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Donavan Lakes Fishing Club



A Public Membership Fishing Club near Marion, AL, Perry County

Waypoint: N 32-33.385 W 087-18.656


The Donavan Lakes Fishing Club and Donavan Inn are located on Perry County 38 (four miles south of Marion on Hwy 45; take Perry County 38 west for one mile; Donavan Club sign and gate on the right). Or, if traveling on State Hwy 5, go six miles south of Marion and take Perry County 38 east for 2.1 miles; Club sign and gate will be on the left.



Donavan Inn - A working farm on the Blackbelt Prairie, Marion, Perry County, Alabama ... home of the Donavan Lakes Fishing Club.
Ken Marion with nice bass
Alex Barton with 9 lb 6 oz bass.
Ken Marion, Birmingham, with nice bass
on a spinnerbait. Ken is President of the Birmingham Audubon Society and here is a memo he recently sent to me about Birding at the Club.
Alex Barton, Marion, with a 9 lb 6 oz bass from a club lake.


Manager Wilson's Judson College fishing class, 2013


Manager Wilson's Judson College bass fishing class... summer 2013.



Bowfin are in Donavan Lake.... Notice
A fairly large population of adult bowfin fish has been identified in Donavan Lake. Manager Wilson has watched them feed on shad and has seen members hook into these big fish. Go to our Club News link for more information on catching bowfin fish.

Jay Haffner, District III Fisheries Biologist, and, Dr. Ken Marion, Biologist from UAB (see Ken's photo at top of page), both advise the removeal these fish eating predators from all club lakes... please do not release Bowfin back into the lake. Read the correspondance among Wilson, Haffner and Marion concerning Bowfin management at the Club.


Members: Send me a photo of a Bowfin that you have caught! (Manager Wilson, 12 Aug., 2014).


Bulliten: Immediately release all bass over 3 pounds. I will be checking livewells and ice chests more often. If you break this rule, you will be removed from the Club!


Trophy Bass - 13 lb 2oz bass caught at Club (25 August, 2012; weighed with digital scales). Rod Bamberg, Marion, caught this lunker and stated, "I have never seen such a huge head on a bass. It was enormous. I was so nervous that I wasn't able to take a picture." This bass is still swimming in the lake. This fish could easily gain a pound by spring, and, with 3 lbs of eggs...a new State record will be waiting on some lucky Club member.


My records show that this is the 8th bass caught from Club lakes weighing over 12 lbs. The largest weighed 14 lbs 1 oz and it was caught from Lake Ely by Randal Cowart, Bessemer, in 2000. A photo of this bass is on the Club web site (Manager Wilson).

Improvements happening in 2014: Davis Fish Farm added a big load of adult northern largemouth bass to Sturdivant Lake on Friday, 14, November. Sturdivant is restricted to a catch and release bass lake until further notice. Davis added loads of Threadfin Shad to Sturdivant, Snag and to Swamp lakes in April. We improved the Lake Roy ramp in April.

We are presently adding many piles of trees to lakes Roy, Gayle and Donavan (24 July 2014).


I have finished building a fishing platform and swing on the backside of Sturdivant Lake dam ... allowing members to fish into Donavan Lake. We recently added two piles of trees to this area to attract fish. This fishing platform will create outstanding bass fishing from the bank, especially during high water period when water from Sturdivant Lake is pouring out its drain pipe into Donavan Lake. This new fishing deck is right on top of the Sturdivant drain pipe where it empties into Donavan Lake (November, 2014).

In addition, we rebuilt the ramps on Snag and Swamp in mid-November... during low water. We constructed a new ramp on Swamp Lake and will leave the existing ramp for small boats during low water. We are still working on the Swamp ramp... need to add a load of small rocks to help prevent trucks without 4WD from getting stuck. We will finish this work in a few weeks.


Casting lanes carved into Lake Gayle by Manager Wilson .... topwater at its best.



View of Lake Gayle showing casting lanes carved from the weeds by Manager Wilson for outstanding topwater fishing, 16 July, 2014.


