Fish and Fishing
Claiborne Lake is a river-run reservoir with 5,930 surface acres of water which courses 60.5 miles through Wilcox, Clarke, and Monroe counties in southwest Alabama. This reservoir was constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and impounded in 1970. Claiborne Lake has a large watershed, 21,473 square miles, and its primary function is navigation. This reservoir is the lowermost within the Alabama River System with the dam at river mile 72.5 and the pool ending at river mile 133, the Millers Ferry Lock and Dam. Downstream of Claiborne Dam, the Alabama River is essentially free-flowing and ultimately joins the Tombigbee River to form the Mobile River near the Mt. Vernon community.
Recreational opportunities in Claiborne Lake are quite varied, and the Corps of Engineers and various municipalities operate approximately ten public boat access areas throughout the reservoir. Anglers will find good fishing throughout the reservoir for largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, and catfish. The tailwaters of Millers Ferry (Dannelly) Reservoir also provide excellent seasonal fishing for striped bass, spotted bass, crappie, and large catfish.
For anglers who wish to make a long weekend trip, there are excellent camping facilities at Isaac Creek Campground, just upstream of the dam. For U.S. Army Corps of Engineers camping and recreational facilities, call the Resource Managers Office at 334-682-4244. Primitive camping is available at Bells Landing, Haines Island, and Silver Creek access areas. Lodging, food, and fuel can be found in the nearby city of Monroeville. See www.monroecountyal.com/
Claiborne Lake is home to over 125 species of native freshwater fish. This reservoir is also home to numerous species of mussels, snails, crayfish, amphibians, and reptiles. Some animals may be unique, or even very rare, so please be aware that collecting them may be unlawful. Please see the nongame species protected by Alabama Regulation 220-2-.92 at www.outdooralabama.com/watchable-wildlife/regulations/nongame.cfm.
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.
Remember, 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.
For information on water levels and discharge at Claiborne Lake, see the US Geological Survey data. The Alabma Department of Envionmental Management has water quality information.
Claiborn Reservoir 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" by looking for "Fish Consumption Advisories."
The Fisheries Section’s District V Supervisor can answer specific questions about Claiborne Lake by sending email to Dave Armstrong.
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.