Bill Dance Signature Lakes
Larry McCormack

Tennessee Announces Bill Dance Signature Series Lake Improvement Project

At least 18 famous Tennessee lakes will get new enhancements as part of the Bill Dance Signature Series.

Every angler knows the name Bill Dance. The legendary angler celebrated his 81st birthday this year. After he dominated the pro bass fishing world in the 1960s, he started his show "Bill Dance Outdoors" and inspired multiple generations of anglers to take to the water.

Now, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and Governor Bill Lee have started an initiative to honor Dance by making 18 lakes across the state "Bill Dance Signature Lakes." These waters are slated for a glut of fishing improvements and will forever bear the Bill Dance seal of approval.

Dance and Lee announced the new initiative in a press release. They are also working with Tennessee State Parks, and the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development on the project.

"Bill Dance is a tremendous advocate for our Tennessee rural communities and we are thrilled to partner with him," Lee said in a press release. "The Bill Dance Signature Lakes highlights the importance of lakeside tourism with premier fishing opportunities, and we believe this project is especially important as communities recover from the recent storms."

The lakes chosen for the initiative are scattered across 39 counties in every region of the state. The lakes were chosen both by Dance and the partner's projects. These lakes border 13 different state parks. Included in the mix is legendary reservoir Dale Hollow Lake, which still holds the world record for smallmouth bass, which was caught by David Hayes in 1955.

Also included in the list are as follows:

  • 1000 Acre Lake, Huntington, TN (Carroll County)
  • Brown's Creek Lake, Natchez Trace (Henderson County)
  • Chickamauga Lake, Harrison Bay State Park & Chester Frost Park (Hamilton, Rhea, Meigs, McMinn and Bradley Counties)
  • Dale Hollow Lake, North Central TN (Clay, Pickett, Fentress and Overton Counties)
  • Douglas Lake, East TN (Jefferson, Sevier and Cocke Counties)
  • Fall Creek Falls Lake, Fall Creek Falls State Park (Van Buren County)
  • Herb Parsons Lake (Fayette County)
  • Kentucky Lake, Paris Landing State Park (Henry, Stewart, Houston, Benton, Decatur, Perry and Humphreys Counties)
  • Lake Acorn, Montgomery Bell State Park (Dickson County)
  • Lake Woodhaven, Montgomery Bell State Park (Dickson County)
  • Norris Lake, Northeast TN (Anderson, Campbell, Claiborne, Grainger and Union Counties)
  • Old Hickory Lake, Middle TN (Sumner and Davidson Counties)
  • Pickwick Lake, Pickwick Landing State Park (Hardin County)
  • Pin Oak Lake, Natchez Trace State Park (Henderson County)
  • Reelfoot Lake, Reelfoot Lake State Park (Lake and Obion Counties)
  • Tim's Ford Lake, Tim's Ford State Park (Franklin and Moore Counties)
  • Travis McNatt Lake, Big Hill Pond State Park (McNairy County)
  • Watauga Lake, Northeast TN (Johnson and Carter Counties)

The first thing anglers can expect to see with these lakes are either brand new or upgraded boat ramps. Many will also receive additional access points, more signage, more parking, extra docks, and fishing piers. Some of the smaller waters are also slated to receive special new management and stocking practices to make them better for family fishing opportunities.

"I'm unbelievably humbled and excited to be involved in such a helpful project that will benefit so many people and our natural resources in my great home state of Tennessee," Dance said in a press release. "You can bet your favorite lure this project will definitely have a ripple effect for a mighty long time, not only giving the weekend fisherman, but tournament anglers a wonderful fishery as well, thanks to the great state of Tennessee and my friends at TWRA."

You can learn more about the project at The groups will begin these improvement projects in 2022 with a projected completion date of fall 2024.

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