All posts by Neely Henry Lake Association

NHLA Community Meeting – April 4, 2024

Please mark your calendars for the April meeting of the NHLA Community. This meeting will be held on Thursday, April 4, 2024, at 6:30 pm, at the Rainbow City Community Center, next to the Library in RBC.

We are very pleased to have as our speaker John Moore, Director of Economic Development for the City of Gadsden. Mr. Moore will share details of the City of Gadsden’s recently completed long-term development plan, focusing on the lakefront. This meeting is a fantastic opportunity for all of us to learn more about what the future may hold for this part of Neely Henry Lake and the city.

We will also provide updates on various NHLA projects, upcoming speakers, and other important issues.

Feel free to forward this notice to your friends and neighbors so they may also join us. There will be light refreshments provided, as well as door prizes awarded!

I look forward to seeing you at the meeting!


Dave Tumlin
Pres., NHLA

NHLA Spring Fish Habitat Build 2024

NHLA Spring Fish Habitat Build 2024**UPDATE***
We have a confirmation for the build site. It will take place at River Rocks Campground and Marina (below I-759 bridge), Gadsden, AL at 9:00 am, on both March 27 and April 3, 2024. If you haven’t already, please mark your calendars with the date, time and location. If you want to volunteer, call or text (preferably) Kelly Stephens at: 770.402.6328.


As we do every year, the Neely Henry Lake Association will be partnering with Alabama Power to construct and replenish fish habitat on our Lake. This has been an annual project with APCO for nearly 15 years and has had a positive impact on fish populations.

Please mark your calendars for Wednesday, March 27, and Wednesday, April 3, 2024.

The first day is for construction and usually only takes a couple of hours, provided we get enough help! The following week is deployment and takes about the same amount of time.

The location has not been finalized as yet. Since we staged at Greensport Marina last fall, we are hoping for this spring to be at River Rocks Landing and Campground…we will let you know the final decision. But mark your calendars!! Remember, if you help with deployment, you can suggest locations that only NHLA members will know about!

If you are interested or have questions, please get in touch with Kelly Stephens at 770.402.6328.

Thanks for your support.

Dave Tumlin
Pres., NHLA

2nd Annual Alabama Fishing Show and Expo March 8-10 in Downtown Gadsden

2nd Annual Alabama Fishing Show and Expo March 8-10 in Downtown Gadsden

GADSDEN, AL—February 26, 2024—The biggest fishing show and expo in the Southeast returns to Gadsden for the 2nd Annual Alabama Fishing Show and Expo March 8-10 at The Venue at Coosa Landing. The East Tennessee Fishing Show and Expo in Knoxville each February is the largest fishing show in the Southeast and with Gadsden’s 2023inaugural show being such a success, Greater Gadsden Area Tourism is once again sponsoring this premiere Etowah County event.

Vendors from across the United States will be on hand with the newest and best fishing and lake/salt-life related products to help you get ready for the fishing season. Kayaks, bass and pontoon boats, custom lures, fishing accessories, fishing rods/tackle, marine electronics, apparel, and more will be on display.

“We’ve been attending the East TN Fishing Show and Expo for a number of years, exhibiting bass fishing and Neely Henry Lake, and more recently, trout fishing at Noccalula Falls,” said Greater Gadsden Area Tourism Executive Director Tina Morrison. Our lakes, rivers and creeks are some of our most valuable tourist assets and we are very excited to welcome thousands of visitors to Etowah County that weekend.”

There will be seminars from professional bass and trout anglers, as well as anew tournament for kids. The Kids Fishing Rodeo will be Saturday, March 9th at Coosa Landing, right next to the show venue. Fishing will begin at 10:00 am and end at Noon. There will be two age groups: 4-7 years old and 8-12 years old. Participants can register at Coosa Landing starting at 9:00 am the morning of the event or go to register in advance. The Kids Fishing Rodeo is FREE and there will be prizes for both age groups. The first 100 kids to register will receive a free kid’s fishing pole and tackle box. Register your kids today.

Expo hours are Friday, March 8th: 10am-7:30pm. Saturday, March 9th: 10am-7pm. Sunday, March 10th: 10am-5pm. Admission prices at the door are $12 for adults and $8 for children 6-12 years old. Children 5 and under are free. If you would like to skip the line and purchase a VIP ticket in advance, go to

The show will be held at The Venue at Coosa Landing, 201 George Wallace Dr, Gadsden, AL 35903.

For more information:
Sheilia Bunch, Show/Event Promoter, 865-567-9606

New Years Message From NHLA


With 2023 in the rear-view mirror, I am truly excited about what 2024 holds for us! We had several “successes” in 2023 and the coming year can be even better.

