Forum Thread
(Bankhead Lake Specific)
3 messages
Updated 2/8/2012 8:19:41 PM
Lakes Online Forum
57,492 messages
Updated 12/12/2018 10:59:38 AM
Lakes Online Forum
4,966 messages
Updated 12/4/2018 8:39:45 PM
(Bankhead Lake Specific)
0 messages
Lakes Online Forum
3,860 messages
Updated 12/11/2018 12:42:54 AM
Lakes Online Forum
4,163 messages
Updated 9/14/2018 9:00:15 PM
Lakes Online Forum
2,910 messages
Updated 11/27/2018 1:44:10 PM
Lakes Online Forum
74 messages
Updated 10/8/2018 12:30:30 PM
Bankhead Lake Photo Gallery

    Back | Search | Photos | News | Chat | Topics Forum

Name:   LakeMartinLife - Email Member Reply
Subject:   Dead Fish
Date:   8/6/2017 10:02:24 PM   IP ADDRESS:

Anyone else notice an abnormally large number of dead fish this weekend?   On Saturday cruising north toward Big Beach area there were tons of small fish dead and a few larger stripe.   Today heading out toward Chimney Rock there were alot of dead stripe all over the place.   Anyone have any ideas about that?   Always concerning just wondering what caused it and water quality etc... 


Name:   ALDUCK - Email Member Reply
Subject:   Dead Fish
Date:   8/7/2017 9:23:30 AM   IP ADDRESS:

I have a friend that stripe fishes on the lake, he was telling me the lake "flipped" this past week.  This is where the warm upper water and cool lower water mix.  I noticed the water temp while surfing seemed cooler than the week before. 


I noticed lots of dead fish Sat morning and was thinking it may be from the temp change.


Not really sure.


Name:   MartiniMan - Email Member Reply
Subject:   Dead Fish
Date:   8/7/2017 9:45:24 AM   IP ADDRESS:

Not the case in the Sandy Creek area so it is not a lake wide issue.  

Name:   Lifer - Email Member Reply
Subject:   Dead Fish
Date:   8/7/2017 10:08:20 AM   IP ADDRESS:

IF you report it they will come. Contact Dept. Of Natural Resources and they will check it out if they haven't already. You might try the local County extension agent also. I think his name is Shane and his office is in the basement of the courthouse.

Name:   Talullahhound - Email Member Reply
Subject:   Dead Fish
Date:   8/7/2017 1:17:31 PM   IP ADDRESS:

Haven't seen that on our end of the lake.  I wonder if it has anything to do with the algae growth.  Of course the rapid change of temp in the lake is more likely. 

Name:   Moldyoldy - Email Member Reply
Subject:   Dead Fish
Date:   8/7/2017 7:43:34 PM   IP ADDRESS:

I'm no xpert, and people more qualified than I say Martin is not getting polluted, but I was just out by the water this morning and the water was very dark green with a very strong musky fish smell. Seems to be getting worse every year.

Name:   Lifer - Email Member Reply
Subject:   Dead Fish
Date:   8/7/2017 8:24:26 PM   IP ADDRESS:

Im no expert either but I don't belive a change in water temp kills fish. Those fish swim through that thermal break everyday. They go deep, below the break, then charge the surface chasing bait fish.

Name:   GoneFishin - Email Member Reply
Subject:   Interesting Study of Lake Martin
Date:   8/7/2017 8:49:40 PM   IP ADDRESS:

This is worth reading if you enjoy Lake Martin.

Lake Martin



Name:   HARRY - Email Member Reply
Subject:   Dead Fish
Date:   8/8/2017 3:24:05 PM   IP ADDRESS:

Not the change in temperature but the lowering of oxygen levels that kills fish.


Name:   Lifer - Email Member Reply
Subject:   Dead Fish
Date:   8/8/2017 4:58:24 PM   IP ADDRESS:

Thats true but low oxygen usually occurs with drought. We are definitely not in a drought. From the reports it sounds like a limited kill off and it seems low oxygen would have had more deadly results. Just speculation on my part. I don't think the fish population is in any danger as a whole.

Name:   smb - Email Member Reply
Subject:   Dead Fish
Date:   8/8/2017 10:23:21 PM   IP ADDRESS:


It was interesting that the fish kill only seemed to affect 2 types of fish...shiners about 8" long and fairly good size striped bass.  I saw one striped bass that was probably in the 15-20 pound range.  Going from Blue Creek to Chimney Rock on Sunday, we probably saw more than 10 dead stripes floating on the water.  

Name:   redleg6 - Email Member Reply
Subject:   Dead Fish
Date:   8/9/2017 8:05:05 PM   IP ADDRESS:

Here is some pretty good info on why fish kills occur, and I suspect they apply here.

