Lake Moultrie

Because Life is Better at the Lake

Lake Moultrie Information

Lake Moultrie is 31 miles north of downtown Charleston, South Carolina, on the Atlantic Ocean Coast, and located entirely within Berkeley County, South Carolina. Lake Moultrie covers 60,400 acres with 210 miles of shoreline, an average depth of 18.7 feet, and a maximum depth of 75.47 feet. Lake Moultrie is surrounded on its eastern and southern borders by six South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) which stretch to the Atlantic Ocean. There are four smaller WMAs that wind around Lake Moultrie’s northern border and The Hatchery WMA in the lake. 

Cooper River through Lake Marion, which begins six miles north of Lake Moultrie’s northwestern border, and a diversion canal feeds Lake Moultrie, which is owned and managed by the power company Santee Cooper. Charleston-North Charleston is the closest metro area to Lake Moultrie’s southern shores. The closest towns are Moncks Corner, Bonneau, Cross, and St. Stephen in South Carolina’s Low Country. 


History of Lake Moultrie 

Lake Moultrie and Lake Marion were created by the Santee Cooper Project in 1939 by the South Carolina Public Service Authority for the purposes of flood control and hydroelectric power. Over half of its shoreline is contained within a network of dams and dikes. The Santee Cooper Project was a depression era electrification project originally designed to route the Santee River flow down the Cooper River. In 1985, the Army Corp of Engineers re-diverted the flow to a canal off the Santee River for a hydroelectric dam located near the town of St. Stephen.

The lakes system of Lake Moultrie and Lake Marion provides 15,000 acres of federally managed land and water at the Santee National Wildlife Refuge. The SCDNR manages an additional 18,250 acres as WMAs. The two lakes are connected by a six-and-a-half mile diversion dam on the Cooper River. The creation of this lakes system was part of President Roosevelt’s New Deal to create jobs, improve navigation, and provide rural electricity. 

The creation of Lake Moultrie and Lake Marion was the largest land-clearing and earth-moving project at the time. Over 12,500 South Carolinians cleared more than 177,000 acres of swamp and timberland. Lake Moultrie inundated at least 40 historic sites and 12 churches. Lake Moultrie was named for South Carolina Governor William Moultrie, who defended Charleston during the Battle of Sullivan’s Island on June 28, 1776, in which he delivered a crushing defeat to the Royal Navy.


Lake Moultrie Fishing 

The fishing is excellent on Lake Moultrie which holds large populations of bream, black and white crappie, blue, channel, and flathead catfish, and largemouth, striped, and white bass. But there’s more! Other species include bluegill, pumpkinseed, redbreast, and redear sunfish, white and yellow perch, chain pickerel, and warmouth. The St. Stephen Dam is equipped with a fish lift that allows passage upstream for sea run anadromous fish species like American shad and blueback herring.

Lake Moultrie offers a varied fishing environment with areas of shallow swamps, black water ponds, thousands of tree stumps, live cypress trees, and large open areas of water. Some of the best fish cover in the lake includes submerged stumps, standing timber, and aquatic vegetation. Fish attractors are spread around Lake Moultrie to produce and develop various species of fish and baitfish. 

The Hatchery WMA, also called the Pinopolis Pool, is enclosed by dikes and contains islands as well as canals along much of the dike. The dike provides enough shelter to allow significant aquatic vegetation growth that provides habitat for largemouth bass, pickerel, bream, and many other species. It is an extremely popular fishing destination.

Access to the shoreline for fishing from the bank is available at Fred L. Day Fishing Pier and around some of the eight public boat launch ramps. Standing timber can cause major hazards to boat navigation in the shallow areas of Lake Moultrie. Alligators are present. 

Lake Moultrie is known for world records and trophy fish. Plenty of fishing guides are ready to show you where the fish are, and why they are there in Lake Moultrie. Leave the hassle of the boat maintenance to a professional and check out new fishing gear or learn new fishing techniques. Call a local Lake Moultrie fishing guide today on our Lake Moultrie Fishing Guides page. 


Boating on Lake Moultrie 

Lake Moultrie is both a pleasure boating and fishing boat lake. When pleasure boats head out to open water, there is plenty of room for skiing or tubing or wet biking. Most of the open water varies from 10 feet to 30 feet deep. Boaters need to take caution near the shorelines for stump hazards. 

