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Alabama Power Public Education Open House



Photo courtesy of apcshorelines.com

Alabama Power’s Shoreline Management staff is hosting a Public Education Open House on Friday, October. 21. The event will be held from 11 to 2  in the Creekside Lodge Event Center in Dadeville.

Shoreline Management staff will discuss how the permitting process works for shoreline structures such as boat houses, docks/piers and seawalls, and answer any questions. Lunch will be provided.

This will be a great way to learn about the shoreline permitting at Lake Martin.  Hope to see you there!



Click here for Alabama Power Company’s Shorelines website.

Click here for Creekside Lodge Event Center google map.



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August 2016 Market Report for Lake Martin

What’s the real estate market doing right now for Lake Martin?

Last year was a record year for the Lake Martin waterfront market. Was that followed up with another record year?  The answer is 2016 isn’t performing as well as 2015 but then again 2015 was the best year ever.  So what does that mean?  Is 2016 showing a downward trend or was 2015 just awesome?

Let’s take a look at the latest results from the Alabama Center for Real Estate (ACRE). They look at the data for all the markets in Alabama.

Below is a chart from ACRE. For August 2016 – 30 homes were sold (all agents and brokerages). Compare that to August 2015 – 37 homes were sold.  That is down about 19%.


Next look at the year to date graph –  214 homes at Lake Martin were sold through the end of August 2016.  For the same period in 2015 – 245 homes were sold – down 13%.


How about lots?  Waterfront lots year to date (again thru August 2016) sold were 44.  Last year 67 lots were sold at the end of August.  So lot sales are down about 30% which is a pretty significant number.

Inventory of homes is still way down – 25% from last year.  I’m still seeing a lot of pricing pressure because Lake Martin has a lot of homes for sale but fewer homes are selling.

What does all of this mean?  What is the interpretation?  I looked at the 5 year average sales for the month of August and the 3 year average of sales.  The average for 5 years is 30 and for 3 years is 36.  I think we still need more information – let’s see what the 4th quarter is going to do and also I would like to see what the 1st quarter of 2017 will do. And then we can decide if 2015 was an anomaly – the Muhammed Ali of all years or a general trend.

I don’t know yet but I can promise you I will stay on top of the numbers.  If you have any questions about this or more specifically how these numbers affect your home give me a call or email me – John Coley at 334-221-5862 or [email protected].

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Black Bear Awareness Meeting at Lake Martin


(photo courtesy of the Alabama Black Bear Alliance)

Cherokee Ridge Alpine Trail Association (CRATA) will hold a Black Bear Awareness Meeting on Tuesday, October 18, 2016 at 6:30 pm at the Red Hill Community Center (aka Old Red Hill School house – 3558 Red Hill Road, Tallassee).

Mr. Daniel Powell, a spokesman with the Alabama Black Bear Alliance (ABBA), will be the guest speaker.  ABBA’s goal is to “…work cooperatively and voluntarily for the conservation of the black bear in Alabama through research, education, and habitat management.”  Mr. Powell lives in Washington County where there is a sizable population of the black bear.

According to Mr. Powell, black bears are expanding their territory into central Alabama.  It is important for us to have as much information as possible about the expansion of the black bear and its impact in the communities near Lake Martin.

Red Hill Community Center google map

Click here to read a story published in the Alex City Outlook from June of this year about black bears sighted in the Lake Martin area.

With several local sightings around the Lake Martin area recently, this sounds like a good meeting for us folks around the Lake to attend.

I have seen a few black bears in the wild in my lifetime. The first time I ever saw one, I was working in Yellowstone National Park one summer after my freshman year in college. I wasn’t too impressed by black bears back then. I think it was because: 1.) I was too young and too dumb to have proper reverence and 2.) I was extremely scared of grizzlies, and maybe black bears paled in comparison.

I also have seen some in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park when trout fishing with my friends Ian and Charity Rutter at R&R Fly Fishing. Maybe I was old enough to appreciate them, or maybe the Rutters did a good job of explaining the bear’s part in the ecosystem to me, but I was fascinated to see them.

It fires me up that there’s a decent possibility that black bears will return to the Lake Martin area. They were once an apex predator around here, like the striped bass in the water. Let’s hope and pray that we humans handle the bears’ return in a responsible way.

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How Low Will It Go?

Lake Martin water level  – how low will it go?

The short answer is we don’t know.  This is the first year that the new rule curve applies here at Lake Martin which means we’re only going to go down 7 feet during the winter.  At the end of September you could see the water had already come down and so that lets us know that we are not in the conditional fall full pool period.