OXYGEN. Usually, it's the lack of oxygen that commonly is the cause of fish kills.  In the summer as surface waters warm, algae proliferate and provide a boost to microscopic life.  That's good until the algae switches from phosynthesis (producing oxygen) to respiration (using oxygen) during low light periods such as at night or during prolonged cloudy periods.  That process leaves less oxygen for fish, which will start dying if they are already under stress from overcrowding, low water levels, or high water temperatures.  

To complicate matters, oxygen gets further depleted when algae starts dying off in large quantities.  Bacteria-driven decomposition then uses up a lot of oxygen, driving down the oxygen concentration in the water even further.

THERMOCLINE AND OXYGEN PROFILES.  An important feature of lakes experiencing seasons is the thermocline.  As the surface waters of a lake warm up in the summer, a temperature gradient is established, with denser colder water near the bottom and warmer water near the top.  That's not at all surprising, except that the temperature change as you go deeper isn't gradual.  Instead, there is a sharp discontinuity a few meters down, with warmer waters above and cold water locked in below.  The dividing line is the thermocline.  This cutting off of the two large masses of water is very significant for fish.

While winds can usually whip around water enough to thoroughly mix it and bring up cold, oxygen-rich water from the depths, the thermocline blocks that process.  Mixing only occurs above the thermocline, keeping the warm waters oxygen-poor and facilitating fish kills.

Dick Bronson/Lake Watch

PS: If anyone out there thinks I'm smart enough to know this stuff, I have the deed to a bridge in Brooklyn for sale.  Cheap.

Name:   BigFoot - Email Member Reply
Subject:   Dead Fish
Date:   8/10/2017 9:05:39 PM   IP ADDRESS:

Well, I guess I'm your first bridge prospect then because I do think that.  All the great work you have done with Lake Watch for many years tells me so.  I was hoping you would weigh in on this thread...your input is greatly appreciated!

Name:   wehapa - Email Member Reply
Subject:   Dead Fish
Date:   8/21/2017 2:04:08 PM   IP ADDRESS:

Three Saturdays ago, August 5th, we counted 22 dead stripe between Goat Island/Dam and Chimney Rock. Very creepy.

Name:   DVan1901 - Email Member Reply
Subject:   Dead Fish
Date:   8/22/2017 3:33:53 PM   IP ADDRESS:

Got this email from the AL Dept of Conservation and Natural Resources


Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

Press Release
August 22, 2017
Contact: Fisheries Section, 334-242-3471

Habitat Depletion Cause of Fish Kill at Lake Martin

Adult striped bass and non-native blueback herring have been dying at Lake Martin recently due to a depletion of adequate summertime habitat.

Increased rainfall this year has led to large quantities of water being flushed through the Martin Dam turbines. The increased turbine activity has removed the water layer required for these species to survive. The duration of this fish kill could last for several weeks.

During summer in Alabama, most lakes experience stratification – the formation of distinct water layers. When stratification occurs, warmer, well-oxygenated water is located near the surface and colder, oxygen-void water is located deeper in the lake.

“Striped bass cannot tolerate either extreme and attempt to locate an acceptable transitional depth with both cool water and adequate oxygen,” said Chris Greene, Assistant Fisheries Chief for the Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries (WFF). “If this layer of water is nonexistent, then fish mortalities are inevitable.”

WFF fisheries biologists documented the depletion of this suitable layer at Lake Martin while investigating the recent fish kill.

Striped bass are native to Alabama, but due to the construction of dams on major waterways they can no longer successfully reproduce in most of their historical spawning locations.

To maintain this fishery, WFF fisheries staff stock striped bass annually in water bodies such as Lake Martin.

Under ideal conditions, striped bass can attain extraordinary sizes. The current world record for landlocked striped bass is 69 pounds, 9 ounces caught in 2013 by James Bramlett in Alabama’s Bankhead Reservoir on the Black Warrior River.

For striped bass to survive and attain these trophy sizes, the availability of suitable summertime habitat is likely the most important factor.

“We expect to see fish mortalities at Lake Martin cease once the lake begins to de-stratify and suitable habitat returns, which will likely occur sometime in October,” Greene said.

To learn more about Alabama’s freshwater fish and habitat, visit

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through four divisions: Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR,

    Back | Search | Photos | News | Chat | Topics Forum

Quick Links
Bankhead Lake News
Bankhead Lake Photos
Bankhead Lake Videos

About Us
Contact Us
Site Map
Search Site
Advertise With Us

Copyright 2018, Lakes Online
Privacy    |    Legal