Johnson Creek Reservoir (Cypress River Basin)

Johnson Creek Reservoir and Dam (Photo courtesy of AEP-Southwestern Electric Power Company)Johnson Creek Reservoir is located about thirteen miles northwest of the town of Jefferson in Marion County on Johnson Creek, a tributary of the Big Cypress Creek.  The project is owned and operated by the AEP-Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO) and is used for cooling water for Wilkes Power Plant, a steam-electric generating station.  Construction of the dam began on June 16, 1960 and was completed on August 4, 1961.  Deliberate impoundment of water began on the day of completion.  The reservoir is formed by an earthfill dam approximately 2,530 feet long.  The crest of the spillway is 280 feet above mean sea level, and the conservation storage capacity is 10,100 acre-feet with a surface of 650 acres.  The drainage area above the dam is about eleven square miles.  Water is purchased and pumped in from the Lake O' the Pines to maintain the desired level because of limited inflow from its own catchment.