New Member has big bass luck! Dean Killingworth called me this morning (12 Mar. 14) and told about catching 20 to 25 nice bass each of the past two trips to Club lakes... "We caught big bass... over 10 lbs. They were chasing shad in shallow water. Then we fished big worms and caught more big bass. Really great fishing. I hope members are following the rules... releasing bass over 3 lbs so that we all can have good fishing at the Club for years to come."
Tom Barrington with nice bass on spinnerbait...22 March 2013 Mike Hoke with nice 6 lb bass, 23 March 2013

Tom Barrington and Mike Hoke caught these 6 lb bass with spinnerbaits on 23 March, 2013.The bass had been on beds for a week and a cold front hit with a cold rain. The bass moved off of the beds and resumed feeding. Mike and Tom hit it just right. They put together a 5 bass limit of 30 lbs. Again, this demonstrates the combination
of good fishermen, good weather conditions, and good luck. Happy fishing...tw


Carolyn Lamont with 8 1/2 lb bass on topwater.
Stephen and Carolyn Lamont from Montevallo
joined the Club on Saturday, 20 April, 2013.
They went to Swamp on the day that they joined
and Carolyn caught this 8 1/2 lb bass on a topwater lure.

Carolyn is from the West Coast and she has just started
bass fishing and she loves the sport. Carolyn is in stage 4
of lung cancer and is a brave woman. We all hope that
Carolyn and Stephen catch lots more big bass.

Way to go Carolyn.

Crappie Alert: Crappie are bad for bass and bream lakes. They feed on fish eggs and on young fish like a pack of wolves. The first crappie caught from any club lake was caught from Lake Donavan in 2011. Only a few crappie have been reported from Club lakes. Keep all crappie that you catch! Do not put any crappie back into the water...keep all small and all large crappie. Keep all the crappie that you catch...no limit on crappie.

Please report any crappie caught in any club lake to Manager Wilson. thank you and good fishing. tw




Dr. Edgar Luna with 9 lb bass...March, 2013 [email sent to me in April, 2013. Look in Donavan Photos for additional images]

Dr. Wilson,

I have sent you many stories in the past but have never really sent many photos so here they come. My brother is in one of them and Dr. Clements is in another. All fish are over 8 lbs except for two. One is obvious, two fish caught on one lure.

I do not have photos of the one night we (Dr. Clements and I) caught over 200 lbs of fish in 4 hours (10 at 3lbs, 10 at 4lbs, 10 at 5lbs, 6 at 6lbs, 5 at 7 lbs, and 2 over 8lbs) Craziest thing we have ever experienced. They were not taken digitally so I don't feel like sitting here and scanning them in.

Many times I didn't have a camera with me unfortunately. My camera broke so I had to use my cell phone for the last year and the quality is not as good.

Thanks for the great times, Edgar Luna [April 13, 2013]




Club Website created and maintained by
Thomas H. Wilson, Manager



Chris Ryan with big Club bass, 2012.


Chris Ryan of Birmingham caught this bass from a club lake in mid-March, 2012. See more bass caught by Chris in the Donavan Photos link.




Manager Wilson with his Judson College bass fishing students, 2012.

Manager Wilson teaches bass fishing each summer to Judson College students. These students caught many large bass from the Club lakes in May of 2012. Rebecca Reams and Rachel Walker were ourstanding fishing ladies and they love to fish.

All Club lakes were designed, stocked, and are managed by Thomas Wilson. All 17 piers were designed and constructed by Thomas Wilson.

All Donavan Lakes are stocked with Tiger Bass from American Sport Fish Hatchery.

Bar-D lakes are stocked with the "Marion" strain of the Largemouth Bass...a cross between the Northern and Florida subspecies (created by Jack Snow at the Marion Hatchery in 1960).

All Club lakes are stocked with Threadfin Shad; Sturdivant and Donavan lakes also have Golden Shiners; Donavan, Roy, Ely, and Gayle also have Gizzard Shad.








