Big Creek Lake, Alabama, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - South - Alabama - Gulf Coast -

Also known as:  Big Creek Reservoir, J.B. Converse Reservoir

Big Creek Lake, located in southwestern Alabama in Mobile County, is a storage reservoir that provides drinking water to thousands of people in the near-sprawling Mobile metropolis. In addition to being a popular attraction for fishers and boaters, this Gulf Coast lake, also known as the J.B. Converse Reservoir, is home to threatened gopher tortoises. The large, ambling creatures find refuge in the 222 acres of long leaf pine sanctuary surrounding Big Creek Reservoir. This area has been established as a mitigation area for the tortoises.

Big Creek Lake was established in 1952 with the impoundment of Big Creek, a tributary to the Escatawpa River, and is fed by several other tributaries. Both the 3,600-acre reservoir and 7,981 acres of surrounding land are managed by the Mobile Area Water and Sewer Service (MAWSS). In collaboration with the Alabama Coastal Foundation, the MAWSS makes painstaking efforts to preserve the water quality and wildlife habitat of the watershed. Land in the watershed is mostly dominated by a combination of forest, pastures, row crops, and nurseries, although there are substantial residential developments. In addition to the protected tortoise mitigation area, MAWSS has also restricted development on its lands to protect the purity of the Big Creek Reservoir’s drinking water supply.

Patrons of Big Creek Lake enjoy the Gulf Coast region’s subtropical climate, with hot and humid summers that reach the low 90s (degrees Fahrenheit). The area sees a lot of thunderstorms and rainfall. Winter maintains temperatures above freezing. Mobile County’s summery atmosphere makes fishing and boating on the lake pleasant activities. Although commercial fishing is completely forbidden by state regulations, fishing enthusiasts may still delight in fishing out the largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, redear sunfish, and channel catfish that abound. Given Big Creek Lake’s need for protection, swimming, skiing, sailing and camping are not permitted. Fox Landing, at the end of Howell’s Ferry Road, is the only boating and bank fishing access area on the lake.

Real estate near the Big Creek Lake in Mobile County offers homes that combine tradition with beautiful architecture. Colonial, plantation-style, ranch and tudor homes are some options. You may also want a beach, bay or riverfront home and there are tons of subdivision options. Vacation rentals include villas, condos, town houses, cottages and cabins.

Big Creek Lake’s calm and seclusion might be misleading, for it is in a dynamic region. It is located just a few miles from Mobile Bay, which opens out into the Gulf Coast, and lies in a county of rich cultural, artistic and historical legacies. Your choices for entertainment, edification, leisure or excitement are almost limitless. The massive Gulf Coast Exploreum and Science Center will intrigue any mind with wonder-filled exhibits, challenging IMAX films and interactive activities. The sophisticated Mobile Museum of Art presents both regional and world-renowned art exhibits. The Mobile Battleship Memorial Park houses a famous 80-million pound World War II battleship and fascinating historic war planes. The Dauphin Island Sea Lab Estuarium, the fragrant and flower-full Bellingrath Gardens, and the Mobile Carnival Museum may also be of interest. Mobile’s annual Mardi Gras festivities create weeks of wild fanfare, spectacle and brilliant parades through the streets. (Many do not know that Mobile is the site of the very first Mardi Gras.)

For a more relaxed complement to a picturesque and quiet Big Creek Lake fish or boat trip, there are a number of other outdoor parks and areas in Mobile County. These sites offer golfing, sports fields and courts, hiking, picnicking, camping, fishing, swimming, canoeing, biking, horse shows and rodeos, bird watching, and wind surfing, in addition to great scenic views. So close to the coast, you will also want to visit any one of Mobile’s white sandy beaches. With so many options for both quiet and exciting adventures on or near Big Creek Reservoir, you won’t be disappointed.

Things to do at Big Creek Lake AL

  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Wind Surfing
  • Golf
  • Camping
  • Picnicking
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • Museum

Fish species found at Big Creek Lake AL

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Catfish
  • Channel Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Redear Sunfish (Shellcracker)
  • Sunfish

Big Creek Lake AL Photo Gallery

    Big Creek Lake AL Statistics & Helpful Links

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    Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

    Water Level Control: City of Mobile Alabama

    Surface Area: 3,600 acres

    Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 110 feet

    Average Depth: 14 feet

    Maximum Depth: 50 feet

    Water Volume: 52,000 acre-feet

    Completion Year: 1952

    Drainage Area: 103 sq. miles

    Trophic State: Mesotrophic

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    Trophic State | LakeLubbers

    Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

    An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

    A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

    A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

    The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


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    Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

    This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

    Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


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    Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


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    Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

    Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


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    Completion Year | LakeLubbers

    This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

    The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

    You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


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    Water Volume | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

    You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

    Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

    1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

    The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


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    Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

    You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


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    Average Depth | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

    Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

    Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


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    Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

    At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


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    Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

    Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

    When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


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    Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

    You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


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    Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

    This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

    A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

    When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

    You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


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    Surface Area | LakeLubbers

    This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

    The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

    You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


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    Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

    This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

    Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

    "Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


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    Lake Type | LakeLubbers

    There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

    - A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

    - A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

    - A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

    "Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


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