Most Alabama Public Fishing Lakes Reopen Feb. 1



February 1 marks the return of the fishing season schedule for 18 of Alabama’s 23 state-owned public fishing lakes. Commonly known as state lakes or county lakes, these waters are noted for their quality fishing for bream, largemouth bass, channel catfish, and crappie (in some lakes). Because these smaller lakes warm more quickly than larger waters, early spring fishing can be excellent. Anglers may fish from the pier, bank, rental boat or personal boat.

Three additional lakes are scheduled to reopen later this year: Barbour County Lake, Bibb County Lake, and Dale County Lake (Ed Lisenby Lake). Lower Geneva County Lake and Lee County Lake will remain closed.

“State public fishing lakes are the ultimate family fishing destination,” said Jack Turner, State Lakes Supervisor for the Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division (WFF). “All lakes except Pike County Lake have a concession building with snacks, drinks, restrooms and personnel who can provide fishing advice. The concessionaires have mowed areas along the shoreline for fishing. Grills are available for picnicking, and children have room to play when they tire of catching fish.”

Fishing is an affordable and easily accessible recreational opportunity for all Alabamians. Each state lake, except Pike, offers boats for rent ($5) and launching of private fishing boats ($3). Essentially all work by the Fisheries Section is paid for by anglers; no General Fund money is used. A $3 daily permit is required at all lakes except Pike County Lake; and state fishing license requirements apply.

The Fisheries Section carefully stocks and manages the lakes for optimum fishing. The lakes are fertilized for maximum fish production, and fishing piers allow anglers to fish deeper water in a comfortable environment. Located throughout Alabama, mostly in rural areas, a complete list of state lakes can found in the fishing section of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources website,

To ask a biologist about what types of fish and the average sizes that are caught at the lakes, anglers may call district offices: Decatur 256-353-2634; Anniston, 256-831-6860; Northport, 205-339-5716; Spanish Fort, 251-626-5153; or Enterprise, 334-347-9467.

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