What is seasonal water on Alabama Lakes?

On several lakes in Alabama, and especially those designed by Alabama Power Company for electricity generation, water levels are controlled on a seasonal schedule. On Weiss Lake, for example, the power company historically lowers the water level in a month-long draw down beginning the week after Labor Day through October. That drawdown is slow and steady, but amounts to a total of six feet in water level drop.

So what does that have to do with seasonal water? On my dock at Weiss Lake during the summer months the depth is around 4.5 feet – perfect for all water activities. But once the water is lowered to account for the typically rainy winter season that 4.5 feet turns to mud. Many buyers don’t find that appealing when picking the perfect lake house, but hear me out. Would you like to be able to work on your dock or sea wall wearing mud boots or waders, or a wetsuit? Year round deep water means never being able to easily make necessary repairs by yourself.

There’s also a more pressing reason why seasonal water may be for you. If you have young children or grandchildren jumping off your dock you might appreciate the shallower water. Deeper water on many lakes in Alabama is the result of river channels passing near the dock. Rivers mean current which can be dangerous for young swimmers, and more popular for fast-moving boaters. This really becomes scary when your young swimmer struggles with the depths. In shallow, seasonal water there’s usually very little current, slower boaters and it’s much easier to render aid to your little ones who may not be the strongest swimmers.

Corps of Engineers grants preliminary approval to higher winter pools at  two Alabama lakes - Alabama NewsCenter

I always ask my buyers who may love the lake house but not the seasonal water, “Do you plan on boating or skiing in January?” Rest assured you won’t catch me doing the polar plunge in the winter time – ice bucket challenge be damned!

Be sure to check with your favorite Lakefront Living Realtor about seasonal water conditions on the lake you love, as things can change. For example, Weiss Lake is now slated to only drop three feet starting in the fall of 2022. That means that at my dock I’ll have enough water to move the pontoon boat around if need be. Seasonal water can be a great thing for your perfect lake house, and trust me, even mud puddles on the lake are more beautiful than in town!

Interested in what the water looks like at any of North Alabama’s lakes? Give me a call today!

By: Clark Stewart, Realtor, Lakefront Living Realty – Alabama

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