I want to first thank all of you and your families and friends who supported us last year in various capacities: enjoying the speakers at our meetings, helping out with our Fish Habitat Renewal projects, participating in the Christmas Boat Parade, enjoying the summer Poker Run, assisting with Renew Our Rivers and providing your concerns regarding the Chandler Mountain power project that we shared with the Feds and Alabama Power.

At our end-of-year Community meeting/dinner in December, we had a great turnout of the members and families. We also had many new members attend as well. My thanks to you all for participating!

During the dinner meeting, recognizing that we had some folks who had not been members very long and weren’t aware of some of NHLA’s accomplishments, we had the opportunity to share some of those activities:

  • In 1995, petitioned the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to get the trees cut and removed from the shoreline up and down the river to increase safety
  • Initiated and partnered with APCO to get winter water levels raised and stabilized so that the lake could be used during the winter
  • Supported and contributed to Message In a Bottle and the Water Festival community education programs
  • Support and contribute to Renew Our Rivers
  • Partnered with APCO on Fish Habitat Renewal for over 10 years
  • Working with APCO, we were able to get a regular maintenance draw-down scheduled every 5 years
  • Supported the State of Alabama’s effort to develop a Comprehensive Water Management Plan
  • Stood firm in our opposition to the proposed Rendering Plant
  • Continue to stay focused on the ongoing Water War with Georgia and its impact on our lake levels and the quality of water

In 2024, we will continue our efforts for many of the above activities and will keep everyone informed and seek your support as needed.

The Water War is not over! We need to get our elected representatives focused on the Comprehensive Water Management Plan for our state! We also will be working with Gadsden State to establish a scholarship for a deserving student.

Again, thank you for all of your support…I look forward to what more we can accomplish as a TEAM in 2024.

If you have ideas for speakers or you have any concerns that you think NHLA can help with, don’t hesitate to let us know. We are here for YOU!


Dave Tumlin
Neely Henry Lake Association

NHLA Community Meeting – October 5, 2023


The October meeting of the Neely Henry Lake Association will be held on Thursday, October 5, 2023 at 6:30 PM. The meeting will be held at the Rainbow City Community Center,(next to the library), Rainbow City, AL.

We are very pleased to have as our guest speaker Dr. Grover Brown from Jacksonville State University. Dr. Brown is in his 3rd year as a biology professor at Jax State and is originally from Cartersville, GA. Dr. Brown will be speaking to us about his research on various turtles on the Coosa and in other parts of the world.

Masters student Abigail Wilkins, a recent Auburn graduate, will also be attending and will share with us some of her experiences working this summer on the Coosa River.

In addition, we will be providing updates on various projects and activities supported by the NHLA.

Please mark your calendars and get set for a most informative presentation…who doesn’t like turtles?!!

Feel free to forward this notice on to your friends and neighbors who may be interested in attending….our meetings are always open to everyone that shares our love for Neely Henry Lake. You may also check out our Facebook page and our website ( for more information about our organization.

There will be light refreshments provided and a drawing for door prizes.

I look forward to seeing you at our meeting!


Dave Tumlin – President

Neely Henry Lake Association

RENEW OUR RIVERS CLEANUP – September 26, 2023

2023 Renew Our Rivers Cleanup Schedule

The 2023 Renew Our Rivers cleanup is set to begin next Tuesday, September 26, 2023.

Daily start-up for Tuesday and Wednesday will be held at Coosa Landing in Gadsden at 9:00 am. You will be able to pick up trash bags, tongs and T-shirts.

Thursday start-up will be held at Rainbow Landing, Rainbow City before 9:00am to pick up supplies, or at Coosa Landing after that time.

Lunch and snacks will be provided each day around 12:00 noon at Coosa Landing.

The main location for trash deposit will be at the Gadsden Amphitheater parking lot, Tuesday thru Saturday, 30th, until noon. NO TRASH ACCEPTED AFTER NOON ON SATURDAY! There will be trash deposit available on Thursday, 28th ONLY, at both Rainbow Landing and Southside Boat dock. Thursday ONLY!

If you have time, gather your friends and family and help to Renew Our River by picking up trash and debris and getting it hauled off!

Thanks for your support.


July 2023 Neely Henry Fish Habitat Project Details


“No experience necessary, we’ll show you how! :)”

Location: River Rocks Landing Campground, Gadsden, Alabama

Build Date: Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Time: 9:00 A.M. CDT


Deployment Date: Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Time: 9:00 A.M. CDT


Contact: Call or text Kelly Stephens at (770) 402-6328 to volunteer so that we know how many volunteers to expect.

Additional Info: We will be building and deploying spider block fish habitat made from plastic buckets, flexible plastic pipe, and bagged concrete. Alabama Power Company (APCO) supplies all materials and boats for deployment. Additionally, APCO has life jackets for use on the boat. Volunteers may want to bring work gloves, sunglasses and drinking water for themselves. Arrangements will be made to allow volunteers to get access through the security gate at the entrance to the campground. If the gate is not open, advise campground personnel that you are there to work on the fish habitat project.



