Getting to Know the Coosa, Big Canoe Creek

With the watershed spanning over 5,000 square miles and 220 miles of river, getting to know the Coosa and her creeks is a lengthy project. “Getting to Know the Coosa” is a series of blog posts that will be highlighting special areas on the Coosa River. These posts are written by different individuals in the watershed that find a connection with a specific part of the river. Whether they spent their whole lives fishing, swimming or boating on their favorite lake, or they recently have formed a connection with a little creek, “Getting to Know the Coosa” puts you in the shoes of another river lover for a few paragraphs, explaining the endless ways to love a river.

The first Blog Post of this series is written by our Board Member, Doug Morrison. He has lived on Big Canoe Creek for nineteen years, and is the current Board President for the Friends of Big Canoe Creek group located in Springville.

Big Canoe Creek

I came to know Big Canoe Creek nineteen years ago. My wife and I purchased a house on the creek in Springville, the fact that the house bordered a creek was a big draw to me. I grew up turning over rocks & looking for crawdads in Shades Creek, so living around a creek had become somewhat of a staple in my life. In my experiences, water has always drawn people together, but at this point- the water was just background music in my love for the outdoors.

I have never been a stranger to the woods, I always loved to hunt, fish, hike & explore. So when a good friend invited me on a paddle trip on the creek, I was all in.

Doug reeling in a big one on Big Canoe Creek!




That day sparked my interest into importance of the creek in my backyard. Within the years following the trip,  I learned about the unique aquatic ecosystem that is home to over fifty species of fish & a variety of mussels on top of the diverse creatures that extend around the creek. I learned that Big Canoe Creek is one of the tributaries of the Coosa that has not lost the majority of the mussel species due to a decrease in water quality.

I have learned a lot since then, but the thing that has stuck with me is that the existence of these creatures, not found anywhere else in decades, depends on us to take care of this body of water… Did I even think about all of this in the years before I moved to my property on the creek? No.

The years following our move I immersed myself into protecting Big Canoe Creek. The creek gave me a purpose to protect our waterways.  I was unaware of how smaller bodies of water affect the bigger picture. Big Canoe Creek eventually meets the Coosa River, which eventually drains into the Alabama River, which meets the Mobile Bay, where my Grandkids live.

A peaceful day on the creek.

I have dedicated my life to protecting my little piece of heaven, so these mussels & fish can be around for those who may fall in love with this mighty creek after me. I want to know that I am taking care of those downstream of me, especially my grandkids. I wholeheartedly support the Coosa Riverkeeper and other Riverkeepers in our state. Water is a gift & worth protecting for those you love. 


Does a certain spot on the Coosa hold a special place in your heart?

Email [email protected] with inquiries on how to get your favorite spot to be highlighted in this series! 

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