Fish and Fishing in the Conecuh River
The Conecuh River is a 230-mile long coastal river with headwaters beginning in Bullock County near the town of Union Springs. The Conecuh River watershed encompasses 3,848 square miles (1,835 square miles in Alabama) covering nine Alabama counties along the southeastern and central portions of the Coastal Plain physiographic province. This river is also called the Escambia River once it flows into Florida where it drains into Escambia Bay near Pensacola.
Recreational opportunities on the Conecuh River are numerous as the river itself flows through the Conecuh National Forest where outdoor enthusiasts may boat, fish, camp and hike…all in the same trip. Nearby, Frank Jackson State Park also offers many amenities attractive to folks wanting to make a weekend trip to the area . Anglers may enjoy fishing opportunities at two adjacent reservoirs, Gantt and Point A, which are located north of Andalusia. These two reservoirs have a combined surface acreage of almost 3,500 acres. While Gantt and Point A reservoirs are best known locally for quality shellcracker fishing, the lakes also contain healthy populations of largemouth bass, chain pickerel and white crappie. Large flathead catfish are also caught from Point A Reservoir and the Point A tailrace. Public fishing piers are located at Alabama Electric Cooperative Park on Point A, and below Point A Dam on the west side of the river. Anglers are encouraged to keep any flathead catfish as they are not native to this drainage, however see ADPH recommendations.
Below these two reservoirs, the Conecuh River is a free-flowing river with numerous bends, deep pools, and shallow sandy-bottom glides. Anglers can enjoy many days of fishing in the beautiful and varied habitats of this Coastal Plain river. The availability of access and shallow nature of the Conecuh River makes it well suited for small boats, canoes, and kayaks. The Alabama portion of the river is accessible to anglers and boaters by several boat access areas located in Covington and Escambia counties. Anglers can access the tailrace below Point A Dam from the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries public boat ramp at River Falls. This ramp is located just off of Highway 84, about 1 mile downstream of the dam.
One of the interesting features of the river is the rocky shoals found between the middle portions of the river near U.S. Highway 29 (McGowin Bridge) and Mancil Rock Boat Ramp. These shoals provide faster water, and fish tend to congregate near these locations.
Major tributary streams of the Conecuh River include Big Escambia Creek, Murder Creek, Pigeon Creek, Patsaliga Creek, and the Sepulga River. The Sepulga is a major tributary that comprises the borders of Butler, Conecuh, Covington, and Escambia counties. The Sepulga River also has 2 boat access areas that allow access to the Conecuh River. The US Geological Survey gives gage heights and estimated flow for the Conecuh River.
The Conecuh River is inhabited by 84 freshwater species of fish. Fish inhabiting this river include Alabama shad, Gulf sturgeon, and ironcolor shiner. This river is also home to numerous species of crayfish, mussels, amphibians, and reptiles.
For more information on the upper portion of the Conecuh River or Gantt and Point A Reservoirs, please contact the District IV Fisheries Office. For information on the lower (Escambia County) portion of the river, please contact the District V Fisheries Office.