Oliver Lake, Alabama, USA

Also known as:  William Bacon Oliver Lake

Welcome to the ultimate guide for history, statistics, local fun facts and the best things to do at Oliver Lake.

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Oliver Lake visitor and community guide

Lake Locations: USA - South - Alabama - Metropolitan -

Oliver Lake is the smallest of six lakes formed by a series of locks and dams on the Black Warrior River near Tuscaloosa in west central (Metropolitan Region) Alabama. The Army Corps of Engineers manage two recreational facilities on Oliver Lake which include a boat launch ramp on the north side of the lake in Northport and a fishing pier on the south side in Tuscaloosa. Tuscaloosa County Park and Recreation Authority is managed by the City of Tuscaloosa. This area has two day use parks, a fishing pier and a boat ramp. Like most of Alabama’s rural lakes, superb fishing awaits even the most novice angler.

Oliver Lake was formed by the construction of the William Bacon Oliver Dam in 1940. The dam was named for Alabama congressman William Bacon Oliver. The Lake is nine miles long with a surface area of nearly 800 acres. Lake recreation includes picnicking, boating, and fishing, and the bass fishing is reported to be outstanding. The moving water on the lake provides an excellent habitat for catfish, striped bass, spotted bass and crappie. Bass fishing is good year-round, with the largest usually caught from February through April when they are near the banks. Bluegill and redear sunfish can be caught by shore and boat anglers all year, but especially from late spring through summer and again in the fall. Catfish are caught year-round, but the summer months are best.

There is no camping on Oliver Lake, but there are campgrounds and vacation rentals in the area and on neighboring lakes. The city of Tuscaloosa is a mile away and Northport is five miles away. Both of these cities offer plenty of lodging. Be sure to book your room ahead of time if the Alabama Crimson Tide is playing a home game. The city of Tuscaloosa is proud home of the University of Alabama and has all the excitement, sports and cultural activity that a major university brings to its hometown. There is much to see and do in the city should you tire of lake activities.

For those who prefer the country, Lake Lurleen State Park is located nine miles northwest of Tuscaloosa and has a 250-acre lake, fishing, swimming, modern camping, picnic areas, playgrounds, boat launches and rentals. For those who find Native American history fascination, you’ll want to take the short drive to Moundville Archeological Park located just south of Tuscaloosa. Visitors can walk the 320-acre grounds and visit over 20 different prehistoric Indian mounds or view archeological treasures at the museum.

Whether you desire to enjoy world-class bass fishing, or if you just want to enjoy a relaxing afternoon in the country, consider a visit to Oliver Lake and the Black Warrior River area. This body of water yields some of the best quality public fishing available.

Custom Oliver Lake house decor

Read our full review of these personalized lake house signs.

Things to do at Oliver Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Picnicking
  • State Park
  • Museum
  • Playground

Fish species found at Oliver Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Redear Sunfish (Shellcracker)
  • Spotted Bass
  • Striped Bass
  • Sunfish

Best hotels and vacation rentals at Oliver Lake

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Oliver Lake photo gallery

New photos coming soon!

Oliver Lake statistics & helpful links


Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Surface Area: 790 acres

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 123 feet

Average Depth: 16 feet

Maximum Depth: 129 feet

Water Volume: 12,400 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1940

Drainage Area: 4,821 sq. miles

Trophic State: Eutrophic

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