Altamaha River

Quick Facts about the River

  • The South River watershed is located in the Upper Ocmulgee River Basin. It is composed of 155,239 acres and includes portions of DeKalb, Fulton, Rockdale, Clayton, and Henry counties.

  • The current trend in the South River corridor is the development of single-family housing. In 1997, 37 permits for subdivision development created 1,920 lots, a 79% increase in this activity from the previous years.

  • The Yellow River stretches from suburban Gwinnett County outside of Atlanta to the south, draining portions of DeKalb, Rockdale, and Newton Counties before entering the backwaters of Lake Jackson. True to its name, the Yellow runs high in sediment, resulting in a water color from light to greenish brown.

  • The Yellow River Water Trail will be 47.5 miles.

  • The Alcovy River originates in Gwinnett County, near Lawrenceville, Georgia. It flows south, eventually emptying into the northern end of Lake Jackson along the Jasper/Newton County border.

  • The South, Yellow, and Alcovy Rivers empty into Lake Jackson, converging to form the Ocmulgee River, which then flows south and east to converge with the Oconee River to form the Altamaha River, which empties into the Atlantic Ocean between Darien and Brunswick, Georgia..

  • The lower Ocmulgee and the entire main stem of the Altamaha flow un-impounded for over 300 miles with a gradient of only about one foot per mile.

  • There are approximately 13 facilities, including industries and municipalities, authorized to discharge wastewater into the Ocmulgee River Basin pursuant to NPDES (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) Permits.

Health of the River

In the Ocmulgee River Basin, there are about 48 rivers and streams listed on the 2002 303(d) list as waters not meeting their designated use of fishing. (Two of those 48 also do not meet their designated use of drinking water.) These impaired waters include roughly 415 miles of rivers and streams in the Ocmulgee River Basin. Additionally, the following lakes/reservoirs are included on the 303(d) list as not fully supporting designated uses:

   1. Big Haynes Reservoir (Black Shoals Lake) - 650 acres - drinking water
   2. High Falls Lake - 699 acres - recreation
   3. Lake Jackson – 4,752 acres - recreation
   4. Little Ocmulgee State Park Lake – 224 acres - fishing

Tourist Sites / Significant Parks Pertaining to River

Ocmulgee National Monument in Macon, GA –