counties, as well as a viable residence lake today; thanks to the thousands of hours of work by the HRLA. We have negotiated new operational standards which extend the recreational period for High Rock by 12 weeks that has resulted in lake levels averaging 2½ feet below full ‘pond’ from April thru October, (rather than the previous May 15th – September 15th time period). This new license also limits the winter draw down for four months and not to exceed 10 feet, although this has rarely happened over the past ten years. The new terms will positively change water quality, recreational opportunities, and have greatly improved waterfront property values.

3. What can HRLA do to help regulate the lake levels – in spring/summer season and winter season?

The HRLA president is in contact with Eagle Creek RE and through this website we will keep our membership informed of significant water level changes. Nature does come into play with spring rains, or extreme cold temperatures in the winter.

4. Can we get a notice on when the lake levels will drop?

With this new, refreshed website, we will have the opportunity to communicate directly with our members more often, for those members that we have their email address.

5. What do my dues cover and does anyone get paid at the association?

Your membership allows HRLA to have a voice in speaking with Eagle Creek RE and FERC [Federal Energy Regulatory Commission]. The HRLA membership is only $25.00 per calendar year, $60.00 for three years, or $500.00 for a Lifetime Membership.

Your financial support is needed, as it pays for the association’s expenses including the maintenance of the membership website, the post office box, printing and mailing of the annual newsletter, as well as the soon-to-be-installed safety and navigational aids maintenance fees.

Help us continue our work toward an environmentally sound and safe lake:

* Accomplish things that make our Lake FUN and SAFE for all, i.e. the Safety and Navigation Aid Project, which will be placing a quantity of beacons in coves for emergency locations.

* Ensure the Federal License Renewal for High Rock Lake satisfactorily addresses the issues that are important to us. Attaining this goal will require the successful cooperation with local, state, and federal officials, as well as Eagle Creek RE for years to come.

6. What has HRLA accomplished?

a) In 1967-1968 HRLA 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. We obtained Alcoa's promise that in years of severe drought, drawdown would not exceed eight feet.

b) HRLA 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.

c) We worked to achieve major reductions in proposed regulations sought by Alcoa in its Shoreline Management Plan, including clarifications to the 1988 pier specifications.

d) HRLA has 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.

e) HRLA representatives have been very involved in negotiating 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. A new Federal License was issued September 23, 2016. This new License, replacing the 1958 License, makes sweeping changes in lake operations, ensuring much improved lake levels and less fluctuation. The new License also mandates changes to the Shoreline Management Plan.

Please share your success stories.

7. What is the process for building a dock, retaining/sea wall, boat ramp or permanent roof structure over my dock?

The Owner must get permission from Eagle Creek Energy RE on any work done on HRL. Then will need a permit from respective county offices. Please send an email to Karen Baldwin at Eagle Creek Energy RE for anticipated work at Karen Baldwin

8. What if I utilize the lake for recreation, but don’t own property on the lake, can I still be a member of HRLA?

Your membership means proper growth for High Rock Lake and the Association.

It is not necessary to own property on High Rock Lake, just a desire to help improve High Rock Lake for everyone to enjoy fishing, boating, swimming and other lake activities. We also need members who will volunteer their time and talent to serve on the board or even to be a committee member for memberships, Social Media or the annual Rowan County Dragon Boat Festival in July.

High Rock Lake Living Testimonials

I relocated here to live on High Rock Lake, and it was one the best decisions I’ve made. Whether sitting on a pier, taking a lunchtime Jet Ski ride, fishing with my boys, watching the wildlife or taking a ride with friends to get dinner on the lake, it reminds me of why lake-front living is typically reserved for the rich and famous.

A major point of the article is that old information continues to feed outdated opinions on the lake, such as in regard to the water levels. Fortunately, with leadership from people who care, like the High Rock Lake Association, the rules … changed before I moved here, solidifying the ability of lake residents and recreationers to enjoy the lake.

High Rock Lake really is an under-appreciated asset to the county, and the county would benefit immensely from High Rock Lake getting the positive attention it deserves.

— Mikey Wetzel

If you have a question that is not addressed in our FAQs

please email

High Rock Lake Association is a 501(c) 4 non-profit organization. P.O. Box 159, Southmont, NC 27351

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software