Fish and Fishing in Gantt Reservoir
Background – Located in the Gantt Community, north of the City of Andalusia in Covington County, just off State Highway 29. The reservoir impounds the Conecuh River, and is approximately 2,700 acres in size with 21 miles of shoreline. The River Falls Power Company constructed Gantt Dam in the 1920s, but it is now operated by Alabama Electric Cooperative for hydropower generation. The Gantt watershed is relatively infertile; therefore, the reservoir does not support high standing crops of gamefish. The shoreline is heavily developed; and the lake is used primarily for boating, swimming, and skiing. A public boat launch is located on Highway 29 in the Clearview Community. Detailed maps of Gantt Reservoir may be obtained from the Alabama Electric Cooperative in Andalusia.
Fishery-– Largemouth bass, redear sunfish, bluegill and crappie are the most common sportfish species. The lake is noted primarily for its redear sunfish (shellcracker) fishery. Because of the low fertility, production of forage species such as threadfin and gizzard shad is low. Since there is not a lot of forage available, largemouth bass and white crappie generally have slow growth rates and below average condition.
Fishing – Largemouth bass can be taken around the grassbeds and cypress trees that are found in the numerous sloughs and coves off the main lake. The most popular and effective baits among anglers are crankbaits and plastic worms.
Redear sunfish (shellcracker) can be taken with live bait, primarily wigglers, on sandy beaches, points, and flats.
Steep walls along the old river channel can be the most productive for crappie, which are usually taken on live minnows. (Anglers are not allowed to intentionally release bait into the Gantt Lake.)
The Alabama Department of Public Health has issued a fish consumption advisory for Gantt Reservoir due to mercury. Information on the consumption advisories may be found at the Alabama Department of Public Health Web site, www.adph.org. Consumption advisory information is found in "A-Z Contents" under "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 IV biologists can answer specific questions about Gantt Reservoir by sending mail to: Ken Weathers.
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.
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