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Bear Creek Watershed

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Bear Creek Watershed
Lakes and Rivers

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Bear Creek Lake in northwest AlabamaThe Bear Creek Development Authority (BCDA) manages four lakes with five campgrounds and the Bear Creek Floatway. Activities include fishing (permit needed), canoeing, boating, swimming, picnicking, camping, hunting (permit needed), basketball, miniature golf, and beaches. In addition to normal fishing license requirements, permits are required. Permits are $3 a day (24-hours) or $20 for the year (October 1-September 30). Fishing permits are available locally or directly from BCDA.

The BCDA may be contacted by e-mail at contactus@bearcreeklakes.com. The toll-free number for their office is 1-877-FOR-BCDA or 1-877-367-2232. The local telephone number for BCDA is 1-256-332-4392, and their facsimile number is 1-256-332-4372. The mailing address for BCDA is P. O. Box 670, Russellville, AL 35653. The street address for their office is 111 County Road 88, Russellville, AL 35653. Find them on the Web at www.bearcreeklakes.com.

Bear Creek Reservoir (Big Bear) was impounded in 1969 mostly as a flood control reservoir and holds 670 acres at full summer pool. There is no size limit for crappie on this lake. This lake is lightly fished and has some large bass. Little Bear Reservoir was impounded in 1976 covers 1,560 acres. A 13- to 16-inch slot limit is in effect for largemouth bass. Anglers are encouraged to harvest largemouth bass shorter than 13-inches. Anglers are required to release unharmed largemouth bass between 13-and 16-inches. Bass longer than 16-inches may be kept.
Upper Bear Reservoir was impounded in 1978 and covers 1,850 acres. The lake is often very clear. Upper Bear contains a high ratio of large bass to small bass, and the large fish are caught most readily at night.
Cedar Creek Reservoir is the newest and largest, covering 4,200 acres since 1979.

In addition to normal fising license requirements, fishing permits are required for all BCDA lakes. Fishing permits are $3 a day or $20 for the year.

Consult the Alabama Department of Public Health for fish consumption advisories before consuming fish from any of the BCDA reservoirs.

The Bear Creek Floatway is operated on the weekends during the season, but it contains some dangerous spots. Upper Factory Falls is Class IV with powerful standing waves. Lower Factory Falls is Class VI and should never be attempted. These areas can be portaged, but most people just float sections below these falls. For more information, go to their Web site at www.bearcreeklakes.com or call BCDA at 1-877-FOR-BCDA or 1-877-367-2232.
It is illegal to possess blueback herring Duane Raver's Blueback Herring courtesy of the US Fish and Wildlife Service in Alabama. Regulations designate legal capture methods for bait and specify additional species that may not be used for bait.


Links (disclaimer):

Fishing license information may be found at: www.outdooralabama.com/fishing/freshwater/license/. Instant licensing is available via the Internet (2% fee), via the telephone by calling 1-888-848-6887 ($3.95 fee), or at 900 vendors and probate offices in Alabama. All youth age 15 and younger fish for free.

Possession and creel limits for Alabama public waters are listed at: www.outdooralabama.com/fishing/freshwater/regulations/

Bear Creek Development Authority (BCDA) has their own page at www.bearcreeklakes.com 
TVA has information pages for Bear Creek Reservoir, Cedar Creek Reservoir, Little Bear Creek Reservoir, and Upper Bear Creek Reservoir, A map that shows the Bear Creek Development Authority Lands including access areas may be viewed from: http://alabamamaps.ua.edu/contemporarymaps/alabama/recreation/bearcreek.jpg

Flow levels for Bear Creek near Red Bay.

It shall be unlawful to intentionally stock or release any fish, mussel, snail, crayfish or their embryos including bait fish into the public waters of Alabama under the jurisdiction of the Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries as provided in Rule 220-2-.42 except those waters from which it came without the written permission of a designated employee of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources authorized by the Director of the Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries to issue such permit. The provisions of this rule shall not apply to the incidental release of bait into the water during the normal process of fishing.

Contact the following guides:
Barry Holt (1-256-383-7481)

The Fisheries Section's District Supervisor can answer specific questions about Bear Creek lakes, keith.floyd@dcnr.alabama.gov.

spider lily
One of the advantages of fishing BCDA Lakes
is the aesthetics. There is little development around the lakes.

Official Web site of Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
©2008 Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources   |   64 N. Union Street, Suite 468 - Montgomery, Alabama 36130