| Bass Fishing
In 1817 a group of unlikely pioneers stepped from barges onto the shores of what is now Marengo County. They put up rough cabins along the white bluffs of the Tombigbee River and named their settlement Demopolis (city of the people). These 400 men and women had been supporters of Napoleon Bonaparte. When their leader was exiled to St. Helena, they fled from France to America where they hoped to grow olive trees and make wine. Congress granted them 92,000 acres (at two dollars an acre) in the Alabama wilderness. Among these colonists were men who had led the great armies of France during the Napoleonic wars. Colonel Nicholas Raoul, who accompanied Napoleon on his escape from Elba, became the owner of a ferry across the Tombigbee.
Located in Greene, Sumter and Hale counties in the west central part of the state, Demopolis Lake's last electrofishing survey was conducted in 1989 in conjunction with the Alabama Reservoir Management Program when the reservoir was 37-years old. The 10,000-acre lake has a growing season of 250-frost-free days and no thermocline depth.
In July 1983, 4900-Florida largemouth bass, 2 to 3 inches in size, were stocked across Demopolis Lake. Three years later, a total of 20,600-Florida largemouth bass, 1 inch in size, were again stocked in the lake at about two bass per acre. From 1987 through 1989, Florida largemouth bass, 1 to 2 inches in size, were stocked each May. A total of 90,000 bass of the Florida strain were stocked in Demopolis over these three years.
During the electrofishing surveys, the biologists caught approximately 86-largemouth bass per hour of effort and three-spotted bass per hour of effort. The gill netting surveys for largemouth bass brought in about three bass per hour.