Fish and Fishing in Thurlow Reservoir
Thurlow Reservoir, also known as Lake Tallassee, is located in east central Alabama about 30 miles northeast of Montgomery in the City of Tallassee. Thurlow is the smallest reservoir (585 acres) in the chain of Alabama Power Company impoundments and is just downstream from the somewhat larger Yates Reservoir. Below Thurlow Dam; the Tallapoosa River is free flowing to its confluence with the Coosa River, which forms the Alabama River.
Looking across Thurlow Lake at Yates dam from Hwy 14.
The water discharged from the upstream Martin Dam is cold and infertile, which directly influences the quality of the Thurlow Reservoir fishery. Baitfish, such as threadfin shad and gizzard shad, are not as abundant in Thurlow Lake as they are in most other Alabama reservoirs; therefore, the growth of game fish is adversely affected. In spite of this, fishing in Thurlow is often quite good, mainly because this reservoir is relatively unknown outside the local area and does not receive a lot of angling pressure.
Bass fishing is popular at Thurlow. The fishery includes both spotted bass and largemouth bass. Other species of angling interest include: striped bass, white bass, black crappie, bluegill, redear sunfish and channel catfish. Lake Thurlow also has a reputation for producing large redear sunfish (shellcrackers) and bluegill. Special striped bass regulations apply.
Another species that attracts angler attention is the yellow perch, since the flesh is very firm and appetizing. This species is new to the Tallapoosa River drainage, although no adverse affects are expected from its presence since it co-exists with other game fish in Alabama reservoirs.
Access to Thurlow Reservoir is available at a park maintained by the City of Tallassee, located on Roosevelt Street, just off Gilmer Avenue (Highway 229). This park includes a boat ramp, parking, restrooms, picnic tables and a handicapped accessible boardwalk along the water’s edge.
It is illegal to possess blueback herring in Alabama. Regulations designate legal capture methods for bait and specify additional species that may not be used for bait.
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/
Being small and relatively unknown, few bass tournaments are held in Yates Lake or Thurlow Lake. The bass club tournament results that are submitted are found 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. We need more information on Yates and Thurlow.
State fish management information and Alabama reservoir location, size and elevation are listed at: www.outdooralabama.com/fishing/freshwater/where/reservoirs/
Alabama Power Company provides information through www.alabamapower.com/lakes/lakeinfo.asp.
Additional information about the local area is available at: www.montgomerychamber.com and www.visitelmoreco.com/
Bass fishing reports for Thurlow may be available at: www.wmi.org/bassfish/reports/alabama/.
Current water levels may be found for Yates Dam at: http://iwin.nws.noaa.gov/iwin/al/hydro.html
Thurlow Lake has a fish consumption advisory. Information on the consumption advisory may be found at the Alabama Department of Public Health Web site, www.adph.org. Consumption advisory information is found under "A-Z Contents" and looking for "Fish Consumption Advisories."
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 Supervisor can answer specific questions about Yates Lake or Thurlow Lake by sending mail to: Dan.Catchings@dcnr.alabama.gov.
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