Take a self-guided kayak or canoe tour at The Hatchery. Rent a pleasure boat, fishing boat, personal watercraft, or find boat repair and detailing services. Lake Moultrie’s Pinopolis Dam has a boat lock that allows both boat traffic and anadromous fish passage.

There are eight public boat ramps with one easily accessible ramp at The Hatchery WMA, popular with anglers, kayakers, and paddle boaters. Several marinas offer a variety of amenities including slips, storage, boat rentals, restaurants, bars with live music, campgrounds, and RV sites. Lake Moultrie has all the services boat lovers need. See how much fun you can have on Lake Moultrie. 

Call one of these Lake Moultrie marinas or boat services today on our Lake Moultrie Marinas page, or buy and sell on our Lake Moultrie Boats for Sale page. 


Lake Moultrie Rental Cabins 

Lake Moultrie is remarkably rural, and you won’t find too many cabins or cottages. There are vacation homes available with many options and even a rental home agency right on the water. Most of the lake front vacation rentals sleep from two to ten people. They come in all sizes with amenities like private docks and swim beaches. Be sure to check availability and book in advance. 

Imagine a sky with sweeping majestic clouds and the sunrise peeping through with a cup of hot coffee on the private dock with family or friends. Launch your boat or throw a pole in the water right out of the back door. Lake Moultrie offers relaxing peace with privacy. Many vacation rentals on Lake Moultrie offer beautiful views and abundant wildlife viewing opportunities, so plan a trip to this gorgeous gem in South Carolina’s Low Country. Book your next vacation on our Lake Moultrie Cabins page. 


Camping at Lake Moultrie 

Most of Lake Moultrie’s private campgrounds, RV parks, and motels are scattered along its northern borders and on the Cooper River. The campgrounds have different accommodations and services like restaurants, nightclubs, cabins, RV and tent sites, RV parts and repair services, fishing docks, boat rentals, and fishing gear and bait. 

The Santee WMA with the Francis Marion National Forest covers 3,000 miles and begins at the southern tip of Lake Moultrie and stretches into five other WMAs which go to the Atlantic coastline. The SCDNR operates all the WMAs in South Carolina with a mission to provide optimum habitat for a wide variety of wildlife, to provide habitat for upland game and non-game species and to provide recreational opportunities for the hunting and non-hunting public. 

The Santee WMA only offers primitive camping and is closed during scheduled hunts. The Short Stay Recreation Area Joint Base Charleston is where America’s military comes to relax. It offers boating, camping, lodging, fishing, a recreation area, and live entertainment to U.S. Troops. It requires a valid military ID to enter its grounds.

Start your camping adventure on our Lake Moultrie Campgrounds and RV Parks page. 


Hunting at Lake Moultrie

The WMAs surrounding Lake Moultrie offer hunting opportunities to the public for white-tailed deer, wild hogs, waterfowl (by special drawing only), bobwhite quail, small game and furbearers. Dates and times of hunts for deer, feral hogs, etc. are available at the SCDNR Rules and Regulations website: https://www.dnr.sc.gov/regulations.html. The South Carolina Low Country produces some huge alligators. 

Alligators must be secured and brought to shore or alongside the boat before dispatch. No shooting of free swimming or basking alligators is allowed in this program. No rifles are allowed, but handguns and bangsticks are permitted for dispatch. No bait, baited hooks, set hooks, or pole hunting is allowed. Only one alligator can be taken per permit. Alligator must be four feet or greater in length. Others may assist the permittee, but all participants (including permittee) must be licensed SC hunters.


Hiking at Lake Moultrie

The Santee WMA has four designated nature trails, and miles of dirt roads for hikers and bicyclists. Late winter through early spring provides bird watching opportunities along the 500-foot boardwalk on the Washo Reserve to observe a variety of species including waterfowl, wading birds, and migratory songbirds. 

The 26.9-mile Palmetto Trail is flat for moderate skill level hiking or mountain biking mostly on a wide dike system that provides a beautiful view of the lake. This trail snakes around Lake Moultrie with one trailhead on the southeastern border and the other one at Cooper’s River on the northern border. 

Alligators are abundant in the Lake Moultrie region. Hikers need to be aware of alligators and take safety precautions.  


