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Little Bear Creek Reservoir

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Fish and Fishing in Little Bear Creek Reservoir

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Background: Little Bear Creek Reservoir was impounded in 1976 mostly as a flood control reservoir and holds 1,560 acres of water at full pool. Located approximately 13 miles WSW 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 a small amount of residential development along the shoreline of Little Bear Creek Reservoir. Camping and fishing provide the main recreational opportunities. There are three public access areas (Elliot Branch, McAffee Landing, and Williams Hollow) and two campgrounds (Elliot Branch and Williams Hollow) located on Little Bear Creek Reservoir. Lakeside cabins are also available on a peninsula of the reservoir. A BCDA fishing permit ($3/day or $20/year) is required in addition to an Alabama state fishing license. Pre-impoundment topographic maps are available for Bear Creek Reservoir through the TVA.

1999 State Fish Art Winner for Alabama: David ThompsonFishery: Little Bear Creek Reservoir is known best for its black bass (largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and spotted bass) and crappie fishing, but catfishing and bream fishing are good too. There is a 13-16 inch protective slot limit on largemouth bass in Little Bear Creek. Smallmouth bass and spotted bass have no protective length limit. Removal of largemouth bass less than 13 inches is needed. Therefore, bass anglers are encouraged to harvest all largemouth bass less than 13 inches in length. The remaining bass will benefit with improved growth rates and larger over-all size.
The crappie population on Little Bear Creek Reservoir is characterized as a moderately low population of fast growing fish. They reach 9 inches in length during their second growing season. To protect this fast growing population of crappie there is a 9 inch minimum size limit.

Sampling: The crappie population is fast growing with fish reaching harvestable size during their second growing season. The majority of crappie measure 8-12 inches in length.

Fishing: Little Bear Creek Reservoir is an infertile reservoir with clear water. During the summer months the reservoir stratifies and adequate oxygen levels are restricted to the top 18 feet, so anglers should avoid fishing in depths greater than this. Traditional bass baits such as; crankbaits, spinnerbaits, jigs, and plastic worms all work well. REMEMBER to harvest all largemouth bass less than 13 inches in length. Larger and faster growing bass will be the result. Crappie are caught in brush tops or suspended above the old creek channel and can be enticed to bite jigs or minnows. 

Stocking: Little Bear Creek Reservoir was stocked with 7,500 Florida strain largemouth bass in 1981 in an attempt to incorporate the Florida bass genetics into the population. During January of 2000, 15,600 channel catfish were stocked and during January of 2004, 15,636 more were stocked into the reservoir. No other stockings of fish have been done, but all species are reproducing successfully on their own. Sampling work in 2004-2005 revealed a bass population with a high percentage of 8-12 and 15-20 inch fish. Fish 20+ inches in length appear at average frequency. A weak 2002 year class seems to have reduced the percentage of 12-15 inch fish in the population, but a strong 2003 year class appears to be entering the fishery. Bass growth seems to be adequate and exploitation appears to be low

Fish Consumption Advisory: Little Bear Creek Reservoir has a fish consumption advisories. 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 I Supervisor can answer specific questions about Little Bear Reservoir at keith.floyd@dcnr.alabama.gov.

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.

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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