Alabama Power said if we have enough rain for fall and we have enough flow in all the rivers then it’s going to keep Lake Martin full pool until October 15.  We are close to that date now but the Lake had already dropped 4 feet by the end of September when this video was recorded.  So, no – we are not going to have a full pool until October 15.

A lot of people ask me how far and how fast it’s gonna go down in the fall – I don’t know and I don’t think Alabama Power knows either.  But what I’m looking at is the rate – I think it’s going to go down a maximum of 7 feet.  When I made this video on September 28 we were already down 4 feet so that means that we have about 3 more feet to go until we get to the new winter pool level.

So good news – only 3 more feet.  Bad news? We’re getting there a little faster than we planned.

If you have questions about Lake Martin real estate give me, John Coley, a call at 334-221-5862 or contact me here.

If you like to keep up with the Lake Martin water level I have a water level feature on my free app. You can download it from the Apple or Google store.  Just search Lake Martin Voice!

App_Store_Badge_EN Google_Play_Logo_2855

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What is Lake Martin’s Water Temperature?

(graph courtesy of Alabama Water Watch)

(graph courtesy of Alabama Water Watch)

Q:  We just celebrated our first summer at the Lake in our new home, and I appreciate your contribution to making that happen.  I have been wondering where one can find the water temperature of the Lake?  We are headed down next weekend and are curious about whether it’s too cold for adults to swim.

A:  Have fun!  I am so happy for y’all!  I don’t know of a good resource for lake temperature that would give you a daily reading but there is a resource with some historical readings.

The Alabama Water Watch (AWW) is a citizen volunteer, water monitoring program that covers all of the major river basins of the state.  To read more about AWW click here for their website.

In the Lake Martin and Tallapoosa watershed area there is a group called Lake Watch Lake Martin (LWLM) that monitors 49 sites around the area.  According to their website “Trained volunteer monitors test water chemistry and do bacteriological monitoring.”  Part of what they report is the water temperature.

One of the monitors, Kathryn Braund (who was also kind enough to explain to me how to use the website) wrote an article for the Alex City Outlook about her experience as a monitor.  Read the article here.

The graph above, found on the AWW website, shows the water temperatures at the Smith Landing monitoring site as read by LWLM.  The temperature was recorded 201 times between October 1994 and September 2016 with each red dot representing a reading.  So for example when the reading was taken in January 2016 the water temperature was about 12° C or  54° F – pretty chilly water as you would expect for that time of the year.

If anyone out there knows of another resource for the temperature of the Lake please let me know!  Call me at the number at the top of the page or contact me here.

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Driving and Docking Clinics at Blue Creek Marina this Fall

A reminder for you to take advantage of the free Driving and Docking Clinics being offered by Singleton Marine at Blue Creek Marina – lots of dates remaining!  I wouldn’t want you to miss the boat!


Blue Creek Marina is located at 7280 Hwy. 49 (aka Stillwaters Hwy.) in Dadeville.  Click here for the Google Maps location.

For other events around Lake Martin download my free app:  http://lakemartinvoice.com/app


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October on Lake Martin


September 30+ lb. striper on Lake Martin with Alex City Guide Service and Jonathan Burton of Birmingham, AL

September 30+ lb. striped bass on Lake Martin with Alex City Guide Service and Jonathan Burton of Birmingham, AL

September is a magical month here at Lake Martin. I love it. The water is still pretty warm, but the nights are cool. Not even the oldest of codgers complain about boat traffic, because there is none. One other factor gets me really fired up about Lake Martin life in the fall: striped bass fishing!

I’m on a continuing quest to figure out how to reliably catch striped bass on my fly rod here at Lake Martin. I have learned a lot over the past few years, mostly by error. One huge thing I have learned is that step one is to find the fish. That may sound pretty simple, but to me it is the biggest element of the game.

That’s why I always pay attention to David Hare’s striped bass reports. David is the owner and head guide at Alex City Guide Service. Although he is primarily a bait fisherman, no one on the Lake knows the striped bass patterns better than he does.

Please see his report for October below.

I also pay close attention to David’s Facebook page.

If any reader out there has some good tips for me to catch them on my fly rod, please let me know!!

