Alabama Rivers Cover

Dr. Bill Deutsch will teach a six-week course on the rivers of Alabama in Dadeville.

Through the joint efforts of Lake Martin Home Owners and Boat Owners, Lake Watch of Lake Martin and Dr. Bill Deutsch, we are proud to announce an exciting opportunity for the residents of our area. Dr. Deutsch has taught a course about the river systems of Alabama at Auburn University’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute for four years. Attendance at his courses has been great, and the enthusiasm of attendees has been very complimentary of his knowledge and manner of presentation. Deutsch spoke at the HOBO annual meeting this year, as well, and those attending have requested more from him, so Lake Martin is about to be rewarded with more of his knowledge of Alabama waterways. 

The “Rivers of Alabama” course will be offered on six Monday evenings – Oct. 21 through Nov. 25 – from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Dadeville. This central location offers good access for most area residents. Registration is required and may be completed through the HOBO website at The registration form can be downloaded from the website or completed online. Click on the Events tab in the left margin for the form. If additional help is needed, call 256-825-0919.

The registration fee is $36 for the entire six-week course (HOBO and/or Lake Watch active members pay $30). Attendance will be limited, so register early. Payment of the registration fee can be made online, or payment may be mailed to Lake Martin HOBOs, P.O. Box 1030, Dadeville AL 36853.

All classes will be taught by Dr. Bill Deutsch, author of the book, Alabama Rivers: A Celebration & Challenge. The book will form the basis for the course, and it will be available for purchase at a discount for those registered, though the book is not required for the course.

The course will provide an overview of both the human and natural history of Alabama rivers with an emphasis on the Tallapoosa River. As many know, our Tallapoosa River is part of a river system consisting not only of the Tallapoosa, but also the larger Coosa River, which joins with the Tallapoosa to form the Alabama River near Montgomery; then, flows down to Mobile Bay.

Discussions of geology, early human history, river commerce and biological history will prove informative and exciting. Each class will have time for questions and discussion. It will be similar to the OLLI course that Deutsch has taught at Auburn University for the past four years.

We have a unique opportunity to bring together many long-time residents of this area to not only learn from Dr. Deutsch but also to learn from each other. Lake Watch members have many years of experience with water testing in the lake, as well as surrounding streams. They have defended our lake when city sewage pollution has been a problem. The HOBOs have represented homeowners’ interests during the relicensing process; have provided educational opportunities for members; and have continued to promote safety for neighborhoods and residents. Combining all these experiences and knowledge will make a great course.

Dr. Bill Deutsch is a research fellow, emeritus, in the Auburn University School of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Aquatic Environments. He spent more than 20 years traveling around Alabama to study its rivers and work with river-loving folks as the founding director of the Alabama Water Watch program. He continues to learn about rivers and give book talks, workshops and classes to people of all ages and backgrounds.


Jesse Cunningham is president of the Lake Martin Home Owners and Boat Owners Association, Visit the website at for more information.