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Centrally-located Mitchell Lake (also known as Lake Mitchell) is 45 miles from Montgomery and 55 miles from Birmingham in the Metropolitan region of Alabama. This 5,850-acre lake was created in 1923 when the Coosa River was impounded by construction of the Mitchell Dam. Named after the President of Alabama Power Company from 1912-1920, Mitchell Lake is the fifth reservoir in a chain of six on the Coosa River.
Constructed to provide hydroelectric power and flood control to central Alabama, the lake is now a popular lake for recreation and week-long get-aways. Mitchell Dam is the second oldest of the 14 hydroelectric plants operated by the Alabama Power Company. A fishing facility near the dam is open all year and offers parking, restrooms, picnic tables, and a scenic overlook.
Access to Mitchell Lake is available via public boat ramps and several marinas that dot the 147-mile shoreline. Two popular boat launches include Higgins Ferry on the west side and Barrett's Fish Camp on the east. A popular bass fishing lake, anglers can also expect to catch bluegill, redear, sunfish, black crappie, white crappie, channel catfish, blue catfish, flathead catfish, threadfin, and gizzard shad. Mitchell Lake ranks as one of the top 10 bass fishing reservoirs in Alabama and with the Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division stocking the lake regularly with hybrid striped bass, it should stay that way for quite some time.
The most productive times to fish are spring and fall. In summer, nighttime fishing is best. With a tournament weigh-in station available at the Higgins Ferry Access area, fishermen can check to see if their catch is a record. The facility is a joint project of the Mitchell Lake Home Owners and Boat Owners Association, the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and the Alabama Power Company to try and minimize fish post-release mortality rates.
When fishing Mitchell Lake, it is illegal to stock or to move any fish, mussel, snail, or crayfish into this lake, or into any other public waterway.
Fishing is not the only activity at Mitchell Lake. Outdoor enthusiasts can also enjoy hunting, boating, water skiing, kayaking, canoeing, swimming, wildlife viewing, bird watching, and picnicking. Head to Higgins Ferry Park for campsites, a bath house, free boat launch, swim area, and playground. For Sunday services, don't miss the River Church services at the Trobaugh Pavilion from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend. Minooka Park, also in Chilton County, is an ATV/off-road motorcycle park that also features fishing at Minooka Lake, hiking trails, a scenic overlook, and primitive campgrounds.
Vacation rentals and real estate are readily available on Mitchell Lake for those wishing to make the lake home for a week, a month, or a lifetime. With an abundance of natural beauty, temperate climate, and close proximity to large cities, Mitchell Lake is an ideal place to consider for vacation. Whether you like to fish, sit on a porch with your binoculars looking for wildlife, or just to relax with a cool drink, Mitchell Lake has something for everyone.
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