Lee County Lake will reopen to the public for fishing beginning at sunrise on Tuesday, June 11, 2013. The lake has been renovated and restocked by the Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries (WFF) to provide excellent fishing. The lake will be open from dawn to dusk six days each week, closed on Mondays.
Lee County Lake will be worth the trip for anglers from across the state, but the lake is most convenient for fisherman in east and central Alabama as well as west Georgia. From exit 60 off I-85, the lake is four miles south on Alabama Highway 51, and then three miles east on Stringfellow Road (County Road 146). From Phenix City and Columbus, GA, take US Highway 280, then north on Alabama 169 to Stringfellow Road.
During 2011, the fish population in Lee County Lake deteriorated to the point that draining and restocking the lake was necessary. “We determined that largemouth bass had become so abundant that they were not growing very fast,” said Graves Lovell, WFF Fisheries Biologist. “The bass were also eating most of the small bluegill. Adding to the problem for anglers, the edges of the lake were too shallow for quality fish to be caught by bank anglers. In the summer of 2011, the lake was drained so the edges could be deepened and the earth piers reworked. Lots of fish-attracting structures were also added to the lake.”
“Probably the first thing anglers will notice is the amount of timber in the lake,” said Lovell. “Nearly 100 large oak trees were pulled onto the lake bottom to attract fish. Most of the trees are visible above the surface. Both boat and bank anglers should have plenty of targets to cast to now.”
Initially, no bass longer than 14 inches may be kept, but anglers will be encouraged to harvest up to 10 smaller largemouth bass. “We want to avoid over-population by bass, and angler harvest would be very helpful to us,” said Jack Turner, WFF State Lake Coordinator. “Not only does bass harvest help the bream fishing, but it actually helps the bass fishing too. When bass are harvested, more food will be available to the remaining bass, so they can grow to a larger size. There’s another good reason for anglers to take their smaller bass home — they’re delicious. There’s not much that tastes better than a fried bass fillet.”
Lee County Lake will be run by onsite lake manager Dwight Lake. The lake manager offers bait, fishing tackle and snacks for the public to purchase. Boats, life jackets, paddles, trolling motors and batteries may be rented. Personal boats may be launched for $3. Only trolling motors are permitted on the lake, but outboard motors may be used to launch or load your boat. Anglers must weigh and record all fish at the concession building.
Cabins are also available at Lee County Lake for overnight stays. Anglers wishing to stay overnight should call the lake manager at 334-750-0546 for reservations.
Daily permits ($3) are required for all anglers age 12 and older. Anglers age 16 and older are required to have a fishing license unless the angler is 65 or older and a resident of Alabama. A fishing license is not required for Lee County residents fishing with a pole and line (no reel) from the bank or pier. State fishing licenses will not be for sale at the lake. Fishing licenses are available from probate offices, some sporting goods retailers, online at www.outdooralabama.com/licenses/, or by telephone at 1-888-848-6887.
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through five divisions: Marine Police, Marine Resources, State Parks, State Lands, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR, visit www.outdooralabama.com.
Logo courtesy Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources