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Bankhead Lake

Bankhead Lake is a reservoir along Alabama's Black Warrior River, and it forms the border between Jefferson and Tuscaloosa Counties as well as the border dividing Jefferson and Walker Counties. It eventually empties into Holt Lake downstream. Although Alabama Power Company owns and operates the adjacent hydroelectric plant, Bankhead Lock and Dam and its reservoir is a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project. The original dam, built in 1915, was the last of a navigation system of 17 locks and dams between Birmingham and Mobile. The current lock and dam system was completed in 1975. Bankhead Lake is the second largest lake on the Black Warrior River, located near the urban areas of Birmingham and Tuscaloosa.


Since Bankhead Lake is located just 15 miles west of Birmingham and 30 miles northeast of Tuscaloosa, the lake's shorelines are heavily developed with private residences and commercial marinas. Visitors come to this lake to camp, boat and fish. Anglers focus on largemouth and spotted bass here, with hopes for trophy-sized largemouth in backwater areas. Other species include crappie, hybrid striped bass, rainbow trout, catfish, and various sunfish. According to Outdoor Alabama, "The former world and current state record hybrid (25 ob. 15 oz.) was caught in headwaters in 1996."


  Search Bankhead Lake Resources
    Bankhead Lake Alabama Coordinates:
33.4796N -87.2956W
Map It:
Lake Type:
Surface Area:
9,200 acres
Maximum Depth:
25 ft
255 ft
Normal Water Clarity:
3 ft
Major City:


Marinas and fish camps provide docking and storage, fuel, launch ramps, bait, tackle, and groceries. In total, five public use facilities are located along Bankhead Lake.


Jasper, Birmingham, and Tuscaloosa all have lodging, and the best choice of town would be determined by where you want to put in at the lake. Bankhead Lake also hosts marinas, retreats, lake houses, lodges, and cabins for rent. While this lake is not close to a state park, private campgrounds can be found near the lake.

Review the Lake Resource Guide for additional lodging.


Located across Walker, Jefferson, and Tuscaloosa Counties in Alabama, visitors have access to Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, and Jasper for lodging and supplies. Depending upon where you put out at Bankhead Lake, the distance to Birmingham can range from 15 minutes to over one and one-half hours. Tuscaloosa is just a bit further away at 30 minutes to almost two hours. Jasper, which is easier to access from the north shores of the lake, is about 35 miles away.

Fun times at Bankhead Lake  Bankhead Lake

Bankhead Lake  Bankhead Lake

Average Temperatures Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Avg. High  53 Avg. High  58 Avg. High  66 Avg. High  74 Avg. High  81 Avg. High  88 Avg. High  91 Avg. High  91 Avg. High  85 Avg. High  75 Avg. High  66 Avg. High  56
Avg. Low  32 Avg. Low  36 Avg. Low  42 Avg. Low  49 Avg. Low  58 Avg. Low  67 Avg. Low  70 Avg. Low  70 Avg. Low  63 Avg. Low  52 Avg. Low  43 Avg. Low  35