Smith Lake is an ideal spot for fishing and recreation, whether you seek quiet inlets or open water. This beautiful site not only provides power for the surrounding areas, but also drinking water, wildlife habitats, flood control and more.


Locate fishing spots, boat launches and other points of interest.


Smith Lake Office

(205) 384-7385


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Lake Levels

Lake elevations are always subject to change, depending on conditions. Individuals who recreate below our dams and those with boats and water-related equipment on our lakes and facilities should always stay alert to changing conditions and be prepared to take the necessary steps to protect their property.

Water Level

495 ft 10 in

  • 498
  • 497
  • 496
  • 495
  • 494
  • 493
  • 492

About Lake Levels

Ever wondered why the water at your favorite lake is often higher or lower than when you last visited?

APC operates two kinds of lakes: 1) Run of River, and 2) Storage. Lay, Mitchell and Jordan lakes on the Coosa River, Yates and Thurlow lakes on the Tallapoosa River, and Bankhead and Holt lakes (owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) on the Warrior River are called “run-of-river” projects that discharge essentially the same amount of water that flows into them. This type of operation gives them a fairly consistent lake level year round. These lakes were not designed with flood control as a specific project purpose. Alternatively, “storage” projects like Weiss, Henry, and Logan Martin lakes on the Coosa River, Harris and Martin lakes on the Tallapoosa River, and Smith lake on the Warrior (Sipsey) River provide seasonal storage, having different summer and winter pool levels, and are drawn down late fall into the winter to provide a means of managing and storing winter/spring rains. These operations provide a measure of protection against downstream flooding during high flow events. These storage projects normally have their levels returned to summer pool levels during the spring timeframe. Water stored in these storage lakes can also help mitigate some impacts of drought by providing a limited source of water for use when it is scarce, such as during drought periods.

The need for water in summer and fall can often exceed the natural supply. Most big lakes also operate for many other reasons – hydropower, recreation, navigation and the environment. Each of these purposes can factor into whether water is released, causing a fall in lake levels particularly during the late summer and fall periods.

Floods are normally the cause of the greatest and quickest changes in lake levels. Heavy rains produce floods that can raise a lake level several feet overnight. When floods are over, it is important to get the lake ready to store water from the next flood that may come along, and that is done by returning the lake to its normal level.

Operating Guide

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission along with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers help determine the operating curves, called a Guide, for the storage lakes managed by Alabama Power, which is the maximum elevation at which Alabama Power may maintain the reservoir under normal conditions. The operating Guide begins in January at a winter pool elevation and then rises during the late winter into early spring to summer pool elevation. The Guide remains the same throughout the summer months, which supports recreation use on the lakes. In fall and early winter, the Guide declines to make room for normal winter and spring flood flows. In general, the operating guide provides the guidance needed for both flood control operations and daily water management decisions.

Lake Updates

Lake Conditions Message

Lake elevations are always subject to change, depending on conditions.

Last updated: June 28, 2017, 9:27 am

Special Operations Message

Individuals should always stay alert to changing conditions and be prepared to take the necessary steps to protect their property.

Last updated: June 26, 2017, 7:31 am

Seasonal Level Data


Weather Clear

  • Air Temp 19.8°F

  • Humidity 72%

  • Wind 2.7mph NW

Renew Our Rivers

Trash Removed 6,226,440 LBS

Volunteers 1,092

Tentative Operating Schedules

We at Alabama Power are pleased to provide you information and hope you will safely enjoy the many benefits of our lakes. Please be aware that the generation schedule and subsequent water releases from the dams are subject to change without notice. Please understand that you alone are responsible for your safety on the lakes and rivers. Areas below the dams are considered hazardous because of turbulent water conditions.

Start Time Generators  
12:00 AM 0  
6:00 AM 1  
10:00 AM 0  
11:00 AM 1  
12:00 PM 0  
4:00 PM 1  
5:00 PM 0  
12:00 AM 0  
7:00 AM 1  
9:00 AM 0  
12:00 AM 0  
6:00 AM 1  
8:00 AM 0  

One of the largest earth- and rock-filled dams in the Eastern United States, the Lewis Smith Dam was constructed at the Sipsey Fork tributary. It was named in honor of Lewis Martin Smith, who was president of Alabama Power from 1952 to 1957. Smith Dam was the first of three Alabama Power Company projects on the Black Warrior river. In 1965, FERC authorized Alabama Power to build a powerhouse at Holt Lock and Dam. Both Bankhead Lock and Dam and Holt Lock and Dam are owned by the Corps of Engineers, U.S. Army.

The story of Smith Dam and Smith Lake began as a story of energy. It continues today as a story of flood control, recreation and economic opportunity, irrigation and drinking water, and fish and wildlife habitats. Power was just the beginning.

Smith Reservoir Facts:
Elevation above sea level: 510 feet
Area: 21,200 acres
Shoreline: 642 miles
Length: 35 miles
Maximum depth at dam: 264 feet
Area of watershed draining into reservoir: 944 square miles

Smith Dam
Hazardous Zones
  1. Swirling water and strong underwater currents at powerhouse intakes.
  2. Turbulent discharges from automatically operated turbines.
  3. Slippery surfaces on shoreline.
  4. Submerged hazards and rapidly rising waters from turbine or spillway discharge.

Smith Dam Facts:
In service: 09/05/1961
Capacity: Two generators, rating 78,750 kilowatts each
Type: Rock-fill
Length: 2,200 feet
Maximum height: 300 feet

Hydro Relicensing

Alabama Power’s operating licenses for its projects are issued for a period ranging from 30-50 years and must be renewed for the company to continue operating its existing hydroelectric developments.

Learn more about the “hydro relicensing process”.


Use the information below to find the best fishing spots and learn about the species you’ll find in our lakes.

Top Fishing Spots
Fishing Spots

View or download coordinates that will help you find a great fishing spot.

View Map

Fishing Scene

Fish Species

  • Bluegill

  • Largemouth Bass

    Largemouth Bass
  • Striped Bass

    Striped Bass
  • Crappie

  • Catfish


Parks & Facilities

Each year, Alabama Power welcomes thousands of visitors to its five day-use parks and more than 45 public access sites on the Coosa, Tallapoosa and Black Warrior rivers.

Alabama Power and its state and local partners operate and maintain dozens of boat ramps and bank fishing access sites along the shoreline. The company also maintains thousands of acres of natural and undeveloped land along the lakes for use by hikers, bird-watchers and primitive campers.

View Map

Park Scene


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