Bear Creek Reservoir

The ecological health of Bear Creek Reservoir rated poor in 2011. Bear Creek has rated poor most years. The higher ratings (fair) in 2007 and 2009 were due primarily to improved chlorophyll concentrations.

TVA monitors one location on Bear Creek Reservoir—the deep, still water near the dam, called the forebay—usually on a two-year cycle.

Ecological Health Indicators at Bear Creek Reservoir, 2011

Monitoring locationDissolved

Forebay Poor Poor Fair Fair Fair

Dissolved oxygen

As in previous years, dissolved oxygen rated poor in 2011. The lower half of the water column had low dissolved oxygen concentrations during the summer months.


Chlorophyll rated poor. Chlorophyll has rated poor on Bear Creek Reservoir each year except 2007 and 2009 when it rated fair due to lower summer average chlorophyll concentrations.


The fish community rated high-fair. Fish community scores have consistently been at the upper end of the fair-to-good range.

Bottom life

Bottom life rated low-fair because few animals were found, and most were species able to tolerate poor conditions. Bottom life typically scores at the low end of the fair range or poor.


Sediment quality rated fair because low levels of PCBs were detected in the sediment samples.  Sediment quality typically rates good on Bear Creek Reservoir.

Fish consumption advisories

Bear Creek Reservoir—TVA maintains a program to examine contaminants in fish fillets from TVA reservoirs and their major tributary streams on a rotational basis. The data collected from this program is distributed to the state officials who are responsible for placing or removing fish tissue consumption advisories on those bodies of water. For information on advisories currently in effect for Bear Creek Reservoir, visit the Epidemiology Division of Alabama Department of Public Health’s Web page