Lake Martin Resource Association

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Lake Martin & the Tallapoosa River Basin

The Tallapoosa River basin begins in western Georgia and flows southwesterly through east central Alabama.  Lake Martin is a 31-mile long impoundment located in Coosa, Elmore and Tallapoosa counties on the Tallapoosa River, near Dadeville and Alexander City. Martin Dam is located 60.6 miles upstream of the junction of the Tallapoosa and Coosa Rivers, which forms the Alabama River. The Lake has over 700 miles of shoreline and a surface area of over 40,000 acres.  The Basin (land area which supplies the water) is approximately 4,675 square miles, of which approximately 3,000 square miles are upstream of Lake Martin. Approximately 15 percent of the Basin’s drainage area lies in Georgia. The headwaters of the Tallapoosa and Little Tallapoosa Rivers begin in Georgia and enters Alabama in Randolph County southwest of Atlanta to form the main stem of the Tallapoosa River which feeds Lake Martin.

When Martin Dam was completed in 1926, the full pool elevation was quoted as 490’ martin datum (md). Later it was determined that a more appropriate full pool elevation measurement should be identified as 491 feet “mean sea level” (msl). Today you are probably hearing the elevation quoted in “mean seal level” numbers. This does not mean there has been a one-foot rise in the full pool lake level, but only a technical change in the way the elevation is described. Confusing? Possibly, but mostly just a bit more information about this beautiful body of water we call Lake Martin.



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Alabama Power Shorelines website

Lake Martin map

Lake Martin buoy map

Lake Martin Economic Impact Analysis report

Martin Dam Relicensing Application

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