The Alabama River is considered the heart river of the state. The Alabama is the state’s longest river, flowing for 315 miles and draining 11% of the state in 18 counties. The Alabama River is formed by the confluence of the Coosa and Tallapoosa Rivers just north of Montgomery. The mighty river begins at the Fall Line, an imaginary line demarcating the area of Alabama’s ancient coastline. The Alabama River serves as the unifier of Alabama’s Eastern Rivers, the Coosa and Tallapoosa and her western rivers, the Cahaba, Black Warrior and Tombigbee.
DAMS ON THE ALABAMA
Development of the Alabama River for improved navigation began in 1963. The navigation system now consists of three locks and dams at Claiborne, Millers Ferry, and Robert F. Henry and provides for a nine foot deep channel from Mobile to near Wetumpka. Millers Ferry and Robert F. Henry allow for the production of hydroelectric power.
Up to 144 species of fish have been documented from the Alabama River subbasin. Species of concern include the Blue Sucker, Alabama Shad, Southern Walleye, Paddlefish, Gulf Sturgeon, and Alabama Sturgeon. The Alabama Sturgeon and a number of important mussel species rely on the stretch of river below Claiborne Lock and Dam which is the last, largely unregulated, big river habitat in Alabama.
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