Fish and Fishing in
Cedar Creek Lake
Background: Cedar Creek Reservoir, impounded in 1979 as a flood control reservoir, holds 4,200 acres of water at full pool. Located nearly 10 miles west of Russellville in Franklin County, it is one of four Tennessee Valley Authority reservoirs operated by the Bear Creek Development Authority. The primary uses of this reservoir are flood control and recreation. There is some residential development along the shoreline of Cedar Creek Reservoir. Camping and fishing provide the main recreational opportunities. Five public access areas (Cedar Creek Dam, Hellums Mill, Slickrock, Britton Bridge, and Lost Creek) serve Cedar Creek Reservoir, and one campground is located at Slickrock. A BCDA use permit ($3/day or $20/year) is required in addition to an Alabama State fishing license. Pre-impoundment topographic maps are available through the TVA.
Fishery: Cedar Creek Reservoir is known best for its black bass (largemouth bass and spotted) and crappie fishing, but catfish and bream fishing are good too. The lake has a reputation for giving up some trophy bass. Fish over 5 pounds are common, with 8-pound and larger bass being taken each year. According to the 2006 Alabama B.A.I.T. Report, it took an average of 95 tournament-angler hours to catch a bass over five pounds. The spotted bass population is not as impressive, and is comprised primarily of fish less than 14 inches. There is no size limit imposed on the black bass harvest. The crappie caught in Cedar Creek Reservoir are usually in the 10-inch range, with some approaching 15 inches in length.There is a 9-inch minimum size limit imposed on the crappie.
Sampling: Sampling work in the Spring of 2007 revealed a largemouth bass population with better than average abundance of fish 8 - 12 inches. Fish between 12 and 20 inches in length appear below the Alabama average. Fish from 20 - 24 inches are in average abundance.Spotted bass are not as common as largemouth bass, and their average size is less than that of the largemouth bass. The majority of the spots are less than 14 inches in length. The crappie population appears dense, with the majority of the fish measuring 10 - 12 inches in length.
Stocking: Cedar Creek Reservoir was stocked with 41,190 (10/acre) Florida strain largemouth bass in 1979, in an attempt to incorporate the Florida bass genetics into the population. Stockings of Florida strain largemouth bass continued sporadically through 1993. Hybrid striped bass were stocked from 1979 - 1987. No other fish stockings have taken place; but all species, with the exception of hybrid striped bass, are reproducing successfully on their own.
Fishing: Cedar Creek Reservoir is a reservoir with moderately fertile water in the upper end and clear-infertile water nearer to the dam. Largemouth bass are more prevalent in the mid to upper reaches, while spotted bass become more prevalent in the deeper water near the dam. During summer, the reservoir has adequate oxygen levels down to 40 feet, which allows fish to seek cooler, deeper water. Traditional bass baits such as crankbaits, spinnerbaits, jigs, and plastic worms all work well. Crappie can be located in brush tops or suspended above the old creek channel, and can be enticed to bite small jigs or minnows.
Fish Consumption Advisory: Cedar Creek 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."
This view of Cedar Creek Lake was taken from the dam by Phil Ekema in June of 2007 during the drought.
It is illegal to possess blueback herring in Alabama because of the harm they would cause other fish populations. Regulations designate legal capture methods for bait and specify additional species that may not be used for bait.