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Most State Public Fishing Lakes Return to Regular Hours in February

Anglers at Pike County Public Fishing Lake photo by Billy Pope, ADCNR

Anglers at Pike County Public Fishing Lake photo by Billy Pope, ADCNR

Most of Alabama’s 23 State-owned Public Fishing Lakes return to regular operational hours on Thursday, February 1, 2024. Located throughout the state, these lakes are noted for their quality fishing for bream, largemouth bass, channel catfish and crappie (in most lakes). Because these smaller lakes warm more quickly than larger bodies of water, early spring fishing can be excellent.

“Many state lakes have undergone renovations and changes in management over the past year,” said Jonathan Brown, State Lakes Supervisor for the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries (WFF) Division of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR). “Some lakes will open later this month or remain closed for repairs and restocking. Anglers should call their district fisheries office or the individual lakes for the operational schedule when planning their fishing trip.”

The following lakes will open after February 1: Madison County will open on Friday, February 2, and Walker County will open on Thursday, February 15.

A lake manager is not available onsite at the State Public Fishing Lakes in Fayette, Monroe and Washington counties. Anglers will need to purchase a fishing license and permit prior to visiting these lakes. Licenses and permits are available from license agents located throughout the state, online at, through the Outdoor AL mobile app, at local county probate offices or by phone at (888) 848-6887. Processing and convenience fees may apply.

Fishing is an affordable and easily accessible recreational opportunity for all Alabamians. Most State Public Fishing Lakes offer boats for rent ($5) and launching of private fishing boats ($3). A daily permit and state fishing license are required to fish in the lakes. Anglers may fish from the pier, bank, rental boat or personal boat.

The WFF Fisheries Section carefully stocks and manages the lakes for optimum fishing. The lakes are also fertilized to maximize fish production and fishing piers allow anglers easy access to deeper water. In addition to traditional freshwater game species such as largemouth bass and crappie, WFF also stocks rainbow trout in select lakes.

WFF Fisheries Section District Office contact information: District 1 in Tanner, (256) 353-2634; District 2 in Eastaboga, (256) 831-6860; District 3 in Northport, (205) 339-5716; District 4 in Enterprise, (334) 347-9467; District 5 in Spanish Fort, (251) 626-5153. A complete list of Alabama’s state lakes can be found in the fishing section of the ADCNR website,

ADCNR promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through four divisions: Marine Resources, State Parks, State Lands, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. Learn more at


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