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The Oconee flows through Middle Georgia and drains about 5330 square miles of land, joining with the Ocmulgee to form the Altamaha near Lumber City, GA. The basin lies mainly on Muscogee (Creek) land and gets its name from the Oconee people. “Oconee” is an anglicized form of the Itsati word Okvni meaning “born from water.” The Oconee River is comprised of three sections—the North, Middle, and Lower Oconee. Continue exploring the Oconee below.

Photo by Alan Cressler via Flickr. Location: Oconee River, Buzzard Island, Oconee Mill, Baldwin County, Georgia. 

Photo by Alan Cressler via Flickr. Location: North Oconee River, Whitehall Mill, Clarke County, Georgia.


The Oconee is UGA’s home river basin! There are a number of small conservation organizations in the area, including several where UGA faculty and students are involved!


Explore the Georgia Water Planning & Policy Center’s resources on the Oconee River Basin.

Learn about the EPD’s Fish Consumption Advisories online in the Guidelines for Eating Fish from Georgia’s Waters.


If you’re local to Athens, check out some of our favorites right off of campus: the North Oconee River Greenway, Lake Herrick and Oconee Forest Park!

Other parks and recreation areas: Balls Ferry State ParkFort Yargo State ParkHard Labor Creek State ParkSandy Creek Nature Center

Photo by Alan Cressler via Flickr. Location: Oconee River, Wheeler and Treutlen Counties, Georgia. 

Photo by Alan Cressler via Flickr. Location: Middle Oconee River, Georgia.


Learn more about the Oconee, along with Georgia’s other amazing rivers, at Georgia Rivers.

Additional reading material on the Oconee River Basin can be found through Altamaha Riverkeeper and the Georgia Water Planning & Policy Center.

Check out the Oconee Rivers Audobon Society for more information on birding in the basin.

Read about “The Oconee War” in Flagpole Magazine.

Visit Oconee Joe for an educational paddling tour of the Oconee River Basin.

Explore Georgia State-Protected species by watershed at the Georgia Biodiversity Portal.

Map of the Oconee River Basin. Created by Anna Baynes (UGA River Basin Center).