Anglers can catch and keep as many fish as they want at Lee County Public Fishing Lake, which began draining on August 13. Located just south of I-85 near Opelika, the lake will be open to anglers as long as it is safe to access the water.
The lake will be restocked with largemouth bass, bluegill, shellcracker and channel catfish in the spring of 2012. It will be reopened during the summer of 2013, after the fish have grown and spawned.
Lee County Public Fishing Lake was built in the 1970s, and has not been drained and restocked since that time. The amount of fish caught by anglers has been decreasing over the last several years, mainly due to an overabundance of small bass, and the presence of undesirable species such as bullhead catfish, flathead catfish and bowfin. Restocking the lake with more desirable fish will alleviate those problems and produce a much better fishery.
Several other improvements are planned while the lake is lowered. Shallow areas around the bank will be deepened and several earthen piers constructed so anglers can enjoy better access to deeper water and larger fish. Fish attractors, such as piles of brush and gravel beds, will also be added. Repairs to the support structure for the existing piers will be made. An area that can easily be netted off for stocking extra catfish for special events will also be constructed.
Anglers will have to wait about a year and a half to fish at Lee County Public Fishing Lake again, but it will be well worth the wait. Typically, some of the best fishing occurs in ponds and lakes three to seven years after draining and restocking. Until then, anglers looking for a great place to fish will still have Barbour County Public Fishing Lake near Midway, an hour and 20 minutes from Lee, and Chambers County Public Fishing Lake near Lafayette, a half hour from Lee.
If you have questions about the operations at any of these lakes, please contact Ken Weathers or Rob Andress at (334) 347-9467, or Jack Turner at (334) 242-3471.
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through five divisions: Marine Police, Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries.