Alabama Power Considers Reducing Access to Sipsey Fork Trout Fishing
| February 14, 2013
(Brandon Jackson, who operates Riverside Fly Shop near Jasper, Alabama, has been a great friend to cold water trout anglers who enjoy the put-and-take fishery below Lewis Smith Dam on the Sipsey Fork of the Warrior River. Alabama Power, which controls the dam, is now considering banning access to a very productive portion of the flow directly below the dam. Here's the missive Brandon sent us yesterday)

We have really enjoyed the benefits from the improvements Alabama Power Company has provided along the Sipsey Fork of the Warrior River. We appreciate the funding and work they have provided to benefit the river. However, as many of you know, Alabama Power is trying to decide if they will now reverse course and prohibit angling from Lewis Smith Dam along the east side of the river (across from the fishing "pier") from the dam to below the "Tube" a stretch of around 300 yards of river footage. This area is the area that many use to fish when the generators are running. It is also used by families to provide open access so that they can fish together. This area is vital to angling access.

In order to preserve this angling access we must notify Alabama Power that we want to keep the access. PLEASE take the opportunity to make your voice heard and encourage friends to do the same. You can email to jfcrew@southernco.com , johudson@southernco.com , mgodfrey@southernco.com but please try to send a letter by U.S. mail if possible as this has more impact. Attached below is a form letter that touches on the most important points:

Mr. James F. Crew
Manager, Hydro Services
Alabama Power Company
jfcrew@southernco.com
PO Box 2641
Birmingham, AL 35291

Dear Mr. Crew,

I hope this letter is reaching a decision maker who cares about maintaining the great relationship between the fishing public and Alabama Power Company that has existed for many decades.

For over 40+ years, fishing has been enjoyed by many on the tail waters of Lewis Smith Lake right below the power plant on the Sipsey Fork of the Warrior River. Alabama Power Company has been a good partner to fishing families for all of these years. Recently anglers have benefitted from improvements made by Alabama Power Company. We are certainly thankful for them. However, I am writing to alert you to a very real issue and concern that someone within Alabama Power Company is reversing that course and seeking to remove access from the thousands of people who visit our area.

I am an individual very concerned with Alabama Power's impending decision to prohibit fishing access to the north east bank of the Sipsey Fork of the Warrior River below Lewis Smith Dam, and I am writing to express my disagreement with this prohibition. Please intercede and make sure that the River remains fully open.

The proposed prohibition will restrict anglers from access to a section of river which is vital to anglers who wish to fish especially when the generators are running. There are no other areas of the river that provide anglers like opportunity. This area on the Sipsey Fork is the best and easiest to utilize during generation. When there is no generation this area provides families easy and open access so that they can fish together without entering the waterway. In this area, fishing when there is no generation can be done from the bank rather easily. The decision to restrict access at this location, if implemented, would prohibit anglers from utilizing the resource. This will result in a gross under-utilization of the resource, a result that will be found unacceptable to everyone involved.

Anglers have utilized this section of the river for many, many years without reported incident. I respectfully request that this opportunity remain for me, my friends, and my family.

I urge you not to prohibit anglers from accessing an area of the river that is vital to angling opportunities on Alabama's only year round trout fishery. Please do not change access!

Sincerely,


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Brandon Jackson
www.riversideflyshop.com
256-287-9582
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