Carroll Lake is located in Carroll County in the north-western part of Tennessee. A quiet fishing lake in a small town of about 5,000 people give or take each year. The picturesque lake is roughly 100 acres nestled just outside the little town of McKenzie. Although I grew up near here, not much time was spent at this lake since Kentucky Lake is just a short ride up the highway and much larger. Fishing is the main activity at the lake where you can find largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, redear sunfish, as well as, blue & channel catfish. The lake is surrounded by beautiful countryside, a golf course and many residential communities. It is hard to believe that all this beauty was actually man-made…
It was in 1950 that the State of Tennessee purchased the land, that is now Carroll Lake, from Carroll County. Daniel Scates, of Scottish ancestry and local resident, was hired to clear the land for the future lake. His son, Theron, was assisting his father with the clearing and eventually was hired as the Manager of Carroll Lake, a job he held until he died in 1983. The Scates men worked with the state engineers in building the spillway, the planting of the pine trees, and stocking the lake with fish [taken from “History of Carroll County Tennessee © 1986] The beautiful lake is a testament to the vision that the Scates men had and the passion that made their vision a reality.
Update June 2014 – Carroll County Lake was recently devastated by massive flooding causing considerable damage and is currently being drained.
Update May 2020 – Carroll County Lake has officially reopened >>more info<<.