Membership for remainder of 2014 (1 Oct - 31 Dec): $600.

October, 2014 through 31 December, 2015: $1,400


As of 7 October, 2014, we have 70 members in the Club.

I will routinely update the membership number for the Club.


Bass and Bream Limits per Day: 5 bass per Club member per day, or, 8 bass per party (Club member + family and one guest). Inn renters make keep 5 bass per renter, or, a total of 12 bass a day for a party of more that 2 Inn fishermen). 25 bream per day per member; 50 total per party per day.



Shad and Shinners for 2014

Shad added to Sturdivant, Snag and Swamp: We added a load of Threadfin Shad to Snag, Swamp and Sturdivant lakes in April of this year just as we did in 2012. This makes a total of 40,000 threadfin shad added to these two lakes in the past two years.
Danial Davis unloading Northern Largemouth Bass into Sturdivant Lake, Feb. 2012


Danial Davis of Davis Fish Farm in Leesburg, Alabama, stocked 320 lbs of Missouri Northern Largemouth Bass into Sturdivant Lake on 17 February, 2012. In March, Daniel stocked 10,000 Threadfin Shad into each of the following lakes: Sturdivant, Swamp, and Snag. Sturdivant Lake is now open for keeping bass according to club kreel limits. Northern Bass are aggressive and much easier to catch than the Tiger bass stocked in all other Donavan Lakes (not Bar-D Lakes).



Rod Bamburg with a big bass, May, 2013 Rodd Bamburg - March 14

Rodd Bamburg of Marion caught this 9 lb bass in May, 2013 (left) and another trophy (right) in March of 14. Rod has the Club record at 13 1/2 lb.


www.alabamablackbeltadventures.com

Donavan Lakes Fishing Club and Inn is featured in the new State web site, www.alabamablackbeltadventures.com, promoting outdoor sports and recreation on the Black Belt.



Hudson Wilson (Manager Wilson's grandson) adding tree structure to Sturdivant Lake...Dec. 2012


Hudson Wilson, grandson of Manager Wilson, worked hard adding piles of trees to Sturdivant Lake. Hudson worked in the rain and wind but we now have about 15 "fish magnets" in Sturdivant Lake. Hudson joined the Marines last week and he leaves in about a month for boot camp. Thanks for helping grandaddy Hudson.



Greg and Jessie Holifield loading big tree for Lake Gayle structure.


Greg and Jessie Holifield loading a large tree to be added to Lake Gayle for sturcture. We added seven piles of trees in Lake Gayle on a rainy day in July, 2014. The piles of trees are marked with small bouys. One pile is not marked... see if you can find it!




Trees tied to poles in Donavan ... Rod Bamberg fishing, July, 2014

Piles of trees were added to Donavan Lake on 26 July, 2014. Rodd Bamberg fished these new bass habitats the next morning and caught nice bass...lost one monster from the sunken trees. I watched small bass feeding in several of the piles of trees. We will add more trees and a few more piles of trees to Donavan within a week. Look for the small bouy markers. Manager Wilson

Important Rule! Release all big bass. That means DO Not keep trophy bass. Put that 8 lb bass back into the water; put that 10 lb bass back into the water; put that 14 lb bass back into the water. Only join this club if you will follow this rule! Manager Wilson




Jay Hafner, State District Fisheries Biologist, sampled the Club lakes on 19 July 10.



Jay Hafner, State District Fisheries Biologist, and Manager Wilson sampled the Club lakes
to determine fish population dynamics (21 Sept. 2011). The sein sample from Donavan Lake was tremendous...large numbers of Threadfin Shad, Golden Shiners, all classes of bream and some small bass. (above photo from July 2010 survey of Donavan Lake)

"Donavan Lake is a Throughbred Lake...not a pony...but, a big league fishery," stated Jay to me after third seining effort. "Let the water level drop in this lake for the rest of the year. This will force forage fish into open water and the bass will have a banquet... bass will get really huge," continued Jay.


