CONTACT: Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association
PHONE: 256.350.3500 / 800.648.5381


Bear Creek Lakes Cleanup Nets Over 400 Pounds of Trash

Decatur, Ala. (May 25, 2022) – Volunteers from the Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association (AMLA), Franklin County Chamber of Commerce and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) along with professional angler Timmy Horton pulled 413 pounds of trash from Bear Creek Lakes over the weekend. The effort was in partnership with TVA and designed to help clean the Bear Creek Lakes system while raising awareness of its recreational impact to northwest Alabama.  

Thirty people, ranging in age from 7 years old to 65, gathered Saturday along the shores of the Bear Creek Lakes and pulled litter, a mosquito trap, tires, pallets, a remote control car, glass, debris and junk from the water and surrounding area. “As part of National Tourism Month, we wanted to give back by organizing a cleanup at one of our popular North Alabama lakes. The cleanup will help preserve wildlife habitat and protect our natural resources for future generations to enjoy. We also hope to raise awareness about the problem of litter, not just here in northwest Alabama, but in all of our cities and communities throughout the state,” stated AMLA President and CEO Tami Reist. 

The Bear Creek Lakes cleanup will be aired at a later date on Timmy Horton Outdoors television show. Timmy Horton of Muscle Shoals travels the country competing on the Bassmaster Elite Series bass fishing tour and filming shows for Timmy Horton Outdoors, Major League Fishing, The Bass Pros and other outdoors television programs. He is a former BASS Angler of the Year, one of ESPN’s 35 Greatest Anglers of all time and a four-time Bassmaster Champion. 

“As outdoorsmen, it should be our priority to be good stewards of the outdoors that God has blessed us with, so generations can enjoy it as we do. I commend Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association for their initiative and for getting this event together,” said Horton.

In addition to drawing attention to river stewardship, the event is to bring awareness to the importance of the Bear Creek Lakes system and its impact on the North Alabama region. “The Bear Creek Lakes are rated among some of the cleanest recreational waters in the South,” said Reist. Located in northwestern Alabama near Russellville, Alabama, the Bear Creek Lakes system is comprised of four lakes -- Bear Creek Reservoir, Little Bear, Upper Bear and Cedar Creek. The 8,000 acres of crisp, clean waters and their surrounding woodlands offer boating, fishing, sand beaches, group pavilions, designated swimming areas, hunting, developed camping, picnicking and hiking. A 30-mile canoe float stream is located between Upper Bear and Big Bear Reservoirs. Several public launch facilities are easily accessible to drop in a boat, canoe, kayak or jet ski and take off for a day of beautiful scenery and fun on the water.

“A special thank you to the volunteers and to TVA for making this possible. The volunteer collecting the most trash is Jackson Mitchell who is set to graduate high school this week. He collected 98.6 pounds of trash. Second place went to a group of young kids who went in the water to retrieve tires that weighed in at 91.4 pounds,” added Reist. The event concluded with a grilled lunch courtesy of the members of the Franklin County Cattlemen’s Association.  

Coordinated by AMLA, the Bear Creek Lakes cleanup was made possible by a grant from TVA’s Reservoir and Community Cleanups funding program. The funds covered the cost of supplies to aid in the cleanup such as trash bags, gloves, litter grabbers, safety items and first-aid kits for volunteers.  

For more information on the cleanup, call Reist at 800-648-5381.

About Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association (AMLA)
AMLA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion and development of the travel industry within the 16 northernmost counties of the state. It is supported by 500-plus members consisting of chambers of commerce, Convention & Visitors Bureaus, attractions, campgrounds, festivals, communities, counties, golf courses, restaurants, tour operators, accommodations, vendors, financial institutions and individuals. Counties included within the AMLA region are Blount, Cherokee, Colbert, Cullman, DeKalb, Etowah, Franklin, Jackson, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Morgan and Winston. Additional information on North Alabama destinations, accommodations and special events is available by calling 800.648.5381 or by visiting Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @VisitNorthAL and like us at