Fishing in Thurlow Reservoir

Thurlow Reservoir, also known as Lake Tallassee, is located in east central Alabama about 30 miles northeast of Montgomery in the City of Tallassee. Thurlow is the smallest reservoir (585 acres) in the chain of Alabama Power Company impoundments and is just downstream from the somewhat larger Yates Reservoir. Below Thurlow Dam; the Tallapoosa River is free flowing to its confluence with the Coosa River, which forms the Alabama River.


Thurlow Lake and Yates Dam near Montgomery, Alabama
Looking across Thurlow Lake at Yates dam from Hwy 14.

The water discharged from the upstream Martin Dam is cold and infertile, which directly influences the quality of the Thurlow Reservoir fishery. Baitfish, such as threadfin shad and gizzard shad, are not as abundant in Thurlow Lake as they are in most other Alabama reservoirs; therefore, the growth of game fish is adversely affected. In spite of this, fishing in Thurlow is often quite good, mainly because this reservoir is relatively unknown outside the local area and does not receive a lot of angling pressure.

Bass fishing is popular at Thurlow. The fishery includes both spotted bass and largemouth bass. Other species of angling interest include: striped bass, white bass, black crappie, bluegill, redear sunfish and channel catfish. Lake Thurlow also has a reputation for producing large redear sunfish (shellcrackers) and bluegill.  Special striped bass regulations apply.

Another species that attracts angler attention is the yellow perch, since the flesh is very firm and appetizing. This species is new to the Tallapoosa River drainage, although no adverse affects are expected from its presence since it co-exists with other game fish in Alabama reservoirs.

Thurlow LakeAccess to Thurlow Reservoir is available at a park maintained by the City of Tallassee, located on Roosevelt Street, just off Gilmer Avenue (Highway 229). This park includes a boat ramp, parking, restrooms, picnic tables and a handicapped accessible boardwalk along the water’s edge.

Contact the Fisheries Section's District II office for specific questions about Thurlow Reservoir.