Notice the large number of mature Golden Shiners and all classes of bream!
Select Donavan Photos (left column) for photos and story.




Manager Wilson with two of his bass fishing students from Judson College, 2012


Manager Wilson teaches bass fishing to Judson College students each summer. These students are good fishermen and they caught bass from the club lakes that weighted up to 10 lbs.

Susan Moore with big Club lake bass.  Susan is a Judson College student in Manager Wilson's bass fishing class (May2012)



Susan Moore caught this big bass from Donavan Lake in May of 2012. Susan is a student in Manager Wilson's bass fishing class at Judson College. This is the first bass Susan ever caught! She was using an 8 inch purple worm and a 1/8 oz. slip sinker. The students caught lots of big bass from Club lakes during the summer bass fishing course.



Rebecca Ream with big Donavan Lakes bass, May, 2012


Rebecca Ream caught this big bass ( about 10 lbs; May, 2012) on a bass fishing class trip with Dr. Wilson to the Donavan Lakes Fishing club. This bass might be a little bit bigger that the one Susan Moore caught in the same lake a week earlier. "Judson girls can catch bass," Dr. Thomas Wilson (class instructor and Club Manager).




Ed Dozier with huge bream, June, 14 Joe Randolph with lunker bream on flyrod, April, 14

Ed Dozier caught this huge bream on a small crank bait, June, 2014 (left). Joe Randolph (right) caught this lunker bass on a flyrod, April, 2014. Joe and his dad were fishing with friends from the Tennessee Valley Flyfishers club from Huntsville.



Dave Pinch and Jerry King from England, April, 10


Dave Pinch & Jerry King from Surrey, England - April 2010

Englishmen visit the Donavan Inn and Club


Want to see some big bass photos? Then click on Donavan Photos (link to the left)


John Heard, Marion, knows how to beat the heat!



John Heard, Marion, knows how to beat the heat and to catch bass from Club lakes. John is fishing the cooler water that is being pumped into a lake. John saw bass chasing shad in the cooler water and he joined the fun.(July 2010). Additional photo of John Heard.


""I am extremely impressed with your management of these properties... some of the best habitat that I have ever fished and I have been tournament fishing all over the USA for 30 years. In Alabama, I have fished Levelwood, Sweetapple, and Old Spring resort lakes and I had rather fish the Donavan Lakes." John Nolan (new member, 08). See John's bass and read about his fishing at the Club.



DR. WILSON WE WACKED ‘EM SUNDAY, --- WE CAUGHT 40+ NO “GIANTS ( LIKE STEPHEN AND LIZ) BUT THE BITE WAS FANTASTIC! WE HAD A “BEST FIVE” EACH OVER THIRTY LBS. WITH SEVERAL 7’S AND A BEST FISH OF 8+. FINALLY FIGURED OUT THE DEEP STUFF AT DONAVAN. THANKS FOR A GREAT PLACE TO SPEND QUALITY TIME AND RECOUPE FROM THE REAL WORLD. JOHN P.S. THANKS STEPHEN AND LIZ FOR THE HELP! John Nolan, Oct. 08


Note: Stephen joined the Club in Feburary, 08. He often fishes with girldfriend, Liz Lassiter. See this bass fishing dueo's trophies on Donavan Photos page. Stephan and Liz are now married and they will fish the Club lakes in July, 2012. I will post photos of their bass with a report of their fishing trips.. TW

See Stephen and Liz catch big bass from Club lakes on their U-Tube site....russeo48 Most every one of Stephen's U-Tube videos are from the Donavan Club... awesome stuff!

*See photos of big bass recently caught (summer 09) by Stephen and Liz in the Donavan Photos link at the upper left margin.
Stephen Russell and Liz Lassiter...July, 08


Stephen Russell, Electrical Engineering student at the UofA, and girldfriend, Liz Lassiter, UofA Interior Design student (17 July 08) photo by Manager Wilson


See a slide show of Stephen and Liz's outstanding bass from Doanavan Club Lakes...I mean OUTSTANDING BASS at their Bass Fishing Alabama site! Be sure to click on the Fishing Pictures link.


