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Holt Reservoir

 

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Fish and Fishing in
Holt Reservoir

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Holt Reservoir is a modest sized 3,296-acre lake on the Black Warrior River and is located just north of Tuscaloosa from the Holt Lock and Dam upstream to Bankhead Dam. The primary uses for this reservoir are navigation, flood control, and recreation. Camping, hunting and boating are also available on this reservoir. There are modern camping areas, as well as areas for primitive camping. For the day user there are several areas with facilities for boaters, swimmers, picnickers, hikers, and sightseers. Holt Lake has two privately managed marinas for boat docking and storage. Six public facility areas with bank and boat access for anglers circle Holt Reservoir.

Since being impounded in 1965 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Holt Reservoir is best known for its largemouth bass and spotted bass fishing. Largemouth bass up to 18 inches and spotted bass up to 15 inches are abundant with moderate numbers of larger fish. Largemouth bass are most abundant in backwater areas. Anglers targeting spotted bass should fish riverine portions of the lake.

A slough typical of Holt Reservoir
The best fishing for largemouth bass, crappie, and bream occurs in creeks and shallow water sloughs.
(photo by Jerry Moss)

Crappie growth in this reservoir was near or slightly below the lake average, and 9- to 12-inch fish were less abundant in 2006 than in previous years. However, catch rates of younger crappie were the highest ever recorded in Holt Reservoir and two strong year classes of young crappie were sampled.  Crappie are found throughout the lake in woody cover and weed beds. In 1993 a 9-inch minimum length limit was implemented to protect young crappie. Recent creel surveys show this length limit has been well received by anglers.

Another good fishery in Holt Reservoir is bream fishing. Bream fishing provides a good summer fishery in creeks with woody cover and around weed beds.

Drum, various species of catfish, buffalo, hybrid striped bass, largemouth bass, and spotted bass are the most frequently and most popular species caught in the headwaters of Holt Reservoir below Bankhead Dam. Tailwater fishing is popular with local anglers, and they are generally satisfied in part due to a "boating lane" which allows anglers access to tailwaters immediately below the dam.

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/

Bass fishing quality at Holt Reservoir is assessed here.
If you are a member of a bass club, please consider being a part of our Bass Angler Information Team. We use information from clubs to help better manage your lakes for fishing.

State fish management information and Alabama reservoir location, size and elevation are listed at: www.outdooralabama.com/fishing/freshwater/where/reservoirs/
Information concerning the U.S. Corps of Engineers is listed at: www.sam.usace.army.mil/.  Corps maps are available too.

Lodging and recreation near the Holt Reservoir is listed at: www.tcvb.org

Bass fishing reports for Lake Holt may be available at: www.wmi.org/bassfish/reports/alabama/.

Current water levels may be found for Holt Dam at: http://iwin.nws.noaa.gov/iwin/al/hydro.html
Additional general information is found under the "Holt Lake" listing at: www.al.com/parks/central.html

During July of 2003, the US Army Corps of Engineers installed steel log fish attractors at Holt Dam near Deerlick Park at 2 sites and 2 sections. These fish attractors have along been placed at Berchfield Branch Campground at 1 site and 2 sections. These fish attractors have a red and white Fish Attractor buoy and are in water 10-20 feet deep.

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.

The Fisheries Section’s District III biologist can answer specific questions about Holt Reservoir by sending mail to: jay.haffner@dcnr.alabama.gov

Prepared by: Fisheries Section, Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. This site is presented for information only the Fisheries Section cannot be responsible for the quality of information or services offered through linked sites, disclaimer. To have your site included, send your URL, email address, or telephone number to the Fisheries Web Master, Doug.Darr@dcnr.alabama.gov. The Fisheries Section reserves the right to select sites based on relevant and appropriate content, of interest to our viewers. If you discover errors in the content or links of this page, please contact Doug Darr. Thank you.

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