About Duck River Reservoir

Duck River Icon

The 650-acre man-made reservoir in Cullman County known as Duck River Reservoir was created with the purpose of supplying an additional water source for Cullman, Alabama and the surrounding area, which was primarily reliant on Lake Catoma. A proud achievement for the community and all who were involved with its planning and construction, Duck River Reservoir provides Cullman and parts of surrounding counties with a valuable source of water and the public with an outdoor recreation hub through the next century.


The Duck River Project was a collaborative effort that began in the early 1990s when the Appalachian Regional Commission gave the City of Cullman a $5 million grant to study the community’s water shortage problem. Cullman’s main water supply, Lake Catoma, was not always able to provide the amount of clean water being used. The Utilities Board of the City of Cullman called on the Nashville Division of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to launch a study to look for potential alternative/emergency water sources. From this study, the idea for Duck River Reservoir was born. During the planning of this $100 million project, it was decided that Duck River would serve the public in two ways: as water source and a place for outdoor recreation. After construction of the dam was finished, the lake filled in December 2015. Duck River opened to the public for fishing in 2017, and the highly anticipated Tim Scott Recreational Trail was completed in 2019. Two boat ramps were also constructed as part of the recreation plan, which allowed anglers to access the lake; these opened in July 2019, and anglers were able to pull the first fish from the lake.


The boat ramps and trails officially open to the public with a ribbon cutting in July 2019.


Work on the final installation of pipes that carry water from Duck River begins in November.


Now filled with water, the Duck River Reservoir project enters its final phase of construction. Sections of the trail begin opening to the public, and the reservoir receives its water quality monitoring permit from the Alabama Department of Environmental Management. The lake is also stocked with fish.


After decades of rigorous planning and preparation, Cullman gets a brand new lake as it fills with water in December 2015.


Construction of the dam begins, and Phase I (three miles) of the Tim Scott Recreational Trails open to the public.


Clearing of the construction site begins.


Property acquisition for the dam and reservoir begins.


The Utilities Board of the City of Cullman receives a permit to build the Duck River Dam and Reservoir.


Duck River is chosen as the best alternative water source.


Cullman receives a $5 million Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) Grant for an emergency/alternative water supply.