Hi Mr. Wilson,
(email: 6 Oct. 2008)
Just wanted to check back in with you. We managed to catch a few more lunkers since the last time I spoke to you. Liz finally caught one over 10 pounds, it weighed 10 lb 2 oz. We have not been able to do as much fishing lately now that school has started back. We went yesterday, which will probably be one of the last fishing trips we make this year. I wasn't expecting to do nearly as well as we did. We caught two seven pounders and the biggest was 10 lb 7 ounces. Not bad for a day in October. Well, I just wanted to say thanks again and look forward to another good year in 2009. Thanks, Stephen Russell Liz Lassiter Tuscaloosa, Al (see Donavan Photos link for Liz's big bass).


Liz Russell with 8 3/4 lb bass, March 2013

Liz Russell caught this 8 3/4 lb bass on 8 lb test line and a 4 inch finese worm,
15 March, 2013.
Hudson Wilson (Manager Wilson's grandson) with a 9 lb bass from a Donavan lake,  July of 07.



Hudson Wilson, Manager Wilson's grandson, caught this 9 lb bass
from a Donavan lake (07).





Charles Ingram of University Fishing


Charles Ingram of Fishing University TV Show filiming a recent program
at the Donavan Club (Oct. 23, 2010) - TV images


Google Earth photo of Donavan Lakes Club

Google Earth Photo of the Bar-D lakes

Club News, Rules, Water Conditions

and Lost & Found


Eastern Lesser Siren from Donavan Lake


Eastern Lesser Siren salamanders are in the Donavan Lakes. Read all about it...see images.


Gizzard Shad

Gizzard Shad added to Bar-D lakes in May, 2007

Cast nets are not allowed on Club property!

Release all Bass over 3 lbs.


Do Not put bass over three pounds on stringers or in livewells!

Bed Fishing for Bass is not allowed
in any club lake!


No live bait fishing for bass in any club lake!
Lure fishing for bass only! starting 1 Jan. 2011


Judson College art students installing their art sticks


Judson College art students and their instructor, Ted Whisenhunt, made and installed the art sticks that decorate lakes Donavan and Sturdivant. See Donavan Photos link for more images (summer, 09).



The George Hinkle Story...Champion of Big Bass at Donavan Lakes Fishing Club!


Rodney Smith tells his big bass secrets...don't miss this one!

Location: Donavan Lakes Fishing Club includes the original four lakes (1994) of the Bar-D Fishing Club and the five lakes of the new (2002) Donavan Club. Donavan Lakes Fishing Club is located on Perry County 38 (four miles south of Marion on Hy 45; take Perry County 38 west for one mile; Donavan Club sign and gate on the right). Or, if traveling on State Hy 5, go six miles south of Marion and take Perry County 38 east for 2.1 miles; Club sign and gate will be on the left.


Sturdivant Farm (home of Donavan lakes) is a working hay farm and cattle ranch. Over 1,000 acres including lakes, swamps, woods, pasture, trails and creeks are available to members.
   
   
The Barnett family (Dec. 2003)
The Roy and Inez Barnett family enjoys an outing at the Donavan Lakes farm (December, 2002).
Donavan Inn, April of 2004
Roy and Inez Barnett, owners and managers of the Donavan Lakes Fishing Club and
Donavan Inn

The Inn has a flat screen TV with Dish Network and the Classic Gold 250 package...includes ESPNU, so, all SE Conference football games are available!

Max Campbell with nice bass from Ely Steve Crawford with 8  1/2 lb bass - March 2013

Max Campbell with nice bass from Ely pier, July, 2013.
Steve Crawford caught this 8 1/2 lb bass from a Club lake on 16 March, 2013.
 

Bob Romine, Pratville, fishes only from the bank and he is a leader in the club for landing big bass. The 12 lb. 1 oz. lunker (below) came from Lake Gayle. Bob's largest bass from the Club is 14 lbs. 1 oz caught in February.