Water Level 487.8 ( full pool 491.00)
Surface Temp / 84º–89º
Clarity / Very Clear
As predicted September on Lake Martin was awesome. Both day and night trips were producing numbers of stripers. Of course your better quality stripers were and will always continue to be caught on live bait. We still occasionally do get a trophy on artificial baits trolling. At press time we (Alex City Guide Service) have boated numerous trophy stripers this month including several in the 30 + lb. range.  With the Lake record being 52 lbs. (which was caught by Alex City Guide Service) and this year’s Lake record so far being 45 lbs. (which I am proud to say also was caught by us) – all were caught on live bait in which we specialize in and it continues to keep us on the map for one of the best trophy striper lakes in the country.
October will be (if the past holds true) another awesome numbers game. There will be lots of stripers and bass caught this month with the water temps cooling down. Not only will you be able to catch these fish trolling  and live baiting, you will also be able to catch some on top schooling.
Remember October is a transition time and you’re most likely to find fish most anywhere on the Lake.
No matter what species you enjoy targeting you can normally have a good time in October.
If you don’t know Lake Martin or you just had rather hire a guide to increase your chances of a fun day on the water then give us a call at 256-401-3089 and we will take care of the rest.
Until next tight lines !
Capt David Hare

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What Does Pending Mean in the Lake Martin MLS?




Q:  Thank you for all of the email updates for homes for sale around Lake Martin.  I see one I like- but it says “Pending” by the home’s info. What does Pending (Y) mean on your website?

A:  For my website, (Lake Martin Voice.com) – I pull all of my information from the Lake Martin MLS. Regardless of what bloated sites like Zillow will try and tell you, the Lake Martin MLS is the most accurate and updated database for waterfront property here at Lake Martin. This is because it is made up of the real estate agents and brokerages here.

One of the fields of data we have is “Status.” When you see the Status = Active, that means that the waterfront lot or home is currently for sale. When you see Status = Pending, it means that the property is under contract.  There has been an offer, and that offer was accepted, and the parties are working towards closing.

Typically, the time that a home is ‘pending’ is about five or six weeks to allow for the buyers to do their due diligence, such as the lending process, any inspections, surveys, etc.

Incidentally, once the sale has finalized and closed, the status is changed to “Closed” and it will be removed from the website.  This is because, according to our Lake Martin MLS rules, sold properties are not allowed to be on public facing websites. Sold information is only visible to Lake Martin MLS members, so if you would like info on a sold property, please CONTACT ME HERE and I can help you with that.

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Do People Stay at Lake Martin for Auburn Games?


Do people stay at Lake Martin for Auburn games?  I believe the answer is YES. The Lake is a such a short drive to Jordan-Hare Stadium.

According to an article published earlier this month in Alex City Outlook (click here to read) Auburn home football games make a big impact on the economy around the Lake Martin area. Local merchants, businesses and restaurants report increased revenue for home game weekends.

And rentals at Lake Martin are popular for football weekends – enjoy the game in Auburn on Saturday and the Lake on Sunday!  What could be better?  (besides a winning season).

Even if you don’t plan on going to the Auburn football game, if you are coming to look at waterfront real estate, it affects you, too.  As an example, I recently had a couple from Atlanta coming in to look at some homes and lots on Lake Martin.  They happened to be coming on a football weekend, and hadn’t made any reservations.  Most of the local hotels around the Lake were booked up!  So it always pays to think ahead, even if you are not a football fan.

Since we are talking about Auburn and Lake Martin … were you one of the few that missed Auburn’s kicker, Daniel Carlson’s, Instagram video from this summer?  He and teammate Will Hastings were at Lake Martin “working hard in the offseason.”  Click here to see the video and read the article from AL.com.

Whether or not you Roll with the Tide, yell Waaarrr Eagle, scream Go Vols, support the Bulldogs (Mississippi State or Georgia), geaux with the Tigers, get fired up about the Gators, Gamecocks, Razorbacks, Rebel Black Bears or any other team – enjoy the Fall with Faith, Family, Friends and Football!




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Wakeboard Demo Clinic at Blue Creek Marina

(Photo courtesy of Singleton Marine)

Screen Shot 2016-08-26 at 12.38.38 PM

(Photo courtesy of Singleton Marine)

The Wakeboard Clinic at Blue Creek Marina this summer was fun!  If you hear about one of these events at the Lake – GO!  It is the perfect activity for a warm summer day and the clinic is open for all levels of experience.

And in case you were wondering – the answer is no, that is not me showing off my awesome wakeboarding skills.  But my sons did learn some new acrobatic maneuvers and we want to say a big THANK YOU to Singleton Marine on Lake Martin for hosting the Liquid Force Wakeboard Demo Clinic at their location – Blue Creek Marina.

If you want to know about events around Lake Martin be sure to sign up for my free app!

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The Lake Martin Voice App is available

on the Apple App Store or on Google Play.

Thanks again to Singleton Marine – Blue Creek Marina!


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