Fishing in Yates Reservoir
Yates Reservoir, also known as "middle pond," impounds the Tallapoosa River near Tallassee between the reservoirs of Martin and Thurlow. Alabama Power Co. built Yates Dam in 1928 to create a 1,980 acre reservoir that provides hydroelectric power generation, and recreation. The water discharged from Martin Dam is cold and infertile, which directly influences the quality of the Yates Reservoir fishery. Baitfish, such as threadfin shad and gizzard shad, are not as abundant in Yates as they are in most other Alabama Reservoirs; therefore, growth of game fish is is slower.
Largemouth bass and spotted bass were collected at similar rates during the spring 2006 electrofishing sample; however, bass abundance and growth is below average, since forage fish are somewhat scarce. Bass fishing success and techniques in this reservoir are influenced by hydropower generation, especially in the upper portion. Largemouth bass are more concentrated in feeder creeks and backwater areas. Spotted bass are more likely caught near the main river channel, although specific creeks with deeper water can still hold fish. Although the overall abundance of bass is suppressed in Yates, a number of big largemouth bass are caught there regularly since mortality rates are low. The oldest largemouth bass collected during the 2006 sample was an uncharacteristic fourteen.
Yates Reservoir produces good crappie fishing, especially in the spring. Fall catch rates during trap-net sampling, revealed adequate catch rates of black crappie when compared to other reservoirs statewide. White crappie are also present in this system, but to a much lesser degree. Crappie are much more likely to be caught in the major creeks feeding the main reservoir such as Channahatchee and Sougahatchee. Crappie growth is slow and mortality rates are somewhat high in Yates.
Striped bass, white bass, channel catfish, blue catfish and flathead catfish also attract anglers, especially in specific areas. Special striped bass regulations apply to Yates Lake. 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 game fish in other Alabama reservoirs.
Two Alabama Power Company boat ramps serve Yates Reservoir. The largest one, pictured on the right, sits in the middle of Yates on the west bank (From Hwy 14 just west of the dam in Tallassee, go north on Ann Ave. At about 1.5 miles, keep right on Upper River Rd (CR44), travel about 1.2 miles to right on CR30. Follow around to access). A primitive ramp services the upper end (pictured above). The Lands Division of Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources also has a small ramp on the Coon Creek Tract.
Contact the Fisheries Section's District II office for specific questions about Yates Reservoir.