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University Lake in Chapel Hill-Carrboro

Outdoor Fun at Chapel Hill-Carrboro's In-Town Lake

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University Lake in Chapel Hill-Carrboro.

Rent a boat and fish at University Lake in Chapel Hill-Carrboro.

OWASA

University Lake is a popular fishing spot in Chapel Hill-Carrboro. It was built in 1932 by UNC. It has 213 acres of surface area and holds 450 million gallons of water. Owned by OWASA, Chapel Hill-Carrboro's water management agency, the reservoir is a primary source of the community's drinking water.

Fishing
University Lake is fully stocked with large-mouth bass, catfish, crappie and bluegill. Public fishing is welcomed either at the fully accessible dock or on the lake. Note that a fishing license is necessary for anyone over the age of 16. Click here for more about NC Fishing Licenses.

Boating
Both flat-bottom boats and canoes are available to rent at University Lake. Fees for OWASA customers are $8 per half-day for the first adult and $4 for each additional adult. Children under 12 and seniors over 65 are just $2. Be sure to bring your OWASA bill stub or other proof of address as fees for non-residents are higher.

Know Before You Go

  • Bring cash and a photo id for boat rental. University Lake is open from dawn to dusk. The recreation season runs from late March to early November. The lake has a free picnic area. Pets allowed on leash. Plan for sun protection.
  • Directions to University Lake in Chapel Hill-Carrboro
    From the east: follow Main Street west through Carrboro to Jones Ferry Road; turn left onto South Old Fayetteville Road; go 400 feet and turn right onto University Lake Road, the entrance road to University Lake. From the west: follow NC 54 or Jones Ferry Road east and turn right (south) onto Old Fayetteville Road; follow Old Fayetteville to University Lake Road, the entrance road to University Lake.

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