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Big Creek Lake, located in southwestern Alabama in Mobile County, is a storage reservoir that provides drinking water to thousands of people in the near-sprawling Mobile metropolis. In addition to being a popular attraction for fishers and boaters, this Gulf Coast lake, also known as the J.B. Converse Reservoir, is home to threatened gopher tortoises. The large, ambling creatures find refuge in the 222 acres of long leaf pine sanctuary surrounding Big Creek Reservoir. This area has been established as a mitigation area for the tortoises.
Big Creek Lake was established in 1952 with the impoundment of Big Creek, a tributary to the Escatawpa River, and is fed by several other tributaries. Both the 3,600-acre reservoir and 7,981 acres of surrounding land are managed by the Mobile Area Water and Sewer Service (MAWSS). In collaboration with the Alabama Coastal Foundation, the MAWSS makes painstaking efforts to preserve the water quality and wildlife habitat of the watershed. Land in the watershed is mostly dominated by a combination of forest, pastures, row crops, and nurseries, although there are substantial residential developments. In addition to the protected tortoise mitigation area, MAWSS has also restricted development on its lands to protect the purity of the Big Creek Reservoir's drinking water supply.
Patrons of Big Creek Lake enjoy the Gulf Coast region's subtropical climate, with hot and humid summers that reach the low 90s (degrees Fahrenheit). The area sees a lot of thunderstorms and rainfall. Winter maintains temperatures above freezing. Mobile County's summery atmosphere makes fishing and boating on the lake pleasant activities. Although commercial fishing is completely forbidden by state regulations, fishing enthusiasts may still delight in fishing out the largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, redear sunfish, and channel catfish that abound. Given Big Creek Lake's need for protection, swimming, skiing, sailing and camping are not permitted. Fox Landing, at the end of Howell's Ferry Road, is the only boating and bank fishing access area on the lake.
Real estate near the Big Creek Lake in Mobile County offers homes that combine tradition with beautiful architecture. Colonial, plantation-style, ranch and tudor homes are some options. You may also want a beach, bay or riverfront home and there are tons of subdivision options. Vacation rentals include villas, condos, town houses, cottages and cabins.
Big Creek Lake's calm and seclusion might be misleading, for it is in a dynamic region. It is located just a few miles from Mobile Bay, which opens out into the Gulf Coast, and lies in a county of rich cultural, artistic and historical legacies. Your choices for entertainment, edification, leisure or excitement are almost limitless. The massive Gulf Coast Exploreum and Science Center will intrigue any mind with wonder-filled exhibits, challenging IMAX films and interactive activities. The sophisticated Mobile Museum of Art presents both regional and world-renowned art exhibits. The Mobile Battleship Memorial Park houses a famous 80-million pound World War II battleship and fascinating historic war planes. The Dauphin Island Sea Lab Estuarium, the fragrant and flower-full Bellingrath Gardens, and the Mobile Carnival Museum may also be of interest. Mobile's annual Mardi Gras festivities create weeks of wild fanfare, spectacle and brilliant parades through the streets. (Many do not know that Mobile is the site of the very first Mardi Gras.)
For a more relaxed complement to a picturesque and quiet Big Creek Lake fish or boat trip, there are a number of other outdoor parks and areas in Mobile County. These sites offer golfing, sports fields and courts, hiking, picnicking, camping, fishing, swimming, canoeing, biking, horse shows and rodeos, bird watching, and wind surfing, in addition to great scenic views. So close to the coast, you will also want to visit any one of Mobile's white sandy beaches. With so many options for both quiet and exciting adventures on or near Big Creek Reservoir, you won't be disappointed.
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