Smith Lake

From Bhamwiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Lewis Smith Lake is a 21,200-acre man-made lake on the Sipsey Fork, the uppermost lake on the Black Warrior River. The three-fingered lake has over 500 miles of shoreline in Cullman, Walker, and Winston counties, and at full pool has a level of 510 feet above mean sea level.

The lake was impounded by Alabama Power Company's Lewis M. Smith Dam, the largest earthen dam in the eastern United States. The dam is 2,200 feet long and reaches a maximum height of 300 feet. Construction began on November 25, 1957. It was dedicated in May 1961 and entered service on September 5, 1961.

Nearby towns include Bremen, Crane Hill and Dodge City in Cullman County; Curry and Jasper in Walker County; and Addison, Arley, and Double Springs in Winston County. It is the second-cleanest lake in America, behind Lake Tahoe.

Volunteers from the Smith Lake Environmental Preservation Committee and the Smith Lake Civic Association contribute water quality monitoring reports to Alabama Water Watch.


While Smith Lake has over 70 species of fish in its waters, it is a prime destination for striped, spotted and largemouth bass fishermen. It hosts weekly local fishing tournaments, a unique night tournament, the annual Red Cross Spring Bass Classic, and frequent stops on national fishing tours.

Spotted bass from Smith Lake set several world fishing records in the 1970s. The current record was set in California from a lake stocked from Smith Lake bass. Alabama's record catch was an 8 pound, 15 ounce specimen caught on Smith Lake by Phillip Terry of Decatur on March 18, 1978. The junior world record Striped bass was a 31 pound, 15 ounce fish caught at Smith Lake by 8-year-old Kamron Butler of Eva in 2007.

Public lake access is provided at the dam, at Smith Lake Park and Speegle's Marina in Cullman County, and from the Bankhead National Forest and Sipsey Wilderness. Some fishing guides have been prosecuted for stocking the lake with invasive Blueback herring, intended to fatten the lake's striped bass.

Camp Jimmy Goodwin was located on the lake's southwest shore until 2006, when it was sold to a residential developer planning the Duncan Bridge Resorts South on the property.




External links

Locate with
Google Maps

Black Warrior River

Bankhead Lock and Dam, Holt Lock and Dam, Oliver Lock and Dam, Lewis Smith Dam, Warrior Lock and Dam


Bankhead Lake, Holt Lake, Lake Tuscaloosa, Lake Oliver, Smith Lake, Inland Lake, Highland Lake, Warrior Lake


Blackburn Fork, Locust Fork, Mulberry Fork, North River, Sipsey Fork, Valley Creek, Village Creek