Richard B. Russell Lake (known to locals as simply "Lake Russell") is a reservoir created by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers by construction of Richard B. Russell Dam on the Savannah River bordering Elbert County, Georgia and Abbeville and Anderson counties in South Carolina. The lake impounds primarily the Savannah River but also includes Beaverdam Creek on the Georgia side and Rocky River on the South Carolina side. Filling of the lake began in October 1983, and was completed in December 1984 for a full pool elevation of 475 feet. Lake levels do not change much because the lake is designed to operate within 5 feet of full pool compared to Hartwell and Thurmond, whose 35 and 18 feet of conservation storage respectively causes their levels to change more dramatically. This causes the lake to always look full. Named for U.S. Senator Richard Brevard Russell, Jr., the lake consists of 26,650 acres of water and 540 miles of shoreline. Unlike its neighbors Lake Hartwell to the north and Lake Strom Thurmond to the south, federal regulations prohibit private use of the public lands surrounding Lake Russell.