"I went to Mexico bass fishing two years ago. I won't go back. I had rather fish at Donavan...the bass are bigger!" ... said to me by member Bob Romine of Pratville (9 Dec. 07)

Special Feature...Bob Romine and his big bass
 
 
Bob

Look for Bob and his bright red truck. His entire tackle collection is designed for big bass f rom the bank. His 9 ft. spinning outfit is the best...in fact, I bought one exactly like it and now I can fish in the middle of all lakes from the bank



 
Donavan Lakes pond fertilizer

Read about Donavan Lakes Fishing Club
and Bio Logic pond management project.
 
 
Bar-D Fishing Club
   
3 lb bream from Bar-D
Digital scales showing weight of a 3 lb bream
   
Manager Wilson,

I have been catching some really big bluegill at the Bar-d lakes. I have attached some pictures and I double checked my scales when I got home and they were dead on. First 3 pounder I have caught and several two pounders. Just thought you might want to know. Thanks, Ed Johnston
(Birmingham, 22 June, 06)
2 lb 6 oz bream from Bar-D
   
Bream beds in the gravel of a Donavan lake
The low water of the 2006 summer drought exposed bream beds in the pea gravel of a Donavan lake. We put pea gravel in all of the Donavan lakes.

Big bream own the best bedding areas and the fishing can be hot and fast.

If you can find the gravel...you will catch the bream!
   
   
   
Marion McMurphy of Mobile was given a Christmas gift certificate from his son for two days at the Donavan Inn. Marion and his wife came this March and had a wonderful time. Marion invited his friend, Bobby Moore, owner of the local Brierpatch Hunting Preserve to fish with him one morning.


Bobby is a good fisherman and he caught the bass of his life at the Club. However, he lost the "big" bass after it wrapped his line around a stump.

Bobby's bass weighed 10 lbs 8 ozs. (March, 2010)
Bobby Moore with 10 lb 8 oz bass, March 10
   
world record bass
Randal Cowart with his 14 lb 1 oz bass from Lake Ely


Randal Cowart with a 14 lb 1 oz bass caught from Lake Ely. Randal was using 4 lb test line (February, 2001).


(left) World record bass (22 lbs. 4 ozs) caught in Georgia by George Perry, 1932.

With Gizzard Shad now in Bar-D lakes, we can break the AL State Record and maybe the World Record for largemouth bass.
   
 
Donavan & Bar-D Clubs - Photos and Tales

The Donavan Lakes project consists of Donavan (40 acres w/three large fishing piers) and Sturdivant (12 acres w/three piers) lakes. These two lakes opened for fishing on 1 June, 2002. Lakes Sturdivant, Inez and Donavan have well water pipes running to them for low water periods.
Melanie Eddy with big brea, April 2013Giant bream caught by Melanie Eddy, April, 2013  
Eddy and Melanie Eddy caught these big bream in April, 2013. They are new members and are off to a fast start.
Everett Sharp with 6 3/4 lb bass on flyrod
Bass bug tied by Everett Sharp
   
Everett Sharp and his friends from the Tuscaloosa Flyfishing Club rented the Inn and spent several days catching bass in Club lakes. Everett caught this 6 3/4 lb bass with his homemade weedless frog popper, Apr. 2010.
   
   
   
adding 1,000,000 golden shiners to Donavan Lake We added 1,000,000 Golden Shiner fry to Donavan Lake on Friday, 23 April, 2010.

The fry came from Anderson Minnow Farm in Arkansas.

Golden Shiners will grow fast and big...up to 12 inches in length. They are the native forage fish of Florida Bass. Golden Shiners will allow our bass to reach maximum genetic size...really huge.

Jessie Brumfield (Judson College soccer player), Manager Wilson, Mr. Cox, and Steve Cox (Exc. Dir. of International Expeditions...The World Leader in Nature Travel) participated in the shiner project.

