Lake Mitchell is a 5,850 acre reservoir created on August 15, 1923 by the 106 foot Mitchell Dam on the Coosa River on the border of Chilton County and Coosa County. Lake Mitchell is immediately downstream from Lay Dam and occupies fourteen miles of the river's natural course. It has a shoreline of about 147 miles and serves as a watershed for an area of about 725 square miles.
The Lake is named for the dam, which in turn is named for James Mitchell, President of the Alabama Power Company from 1912 to 1920. Higgins Ferry Park is the primary public access on the western shore, located at the end of Mitchell Lake Road from Exit 208 on I-65. Alabama Power has visitors centers at Lay Dam and Mitchell Dam with free guided tours. Hatchett Creek spills into Lake Mitchell from the east through the Coosa Wildlife Management Area.
Beginning in 1967 and continuing until his death in 2005, First United Methodist Church, Clanton pastor Johnny Doyle Trobaugh held services outdoors on the lakeshore. The "River Church" continues to operate out of the Johnny Trobaugh Pavilion.
In September 1996 the Lake Mitchell Home Owners and Boat Owners Association (HOBO) was organized to preserve, protect and improve the quality of life in and around the lake including fisheries, recreational facilities, and safety. The group also monitors water quality monthly as part of the Alabama Water Watch program.
In 1999, HOBO helped place a fire and rescue boat, dubbed Marine 9 into service on the lake. The boat was purchased by the association and is operated by the East Chilton Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service.
The first-ever Women's BASS championship was held February 22-25, 2007 on Lake Mitchell while the men's Bassmaster Classic was held on adjacent Lay Lake. Weigh-ins for both events were held at the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex.
| Coosa River|