The April meeting of the Neely Henry Lake Association will be held on Thursday, April 6 at 6:30 pm. The meeting will be held at the Rainbow City Community Center.

With the boating season about to begin, we thought it would be a good time to get an update (and a reminder!) on the major safety regulations that cover our lake. Our speaker this month will be Deputy Chief Matt Brooks, ALEA Marine Patrol Division. Matt is a Gadsden native and currently serves over the Operations and Patrol Division. Matt will be providing us an update on any recent rule changes and will stress the key areas of safety we should all be focusing on. In addition, Matt will introduce key members of his team that are serving us locally. We will also be updating you on various projects and concerns regarding Neely Henry Lake.

Mark your calendars and invite your friends and neighbors…all are welcome!
There will be door prizes and light refreshments.

Neely Henry Lake Association Spring Fish Habitat Project

To: Neely Henry Lake Association Members, Friends & Family:

Mark your calendars!!!
The Neely Henry Lake Association spring fish habitat project will be on the mornings of 4/11/23 and 4/18/23. Our base of operations will be River Rocks Landing Campground in Gadsden. We will build spider blocks on 4/11 and deploy them on 4/18. We will communicate the exact time of day as soon as it is locked down. As usual, Alabama Power Company will supply all materials and boats.

If you wish to volunteer for this worthwhile project, text or call Kelly Stephens at 770-402-6328.

Chemical Contaminants – Important!

For those of you that were not able to attend our November Members meeting, attached is an update on recent negative stories about the Coosa River and Neely Henry Lake. Take a minute to read. Hopefully, it will address any concerns that you may have.

Many of our members and the general public have contacted me and other NHLA board members expressing concern about the recent articles regarding environmental issues on the Coosa River generally and Neely Henry Lake specifically. Hopefully, this update will provide some perspective.

PFAS chemical contamination…These substances, found in waterways across America, are indeed a cause for concern and have been known to be in our waterways for many, many years. As more info has become available and testing has improved, the EPA, working with various state agencies, has been active over the past years to identify affected locations and to take actions to address the issue.

On Neely Henry Lake, once the issue was identified, Gadsden Water Works installed charcoal filters in an attempt to meet EPA standards. Recently, the EPA tightened its standards which caused a huge decrease in the Health Standards down to 0.004 parts per trillion for PFAS and 0.02 for PFOS. Actions are being taken to address the issue here on NH Lake. Gadsden Water Works recently announced that they are going to install a Reverse Osmosis facility which should reduce the PFAS percentage in the drinking water. By the way, it will be the largest of its kind in Alabama.

The change in standards (like changing the rules in the middle of the game) and subsequent readings caused some very negative headlines and media coverage for NH Lake. In going over the available data, it appears that NH Lake, identified as having “the highest concentration of PFAS, PFOS, etc. in Alabama” is not an accurate statement. The reality is that we don’t know the test results from other lakes on the Coosa River because NH Lake was the only lake sampled! Weiss Lake, above NH Lake and closer to the source of contamination, would logically have a higher result, but it wasn’t sampled. Likewise, lakes below NH Lake were not sampled either, so we don’t have any empirical data to compare in support of the “headlines”.

What we do know for a fact is the cause of the PFAS contaminants being in our lakes, to begin with. And that should be our collective focus. We have known for years that manufacturing in north Georgia and the resulting PFAS chemical discharge into streams and rivers is the cause. In essence, all lakes on the Coosa have been the recipients of PFAS pollution, of which we had nothing to do with!

To that end, Gadsden Water Works filed a lawsuit to stop the flow into the Coosa, and NH Lake, and a settlement were recently reached. Although terms are confidential, what we do know is that Gadsden will be building a state-of-the-art, Reverse Osmosis treatment facility at no cost to Gadsden, according to a news release. The largest of its kind in Alabama.

Endangered River…Another article declared the Coosa River as the 5th most endangered river in America. That’s an eye-catching statement, but based on our research, there is no specific scientific data or testing to support the claim. The focus of the story was not PFAS related, but with environmental issues associated with nutrient loading, which can negatively impact water quality and is an unfortunate but very common occurrence due to changing environmental conditions. A lot of generalities. The “entry” of the Coosa River was more like an essay contest, with the “best” essays being rated upon storyline, grammar, etc., and then rated 1 through 10!

We are not downplaying the importance of keeping our waterways clean and healthy…we do have challenges, absolutely! Most importantly, we should ALL be pulling together based upon the goal of the NHLA to “Preserve, Protect and Improve life on the Coosa”.

We will continue to monitor the issues and will try to keep you all informed with the facts as they are available. Please consult our website ( for updates and follow us on our Facebook page for the latest.

Dave Tumlin, Pres., Neely Henry Lake Association