Below: Manager Wilson and Steve Cox enjoyed adding the golden shiners to the lake. A 2 inch long baby bass swam between my legs and ate a mouthfull of tiny shiners.
Manager Wilson and Steve Cox dumping golden shiner fry into a Club lake
   
Restroom for members at the Donavan Club
Donavan Lakes Club restroom
Sturdivant Lake sign made from Black Walnut slab
 
Club Lakes - Structure and Honey Holes... (see Snag and Swamp during drought of 2007
 
Timber on Snag Lake, 2003
Donavan Lake, Sept. 04
The 8 inch well for Donavan Lake was completed on Wednesday, July 30, 2002. We are now capable of pumping 800 gallons per minute (1,000,000 gallons per day) into Donavan or Sturdivant lakes.
 
Joe and Judy Elliott of Brent enjoying pier fishing
Hudson and Lauren Wilson with two nice bass from Sturdivant Lake (summer, 2002).
Lauren and Hudson Wilson (my grandkids) with nice bass from Sturdivant Lake.
Andrew Pitts with 9 lb bass
Party pier on Sturdivant Lake with aerator
Andrew Pitts of Birmingham with 9 lb bass  
The roofed pier on Sturdivant Lake has four ceiling fans with lights, a sink and cabinet with hot and cold running water, patio furniture and a fishing deck. The walkway to the pier is lined with solar lighting. This pier is open to members but may be reserved for functions. A "Pier Reserved by Owner" sign will indicate when this pier is rented or reserved for functions.

Two lakes at the Donavan Club opened for fishing on 1 June, 2003. Snag and Swamp lakes are each close to 20 acres and they are full of heavy structure...definately Spider Wire lakes. Lake Inez is six acres and is well designed for bass fishing with islands, channels, ditches, pea gravel bedding areas and numerous large felled trees.


Lake Inez lost all of its water during the drought of 2006. The lake is now full, has been restocked, and opened for catch-and-release fishing 1 Jan. 2009.
Great Egret on Donavan Lake
Swamp Lake is full of stumps and logs
The Stocking Program for the Donavan lakes adds to the excitement and productivity of this outstanding fishery. Only F1hybrid largemouth "Tiger Bass" have been and will be stocked in these lakes. Bluegill, shellcrackers, and coppernose bream are being stocked along with rosyred fathead minnows and threadfin shad.

Sturdivant Lake is stocked with a combination of Florida and F1 hybrid Tiger Bass. This lake is stocked with coppernose bream (85%) and shellcrackers (15%). Fathead minnows and threadfin shad were stocked in this lake. Gizzard shad are in this lake and should help the bass grow exceptionally large in a few years. Catfish weighing up to 20 pounds are in Sturdivant Lake by accident...we thought we had removed all of the catfish.

Vincent Thornton, Tuscaloosa, caught a 14 lb bass from Lake Gayle in February, 2003. Tina Russell from Heiberger, Alabama, caught a 13 1/2 lb bass from the Lake Ely pier in May of 2001. These two Bar-D lakes continue to produce huge fish.
   
Snag Lake 2003
Swamp Lake 2003
The 1880 Farm House at Donavan Lakes
The Sturdivant Farm House (1890) has been remodeled and restored. New living quarters have been built as an add-on to the rear of the old house. This farm house (Donavan Inn) is available for rent to all interested persons. Donavan Inn opened on 1 April, 2004.
   
Swamp Lake is a great fishing place for those who like heavy structure and a closeup trip to nature. It is a Scum Frog and Snagless Sally hole. Swamp Lake July 2003
   
Camping at the graveled RV pad next to Lake Gayle of the Bar-D Club
Camping in tents, popup campers and in RVs is free at the both Clubs. Electrical outlets are available and free for general use. We charge $25/day to members for electrical hookups for summertime airconditioner usage. Payment is on the honor system...Give the fee to Manager Wilson when you see him at the Club or mail the fee to Manager Wilson.

