Lewis Smith Lake is 35 miles long and has 500 miles of shoreline. The maximum depth at the dam is 264 feet. For many years, the land bordering Lewis Smith Lake remained relatively undeveloped. But since the 1980s, residential and commercial development resulting from the lake’s beauty and its recreational attractions has increased dramatically. The reservoir’s location near the cities of Birmingham and Huntsville makes the lake popular among second-home buyers. The lake is well-known for its deep, clear water and for its good sport fishing. In recent years, it has served as the site of several major professional bass fishing tournaments. Largemouth, striped, white, and spotted bass; black and white crappie; bluegill, longear, and redear sunfish; and flathead and channel catfish may be found in the lake. Public use areas, including boat launch facilities, are located at numerous sites around the reservoir. The lake and surrounding lands, including the adjoining William Bankhead National Forest and Sipsey Wilderness Area, also provide habitat for an abundance of other wildlife and threatened orendangered species, including the bald eagle.