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Yates Lake

Alabama Power impounded the Tallapoosa River with Yates Dam in 1928, creating the reservoir that is known as Yates Lake. The dam, also known as the "Upper Tallassee Dam," is modest in size; but it sits on the original site for Alabama's first hydroelectric facility, which delivered Montgomery's first electricity in 1912. This reservoir receives water directly from Lake Martin, which is located immediately upstream from this lake. This location also provides Yates Lake with yet another name -- "middle pond" -- since the water from Yates Lake flows directly into Lake Thurlow in Tallassee.

The location of Yates Lake between the popular Lake Martin upstream and the more populated areas at Lake Thurlow downstream makes this lake ideal for anglers. Although access to the lake is limited, that fact alone makes this lake ideal for fishing, as other water recreation sports are limited.


Martin Dam, located just eight miles upstream from Yates Dam, creates a unique situation for anglers. Lake Martin Dam discharges cold water from deep within that larger lake, which provides a prolonged spawning period for bream. The lake is known for its excellent "shellcracker" (bluegill, redear sunfish, redbreast sunfish) fishing from April through July.

Although bass enjoy the colder water, the lack of forage fish doesn't provide a stellar environment for large bass -- but the mortality rates for largemouth and spotted bass are low, so those fish are caught on a regular basis. Anglers also can find white and black crappie, striped and white bass, and a variety of catfish species.


  Search Yates Lake Resources
    Lake Yates Alabama Coordinates:
32.5742N -85.8893W
Map It:
Lake Type:
Surface Area:
1,980 acres
Maximum Depth:
135 ft
344 ft
Normal Water Clarity:
3 ft
Major City:


The largest public access point to the lake is located at Yates Dam Park from County Road 44 to County Road 30. Two smaller and more primitive ramps are located at the north end of the lake and at Coon Creek Tract.


Anglers and boaters who want to use Yates Lake have a variety of lodging options both north and south. Wind Creek State Park is located on Lake Martin's northeast shore, about 27 miles north of the Yates Lake's eastern shore. That park also is located near Alexander City, a town that provides numerous accommodations. To the south, visitors also can stay at a variety of locations in Tallassee, which borders the southern end of this lake.

Review the Lake Resource Guide for additional lodging.


Yates Dam is located immediately north of the City of Tallassee, and the dam straddles the river between Tallapoosa and Elmore Counties. The closest small towns include Eclectic, Tallassee, Tallapoosa City, and Friendship. The closest large city is Montgomery, accessible via I-85 West, located just south of Tallassee.

Fun times at Yates Lake  Yates Lake

Yates Lake  Yates Lake

Average Temperatures Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Avg. High  57 Avg. High  61 Avg. High  69 Avg. High  76 Avg. High  83 Avg. High  89 Avg. High  91 Avg. High  91 Avg. High  86 Avg. High  78 Avg. High  69 Avg. High  60
Avg. Low  35 Avg. Low  38 Avg. Low  44 Avg. Low  50 Avg. Low  60 Avg. Low  68 Avg. Low  72 Avg. Low  71 Avg. Low  65 Avg. Low  53 Avg. Low  44 Avg. Low  37