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LakeAnnaLifeTimesAprilMay2015 16 did you knowLAKE ANNA HISTORY TRIVIA Lake Anna one of Virginias larg- est freshwater inland lakes cov- ers a 13000 acre area which spans Louisa Spotsylvania and Orange counties. The lake is easily acces- sible and is a very popular recre- ational destination. Its visitors and residents enjoy among other things fishing boating swimming water skiing wake surfing and related competitive events. Origins Of Lake Anna According to Dominion Rich- mond Virginia Lake Anna was created in the 1970s by Dominions predecessor the Virginia Electric and Power Company VEPCO for the purpose of providing cooling for its North Anna Power Station. In 1968 it purchased 18000 acres of land which was cleared to create the 9600-acre lake reservoir and the 3400-acre waste heat treatment fa- cility. The lake was then formed by damming the North Anna River. The gates of the dam were closed in January 1972 and although it had been projected that natural rainfall would fill the lake within three years in June 1972 Hurri- cane Agnes a tropical storm by the time it reached Central Virginia stalled and virtually filled the lake full. Water level in the lake reached 250 feet above mean sea level or full pond in December 1972. The plants two Westinghouse pressurized water reactors became operational in 1978 and 1980. The 1.79 gigiwatts they generate go mostly to Richmond and northern Virginia. The Lake Anna Special Area Plan Committee noted in a March 2000 report that the lake itself is seven- teen miles long and 1.5 miles wide with about 200 miles of shoreline that the lake is publicly owned with Dominion owning the bot- tom and the shorelines that access to the cooling lagoons is limited to lot owners and no adjacent com- mercial development is permitted and that the main portion of the lake cold side of the plant is public and is used for fishing boating swim- ming and water-skiing. That report also noted that the Virginia Depart- ment of Game and Inland Fisheries stocks the lake annually to continue the 5.5 million initially stocked fish population consisting of thirty- three species of fish. Lake Anna State Park Lake Anna State Park is located along the northern shore of Lake Anna and currently covers a total of 2810 acres with 10 miles of shore- line. The park offers a wide variety of activities for its many visitors. Its facilities include a boat ramp parking areas a beach and swim- ming area environmental center picnic areas modern restrooms and hiking and horseback riding trails. Cabins are also available for rental. Horses are not available at the park but visitors may bring their horses to ride the trails. At one time the land in the park was known as Gold Hill and con- tained the Goodwin Gold Mine. According to a representative of the park gold mine tours will be conducted from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Further information regarding the park facilities and activities can be obtained by call- ing 540-854-5503. Information can also be obtained from the website for the Virginia Department of Con- servation and Recreation. Lake Anna Gold The Division of Mineral Resources of the Department of Mines Miner- als and Energy for the state of Vir- ginia reports that Virginia was one of the first gold-producing states in the nation with the earliest printed reference to gold in the State attrib- uted to Thomas Jeffersons 1782 report that a gold-bearing rock weighing four pounds was found on the north side of the Rappahan- nock River about four miles below the falls. The California Gold Rush of 1849 had a negative effect on gold min- ing in Virginia as miners moved west and therefore gold produc- tion in Virginia declined. The down- ward trend in production continued through the years and active gold mining almost ceased because of higher production costs and gradual depletion of known reserves. Contrary Creek Contrary Creek is a tributary of the North Anna River located in Louisa County Virginia and entering Lake Anna. The creek is of rising scien- tific interest due to the significant amount of drainage of toxic mine waste into the creek which has caused the water to steadily redden in color and overly decreased its pH levels this in turn has resulted in a lack of aquatic life. Further study and treatment of Contrary Creek may well reveal new answers on the effects of cer- tain pollutants in contaminated wa- ters as well as insight into the ways to improve the prevention of similar occurrences in the future. While the water of Contrary Creek is not good for aquatic life it is a favorite spot for gold diggers. Pros- pectors can utilize a gold pan and shovel and have great results or they can use a stream sluice pow- er sluice or small suction dredge Members of Virginia Power now Dominion and Louisa Coun- ty government at the Lake Anna dam closing ceremony.