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Upper Bear Creek Reservoir

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Upper Bear Creek Reservoir is a Reservoir in Marion, Alabama.

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Upper Bear Creek Reservoir was impounded in 1978 mostly as a flood control reservoir and holds 1,850 acres of water at full pool. Located near the town of Bear Creek and in the corners of Franklin, Winston, and Marion Counties, Upper Bear is one of four Tennessee Valley Authority reservoirs operated by the Bear Creek Development Authority. The primary uses of this reservoir are flood control and recreation.

Fishing Description: 

Upper Bear Creek Reservoir is known best for its black bass (largemouth and spotted) fishing, but crappie fishing, catfishing and bream fishing are good too. The lake is renowned for its trophy bass fishing. Fish over 5 pounds are common, with 8 pound and larger bass being taken each year. According to the 1995-2005 Alabama B.A.I.T. reports, Upper Bear has been ranked first-5 times and second-3 times, for the least number of angling hours exerted to catch a bass in excess of 5 pounds. In 2005, it took an average of 114 tournament-angler hours to catch a bass over 5 pounds, ranking it number 1 in Alabama. The spotted bass population is comprised of higher than average abundance of fish from 11-14 inches, and average abundance of fish over 17 inches. Spotted bass seem to be increasing in abundance and are now captured as frequently as largemouth bass. The crappie population on Upper Bear Creek Reservoir is characterized as a moderately dense population of fast growing fish. They reach 9 inches in length during their second growing season. To protect this fast growing population of crappie there is a 9 inch minimum size limit.

Sampling: Sampling work in 2005-2006 revealed a largemouth bass population with average abundance of fish 15-20 inches. Fish over 20 inches in length appear at 3.5 times the Alabama average. The percentage of fish over 15 inches appears to be down from 2001. Spotted bass are as common as largemouth and seem to be increasing in abundance when compared to the 2001 sample. The majority of the spots are 11-13 inches in length, but trophy sized spots are present, too. The crappie population is fast growing with fish reaching harvestable size during their second growing season. The majority of crappie measure 8-12 inches in length.

Stocking: Upper Bear Creek Reservoir was stocked with 18,500 (100/acre) Florida strain largemouth bass in 1978 in an attempt to incorporate the Florida bass genetics into the population. During November and December of 2005, 18,324 channel catfish were stocked. No other stockings of fish have been done, but all species are reproducing successfully on their own.

Fishing Tips, Tactics, How-To info: 

Upper Bear Creek Reservoir is an infertile reservoir with clear water. During the summer months the reservoir stratifies and the best oxygen levels are in the upper 8 feet of water and the majority of the fish will be in this zone. However, low (yet adequate) oxygen levels do exist down to 33 feet, but anglers should definitely avoid fishing any deeper than this. Traditional bass baits such as; crankbaits, spinnerbaits, jigs, and plastic worms all work well. Crappie can be located in brush tops or suspended above the old creek channel and can be enticed to bite small jigs or minnows.

A fish consumption advisory has been issued by the Alabama Department of Public Health for Upper Bear Creek Reservoir in Marion County. Consult with the Alabama Department of Public Health for specific information before consuming fish from Upper Bear Creek Reservoir.

Facilities and Parks: 

There is a small amount of residential development along the shoreline of Little Bear Creek Reservoir. Camping and fishing provide the main recreational opportunities. Four public access areas (Twin Forks, Mon Dye, Quarter Creek, and Batestown) and one campground (Twin Forks) service the reservoir.

Upper Bear Creek Reservoir
Waterbody type: 
United States
Surface area: 
Standard elevation: