If you have a Lewis Smith Lake home or know somebody with a house on Smith Lake, I am sure that you are aware that the lake is very clean and very deep compared to other reservoirs in the area, but did you know that it has an average depth of 65 ft. And did you know that it is the deepest lake in the state of Alabama with a depth of 264 feet at the dam? It is pretty simple to find out that this reservoir occupies 3 counties: Cullman County, Walker County, and Winston County. It is a very large lake. Even though its length is only 35 miles from one end to the other, its perimeter covers over 526 miles. It contains the 2nd largest volume of water in the state and is fed by a 944 mile watershed. At full pool, which is 510 ft above sea level, this impoundment contains 1, 390, 000 acre-feet of water, and the water stays in this lake for more time than any other lake in the state. The water moves through the lake for approximately 435 days before it exits through the dam.
A lot of people are let down when they see the dam for the 1st time. People seem to expect the water to run over the top of the dam ao smith z1
. Smith Lake Dam is not made for the water to run over it. In fact, if you look around the upper area of the dam, you will notice a lot of cleared land that has been excavated near the launch and across Smith Lake Dam Road. These spots were created to hold water in the event of a severe flood so that the dam and the areas below the dam are not washed by the erosion that would be caused by such an enormous amount of water that would otherwise rush over the dam. How does the water leave the lake then? In an effort to elude this type of disaster, the water is pulled through two huge steel pipes which are located deep below the lake’s surface on the high side of the dam. Did you know water is always flowing through the dam leaving Smith Lake? The water flows through the pipes at different rates depending on the need for electricity and the volume of water entering the lake at any given time. Because water is always flowing through the dam, the turbines are always spinning, sometimes generating power and at other times acting like a voltage regulator for the stored electricity.
You have probably never thought about it, but the water flowing through the dam is very cold year round since it is drawn from such deep water. Did you know that the water below Smith Lake Dam maintains a temperature of approximately 57 degrees fahrenheit? This is why the state of Alabama started stocking the tail waters of Smith Lake with rainbow trout. They stock the Sipsey Fork below the dam seven times a year at the end of each of the following months: January, March, April, May, July, September, and November. Did you know that they release between 3500 and 4000 hatchery raised rainbow trout into this river at each stocking? They continue to stock the river because the rainbow trout can not reproduce here due to the swift currents and the rapidly changing level of the water below the dam. The eggs are either washed away, or they surface during low water times. It is nice to know that we have the opportunity to fish for these trout right here in Alabama. It is just one more characteristic of Smith Lake that makes it special. As we hit the midpoint of the Big 12 season, the title game picture is crystal clear in the South, yet still murky in the North. Up until Saturday most people agreed that Colorado and Nebraska were by far the class of the Big 12 North. Sure Missouri was 2-1, but their wins came against conference bottom feeders Iowa State and Oklahoma State and they now had to play Nebraska! Many assumed that Nebraska’s vaunted defense would shut down the Tiger offense and roll on their way back to the top 25. But someone forgot to tell Brad Smith.
The sometimes remarkable, sometimes maligned senior quarterback decided to have arguably the best game of his career Saturday. In throwing for 234 yards, plus a touchdown pass, and rushing for 246 and 3 touchdowns (setting a Mizzou record for total yards with 480), Smith single-handedly moved Missouri into the argument for North champ. This performance came after a week in which Smith’s backup, freshman Chase Daniel, was garnering support for the quarterback job. The highly touted Daniel entered Missouri’s game against Iowa State for an injured Smith and led them to a 27-24 overtime victory, throwing for 185 yards on 16 of 23 passing. Yet this week the only thing Chase Daniel did was disrupt Missouri’s momentum. After four consecutive Smith scoring drives to begin the game, Daniel entered in the first drive of the 2nd quarter only to see nothing materialize. The drive turned out to be a major momentum swing for Nebraska. Though this was a pre-designed maneuver that was supposed 1 of 2 drives for the game for Daniel, Smith’s performance dictated that he remain in the game.