Why Bear Creek Mississippi Best Kayak Fishing Areas

Best Kayak Fishing Area

Besides Kayaking Bear Creek Mississippi for recreational and sporting, the place is endowed with over 90 fish species which makes it one of the best Kayak fishing areas. In this post, we will take a look at the types of fish available for paddlers, regulations and rules, and more. A research done by the Berry H. (Nick) Tew of Geological Survey of Alabama documents a number of species recorded during a sampling exercise to determine the type and vulnerability of fish. Moreover, during the exercise 92 fish species were documented, in addition, 5 species of conservation concern was among the species recorded (Tew 2007). When Kayaking Bear Creek Mississippi, the conservation fish species to avoid as reported by state department are: the brindled madtom (Noturus miurus), the bandfin darter (Etheostoma zonistium), the blueface darter (E. sp. cf. zonistium), the gilt darter (Percina evides), and the highland shiner (Notropis micropteryx). Also reported were the two nonnative species, namely, weed shiner (Notropis texanus), and the blacktail shiner (Cyprinella venusta) (Tew 2007). The invasive species originates from the river Tombigbee through the Tennessee-Tombigbee waterway.

Why Kayaking Bear Creek

The Bear Creek is located in northwest Alabama and provides habitat for various species of fauna and flora, and a home to over 104 fish species for kayak fishing. However, the bear creek system only have one fish species of highest conservation concern known as the slenderhead darter (Percina phoxocephala). The nearly threatened species to note, and avoid while on the Kayak fishing are suckermouth minnow (Phenacobius mirabilis), brindled madtom (Noturus miurus), bandfin darter (Etheostoma zonistium), undescribed “blueface darter” (E. sp. cf. onisteum), and the gilt darter (Percina evides). Further, the least threatened species suitable for Kayak fishing are: American brook lamprey (Lampetra appendix), skipjack herring (Alosa chrysochloris), highland shiner (Notropis micropteryx), and the blue sucker (Cycleptus elongatus). There are three species endemic to Bear Creek, namely, slenderhead darter, suckermouth minnow, and brindled madtom. No evidence suggest their existences beyond other tributary system in Alabama (Tew 2007).

Topographical features of Bear Creek

Tennessee River has several tributaries. Bear Creek is it major tributary found in the Northwest of Alabama and to the Northeast of Mississippi, with 946 square miles drainage area watershed (Tew 2007). Besides, other tributaries are Cedar Creek, Little Bear Creek, and Buzzard Roost Creek. Other notable topographical features are Transition Hills, Cumberland Plateau, East Gulf Coastal Plain, and Impoundments, which are the major characteristics of the stream and the notable are the reservoirs, that is Bear Creek, Upper Bear Creek, Little Bear Creek, and Cedar Creek Reservoir. The creek is largely composed of forests. In addition, the land is use for pasture production, crop, and poultry farming. The watershed comprised of towns, such as the Red Bay, Haleyville, Phil Campbell, Hackleburg, and Russellville found in Alabama, while Mississippi towns consists of the Belmont and Golden.

The 8 fish species found only at Bear Creek

Before setting for Bear Creek Kayak fishing, it is necessary to anticipate the type of fish available. In fact, there are 8 species only found at the creek worth mentioning, which are pretty shiner (Lythrurus bellus), bluehead chub (Nocomis leptocephalus), rough shiner (Notropis baileyi), silverstripe shiner (N. stilbius), Dixie chub (Semotilus thoreauianus), black madtom (Noturus funebris), tadpole madtom (N. gyrinus), and speckled darter (Etheostoma stigmaeum). If love the weed shiner (Notropis texanus) and the blacktail shiner (Notropis venustus), the coastal plain species, you are at the right spot. These are the two newly invasive species originally found within the Tombigbee river system spotted early 1990s at the Creek (Tew 2007).

Other Fish Species Suitable For Kayak Fishing

The Spotted gar

Spotted gar (Lepisosteus oculatus) is an endemic fish species to North America and a fresh water fish. Identified with dark spot color on the head, fins, and dart body with a drawn-out mouth. Besides, teeth have a needle like shape for grasping other small fish. They prefer quiet, clear waters, and backwater of creeks, rivers, and lakes. A grown adult weighs 2.4kg (Wikipedia). Moreover, they prefer shallow water of about 3 – 5 m deep (animaldiversity). To have a lovely fishing adventure, you need a fishing kayak, rod, and kayak fishing rod floats. There are various Kayak fishing rod floats to choose from, such as the Shoreline Marine Kayak Fishing SLPG92027 Rod Floats. The equipment is available at Amazon online store and other fish stockiest chain store.

American gizzard shad

Small in size, the American gizzard shad popularly known as the “mud shad” is native to relatively large swath and brackish waters. The adult fish has a green coloration. For a detailed and distribution of fish species at the bear creek, we have attached a table, with scientific names of species identified during a study of the Bear Creek System. There are a variety of fish which suit comfortable in your small Kayak while fishing. With the many species, you will have a field day kayak fishing at Bear Creek.

Resident License Prices

To carry out Kayak fishing, there are applicable regulations, rules and incense payable annually, namely, sportsman license. The fee cover hunting, that is, Fall & Spring Turkey, the Archery/Primitive Weapon/Crossbow, and fishing. However, the permit does not include saltwater fishing (eregulations.com). Besides, you must abide to the laid down kayak safety rules and use the appropriate safety gears as documented in the kayak safety gear list.

Kayak Safety at Bear Creek.

Outdoor activities such as kayaking, hiking, mountain climbing, and more are prone to disturbances by environmental challenges namely, rain, storms, and others. To protect yourself and your Kayaking accessories, it is recommended to wear personal floating device(PFD), this will save you from drowning as you await external help. We have different types of pfds, namely type I, II, III,IV to select from. However, each type plays a different role and meant for a particular water. Other than pfd, equip yourself with one of the best floating waterproof backpack dry bag for kayaking. Your clothing and gears are protect from sinking and getting wet.


Tew B: Survey of the bear creek system for fish species of moderate to highest conservation concern: report of results for 2007-08, GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. https://www.gsa.state.al.us/img/Ecosystems/pdf/OFR_0901.pdf Accessed on 26/6/2019 Spotted gar https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spotted_gar. Accessed on 27/6/2019

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