Lake Martin Winter Lake Level
Winter Lake Levels will be here soon. The Lake Martin water level started dropping in mid-October and should reach winter pool levels in early December. Dock and seawall repairs must be completed quickly during these months of lower lake levels. The best time to plan and schedule contractors is in the summer months. This extra time gives property owners time to design, permit and schedule their projects.
Seawall Construction or Repair
Boundary lines on waterfront property on Lake Martin extend to the high water line of the lake. “Full Pool” water line is referenced as 491″ MSL. The best way way to protect your property value is to build a seawall to stop future erosion. Construction can easily be done at the winter lake level of 484′ MSL.
There are a several popular types of seawall construction across a broad price range. Stone Rip-Rap is the most economical option and also provides great fish habitat. Pressure treated wood walls are another popular and natural looking option. Poured concrete and stacked boulders are the most long lasting and expensive seawalls. During winter lake levels is the only time the water level is low enough for seawall construction or repair.
Dock Construction or Repair
Wood docks constructed on pilings or pier poles are the most common on Lake Martin. The easiest and most economical time to dig the foundation poles when Lake Martin is at winter level. Constructing a pier at full pool is possible with one of the few dock companies that has a barge to install the foundation poles. Barge installations cost more, but do allow full pool installation and deep water installation to maximize dock water depth.
Repairs are going to be necessary at some point. The best way to inspect your pier is by observing it at winter lake levels. This is the best time for dock repairs and additions. Always check with Alabama Power Shoreline Management for permit requirements. Small repairs often do not require a permit, but it is better to ask before you start your project.
Occasionally, property owners want to increase the water depth at the end of the dock. This is something only possible during winter water levels. Alabama Power Company, guided by Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) guidelines, has very strict criteria for dredging. The two primary concerns are the material on the lake bed and the finished contour of the lake bed after dredged. Most important, when purchasing proprty on Lake Martin, don’t assume you will be allowed to dredge.
Most of the top dock contractors with work with you through the design and approval process. All shoreline improvements require regulatory approval from Alabama Power Shoreline Management. I tell my customers if it touches water assume you need a permit. First, contact the shoreline permitting office in Dadeville. They are very accessible and helpful. Call them direct at 256.825.0053.
Architectural Review Committees(ARC) control many Lake Martin neighborhoods. Contact your neighborhoods ARC contact to discuss any shoreline guidelines that are more restrictive than Alabama Power. An example is Russell Lands on Lake Martin neighborhoods do not allow any covered boat docks. I created a list of homes for sale with a boat house and homes for sale with a boat ramp. Avoid the hassle and see Lake Martin homes for sale with an existing boathouse or boat ramp.
Lakeshore Use Permit
Alabama Power’s shoreline management strives to protect and enhance the scenic, recreational and environmental assets of Lake Martin for the benefit of lake users and residents. The permitting process is one of the most important tools to manage flood conditions. Also, this process protects recreational opportunities and enhances the quality of life for all lake residents and users. Take advantage of winter lake levels and complete those projects or repairs.
Shoreline Permit Resources
- Request Lakeshore Use Permit
- Lake Martin Alabama Power Shoreline Management Fee Schedule
- Shoreline Management Practices
If I can help you with your Lake Martin Property Search give me a call or text at 256-750-3030. I look forward to the opportunity to help you find your home on Lake Martin. If you are thinking of buying or selling on Lake Martin contact Miller Dark.
Waterfront Lots For Sale
View complete list of waterfront lots for sale on Lake Martin.
Don’t forget to winterize your lake home before it is too late. Here is an article on winterizing a Lake Martin home to avoid damage and costly repairs.