   
Self-contained RVs of any lengh may camp at the RV gravel pad next to Lake Gayle at the Bar-D Club (see above photo). The Donavan Club has a self-contained RV camping area beside Swamp Lake. This RV area is grassed and has five 30/50 amp hookups.
Do Not leave your camper unattended anywhere at the Club...take it home with you!
Camping area above Swamp Lake
   

People who camp at the Club are doing so at their own risk. We are not responsible for damage done to camping vehicles. You need to see the camping areas before coming to camp. This is a prairie...the land can be a soggy mess during the winter and after a big rain.

Popup campers and tent camping are allowed anywhere reasonable at the Bar-D club. Popup campers and tent camping at the Donavan Club are allowed only on the back property near lakes Snag, Swamp and Inez.


Do Not leave your camper on Club property...take it home with you!
   
Birmingham Audubon Society looking at an American Bittern on Donavan Lake
Manager Wilson led a birding tour of Perry County for the Birmingham Audubon Society in April of 05. The group spotted the uncommon American Bittern in the reeds on Donavan Lake. This bird was a new Life List for many of the birders.
   
In addition to exceptional fishing, the Donavan/Bar-D environs provide wonderful opportunities for birding, walking, camping, picnics, nature trails, and peaceful relaxation. I have seen eagles, ospreys, kites, great egrets, wood storks, white ibises, ducks, geese, shore birds, herons, rails (with chicks), hawks, anhingas, cormorants, bobolinks, and may songbirds on the property. The lakes and woods are visited by deer, fox, beavers, coyotes, ground hogs, otters, turkeys, alligators, snakes, and other fine creatures.
   
Fallow buck at Donavan Lakes Club
Club Animals and Wildlife

Snakes at the Club...an ID article
   
http://www.alabamahuntingfishingtrail.com
   
" American Bitterns have been seen during the winter at Donavan for the past two years. I saw one in early December of 07. A pair of mature bald eagles spent Sunday afternoon on Swamp Lake. I watched these majestic birds play and pearch on dead trees for several hours. Their brilliant white heads and tails were beautiful. It was a blessing to be so close to birds that almost became extinct in my earlier years" (Manager Wilson, December 15, 2002). A ball eagle has been perching atop a pecan tree beside the Farm House. An anhinga can be seen early in the morning at Lake Ely at Bar-D." (Wilson, December 28, 2003).

Membership in Donavan Lakes Fishing Club

Credit Card Payments: We take credit cards for the fishing club and for the Donavan Inn. All credit card transactions are to be done with Manager Wilson. The card number will be entered on the College City Drug store credit card machine. This is the place of employment for the owners of the fishing club and of the Inn. Do not pay your dues with a credit card at College City Drugs! All dues are to be paid to Manager Wilson.

George Hinkle with a very big bass
Hudson Wilson with his 7 1/2 lb bass caught from the pier on Lake Ely and his sister, Lauren (summer, 2001)

Two new and exciting Donavan Club lakes (Snag, & Swamp) opened for fishing on 1 June, 2003. Lake Inez Inez lost all of its water in the drought of 2006. Lake Inez has been drained and is now part of the Wetlands for Wildlife Program ... an effort to help migratory waterfowl (Nov. 2010).

   
Manager Wilson and guide Alfredo on Treasure Lake, Cuba, 2009
 
Manager Wilson and brother, Ray, fished Treasure Lake in Cuba for bass... Also for Tarpon and Snook in the Hatiguanico River.
   
Corporate/Business Donavan Lakes Fishing Club Contract
 
Hunting and Fishing in West Alabama
   
Hunting in the Ozarks of Arkansas... the Wilson Ranch in Heber Springs
   
Outstanding natural areas with superior birding, interpretive nature trails, and swamp canoe trips are found at Perry Lakes Park/Bartons Beach Cahaba River Preserve. Located only 10 miles NE from the Donavan Club on Perry County 175, these two recreational areas are well worth a visit.
   
   
   

Thomas H. Wilson, Manager
1714 Prier Drive
Marion, AL 36756
334-683-6389


Waypoint: N 32-36.664 W 087-20.056
wils5789@bellsouth.net