H. Neely Henry Dam was the first dam built as a part of an Alabama Power Company construction program that further developed the Coosa River in the late 1950s and the 1960s. The project included the construction of Weiss, Logan Martin and Bouldin dams and the redevelopment of Lay Dam. The facility was named after H. Neely Henry, a senior executive vice-president of Alabama Power.
The story of H. Neely Henry Dam and H. Neely Henry 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.
H. Neely Henry Reservoir Facts:
Elevation above sea level: 508 feet
Area: 11,200 acres
Shoreline: 339 miles
Length: 77.6 miles
Maximum depth at dam: 53 feet
Area of watershed draining into reservoir: 6,600 square miles
Neely Henry Reservoir is located in northeast Alabama on the Coosa River, near the towns of Gadsden and Ohatchee. Just off I-59, the reservoir envelops 11,235 acres and extends 77.6 miles from the dam upstream to Weiss dam. Generally a river-run lake, Neely Henry fans out toward the dam to offer more open water. Sandwiched between Weiss Lake (a.k.a. "The Crappie Capital of the World") and Logan Martin, Neely Henry is one of the best-kept fishing secrets in Alabama.
Largemouth bass and spotted bass are the most targeted fish by anglers on Neely Henry. Although growth is average for both species, plumpness for both is close to the top in the state. The majority of largemouth bass are 12-15 inches although there are good numbers of 15- to 18-inch fish present. The spotted bass population is exceptional for large spots and the numbers of spots in the 14 to 20-inch size range continues to be one of the best in the state. Neely Henry ranked third statewide in the percent of successful anglers per trip. Bass club tournament data for Neely Henry can be found here.
White crappie fishing can be good in Neely Henry although fall trap netting indicated that most of the crappie of harvestable size would be in the 9- to 11-inch size range. Early spring and fall are the best times to fish. Remember, there is a 9-inch minimum length on crappie in Neely Henry and most lakes statewide (Weiss Lake has 10-inch minimum). Note: Anglers may use a maximum "of three rods and reels, or poles, or any combination thereof on Weiss Reservoir or Neely Henry Lake, at any time."
Striped bass fishing is best at the headwaters (below Weiss dam) during spring runs and into the summer during power generation. Fall fishing in the tailwaters can also be good. Several spring fed creek such as Ohatchee and Cane Creeks hold lots of striped bass during the summer. Good numbers of fish over 7 pounds are being caught.