Lake Moultrie Weather

Lake Moultrie sees an average of 50 inches of rain per year, no snow, and 211 days of sunshine. The winter low in January is 36 degrees and a summer high in July of 92 degrees. April, May, and October are the most comfortable months for this region. Stay tuned into the weather with our Lake Moultrie Weather Forecast page. 


Things to Do at Lake Moultrie

Plan a day of golf at the Berkeley Country club, just a few miles from the southern shore of Lake Moultrie and Moncks Corner, or at the Walker Creek Golf Course, a public course south of St. Stephen on the northeastern edge. Berkeley Country Club is a semi-private 18-hole golf course with a full practice facility, grill room, and a classic "Low Country" style clubhouse. Walker Creek Golf Course is a well-maintained 9-hole golf course with reasonable membership dues and guest fees.

Visit historic Pinopolis, where a 19th century post office has been restored, the William Robertson House, a two-story framed house sheathed in weatherboard, and built in 1844, is restored in period perfection. You can tour Dr. Morton Waring’s office of the same year. Pinopolis is a small village on the southern edge of Lake Moultrie a few miles north of Moncks Corner that refused to release its historical roots. 

You can find plenty of places to eat in Moncks Corner, and at a few of the campground/RV parks. There are a couple of marinas where you can throw down a cold brew or a great drink. Wherever you choose to dine, you will find that famous Low Country touch in the cuisine. Lake Moultrie was designed by accident for the nature lover at heart, and most of the attractions at Lake Moultrie are Lake Moultrie’s beautiful natural areas that surround it. 

Browse our list of attractions on our What To Do At Lake Moultrie page.


Lake Moultrie Real Estate

Lake Moultrie real estate is in the top twenty market for lake homes and lake lots in South Carolina. At any given time there are usually 30 lake homes for sale, and 40 or so lake lots and land for sale on Lake Moultrie. Modern Lake Moultrie homes for sale have an average list price of $254,000, but buyers can find many other ideal homes at higher and lower prices.

There is a Walmart in Moncks Corner on the south side of Lake Moultrie, but the Charleston-North Charleston Metroplex is the closest shopping center. The Berkeley County School District in Moncks Corner is the only school district near Lake Moultrie. Cross Elementary School is located on the west side of the lake. 

Find your dream home on Lake Moultrie on our Lake Moultrie Homes for Sale page.


Lake Moultrie Zip Codes

Berkeley County, South Carolina: 29410, 29430, 29431, 29434, 29436, 29445, 29450, 29453, 29461, 29468, 29469, 29472, 29476, 29479, 29483, 29486, 29492, and 29564.


Flora and Fauna at Lake Moultrie

The lands around Lake Moultrie are flat and typically only a couple of feet above the water table. As a result, heavy rains can cause the rainwater to pond temporarily and result in standing water in the woodlands. This leads to wildflower proliferation and their seed population explosion. Expect to see wildflowers year round. 

The long-leaf pine, Carolina bays, mixed hardwoods, and other forested areas support many colonies of the endangered Red-cockaded woodpecker, songbirds, raptors, butterflies, fox squirrels and other small mammals. Submerged bald cypress trees swaddled in Spanish moss stand like soldiers in Lake Moultrie’s shallow waters, creating dramatic fantasy-scapes with clouds at sunrises and sunsets. 

Birds are everywhere! Bring your binoculars to look for mourning doves, eagles, redtail hawks, wading birds, waterfowl, wild turkeys, migratory songbirds, and hundreds of other species. Alligators are abundant in the managed wetlands and are seen from late February through mid-November.

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Lake Moultrie Current Weather Alerts

There are no active watches, warnings or advisories.

 

Lake Moultrie Weather Forecast

Monday

Rain Showers

Hi: 73

Monday Night

Chance Rain Showers

Lo: 69

Tuesday

Thunderstorms Likely

Hi: 80

Tuesday Night

Slight Chance Thunderstorms

Lo: 70

Wednesday

Slight Chance Thunderstorms

Hi: 82

Wednesday Night

Partly Cloudy

Lo: 71

Thursday

Partly Sunny

Hi: 85

Thursday Night

Chance Thunderstorms

Lo: 70


Lake Moultrie Water Level (last 30 days)


Water Level on 5/24: 620.06 (+3.06)



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