Articles & News

Plug Day is Here!

The process for refilling Lake Martin has begun

Published: 03.02.2023

Pennsylvania has Groundhog Day, and Lake Martin has Plug Day. The event held on February 2 each year in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, occurs to predict how many more weeks of winter we need to endure. That event draws roughly 40,000 people to that community to see if a groundhog will see his shadow. From this writer’s standpoint, the prediction outcome is bogus. But that did not keep Bill Murray from making a movie based (loosely) on the event!

On March 1 of each year, Lake Martin locals (at least some of us) celebrate Plug Day. That is the day that Alabama Power, operating under its license with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), begins the process of filling the lake up to summer pool levels.

This refilling occurs over a two-month period each year to bring the lake from its winter pool level of 484 feet above sea level to the summer level of 491 feet above sea level. The winter level allows Lake Martin to act as a water management reservoir during the rainy season to minimize downstream flooding.

As the old saying goes, April showers bring May flowers. Those showers also provide lake lovers with 41,150 acres of water to enjoy by May 1 of each year. The process of lowering and raising water levels is carefully managed by Alabama Power as you can see from their website. Visit and click on “About Lake Levels.”

If you are new to Lake Martin, we hope you enjoy seeing the lake level rise this spring. It comes annually with a great deal of anticipation. We have grown accustomed to this ritual, and we mark time by watching the lake levels rise and fall. Speaking of time, Plug Day means the best time is coming—lake time!

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