Somewhat of a secret for local anglers, Thurlow Reservoir is not heavily fished and boasts good bass fishing as a result. Its picnic areas and boardwalk are perfect places to enjoy a sunset.


Locate fishing spots, boat launches and other points of interest.


Thurlow Lake Office

(256) 825-0053


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Lake Levels

Lake elevations are always subject to change, depending on conditions. Individuals who recreate below our dams and those with boats and water-related equipment on our lakes and facilities should always stay alert to changing conditions and be prepared to take the necessary steps to protect their property.

Water Level

278 ft 10 in

  • 281
  • 280
  • 279
  • 278
  • 277
  • 276
  • 275

About Lake Levels

Ever wondered why the water at your favorite lake is often higher or lower than when you last visited?

APC operates two kinds of lakes: 1) Run of River, and 2) Storage. Lay, Mitchell and Jordan lakes on the Coosa River, Yates and Thurlow lakes on the Tallapoosa River, and Bankhead and Holt lakes (owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) on the Warrior River are called “run-of-river” projects that discharge essentially the same amount of water that flows into them. This type of operation gives them a fairly consistent lake level year round. These lakes were not designed with flood control as a specific project purpose. Alternatively, “storage” projects like Weiss, Henry, and Logan Martin lakes on the Coosa River, Harris and Martin lakes on the Tallapoosa River, and Smith lake on the Warrior (Sipsey) River provide seasonal storage, having different summer and winter pool levels, and are drawn down late fall into the winter to provide a means of managing and storing winter/spring rains. These operations provide a measure of protection against downstream flooding during high flow events. These storage projects normally have their levels returned to summer pool levels during the spring timeframe. Water stored in these storage lakes can also help mitigate some impacts of drought by providing a limited source of water for use when it is scarce, such as during drought periods.

The need for water in summer and fall can often exceed the natural supply. Most big lakes also operate for many other reasons – hydropower, recreation, navigation and the environment. Each of these purposes can factor into whether water is released, causing a fall in lake levels particularly during the late summer and fall periods.

Floods are normally the cause of the greatest and quickest changes in lake levels. Heavy rains produce floods that can raise a lake level several feet overnight. When floods are over, it is important to get the lake ready to store water from the next flood that may come along, and that is done by returning the lake to its normal level.

Operating Guide

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission along with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers help determine the operating curves, called a Guide, for the storage lakes managed by Alabama Power, which is the maximum elevation at which Alabama Power may maintain the reservoir under normal conditions. The operating Guide begins in January at a winter pool elevation and then rises during the late winter into early spring to summer pool elevation. The Guide remains the same throughout the summer months, which supports recreation use on the lakes. In fall and early winter, the Guide declines to make room for normal winter and spring flood flows. In general, the operating guide provides the guidance needed for both flood control operations and daily water management decisions.

Lake Updates

Lake Conditions Message

Thurlow spillway release is 0 cfs. Total discharge is 1479 cfs. Due to ongoing construction on the Thurlow spillway, the lake will be operate between elevation 278 and 279. Lake elevations are always subject to change, depending on conditions.

Last updated: August 21, 2019, 9:03 am

Special Operations Message

Individuals should always stay alert to changing conditions and be prepared to take the necessary steps to protect their property.

Last updated: July 5, 2018, 10:34 am

Seasonal Level Data


Weather Sunny

  • Air Temp 77°F

  • Humidity 90%

Renew Our Rivers

Trash Removed 66,830 LBS

Volunteers 1,035

Tentative Operating Schedules

We at Alabama Power are pleased to provide you information and hope you will safely enjoy the many benefits of our lakes. Please be aware that the generation schedule and subsequent water releases from the dams are subject to change without notice. Please understand that you alone are responsible for your safety on the lakes and rivers. Areas below the dams are considered hazardous because of turbulent water conditions.

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Thurlow dam was built as the site of an early 19th-century textile mill that was used during the Civil War as a uniform and ammunition plant. The dam was named in honor of Oscar. G. Thurlow, a chief engineer, vice president and director of Alabama Power Company.

In 1928, Thurlow was awarded the Howard N. Potts Medal by the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia for his work in science and the mechanical arts. He invented the Thurlow Backwater Suppressor, which was first installed in Mitchell Dam on the Coosa River.

Thurlow Reservoir Facts:
Area: 574 acres

Thurlow Dam
Hazardous Zones
  1. Upstream buoys mark the presence of hydropower facility.
  2. Swirling water and strong underwater currents at powerhouse intakes.
  3. Strong unpredictable currents, presence of submerged hazards and low visibility upstream of dam spillways and trash gates.
  4. Turbulent discharges from automatically operated turbines.
  5. Cascading spillway discharges, strong unpredictable currents below dam and presence of debris passing over or through dam.
  6. Strong upstream currents in surface waters (reverse flow).
  7. Swift, turbulent waters below spillway.
  8. Slippery surfaces on shoreline.
  9. Submerged hazards and rapidly rising waters from turbine or spillway discharge.

Thurlow Dam Facts:
In service: 12/31/1930

Hydro Relicensing

Alabama Power’s operating licenses for its projects are issued for a period ranging from 30-50 years and must be renewed for the company to continue operating its existing hydroelectric developments.

Learn more about the “hydro relicensing process”.


Whether you enjoy fishing from a boat, a pier, or a bank, on open water or secluded inlets, you’re sure to find a great fishing spot in Alabama.

Learn more

Fishing Scene

Fish Species

  • Bluegill

  • Largemouth Bass

    Largemouth Bass
  • Striped Bass

    Striped Bass
  • Crappie

  • Catfish


Parks & Facilities

Each year, Alabama Power welcomes thousands of visitors to its five day-use parks and more than 45 public access sites on the Coosa, Tallapoosa and Black Warrior rivers.

Alabama Power and its state and local partners operate and maintain dozens of boat ramps and bank fishing access sites along the shoreline. The company also maintains thousands of acres of natural and undeveloped land along the lakes for use by hikers, bird-watchers and primitive campers.

View Map

Park Scene


New personal flotation device law in place for City of Tallassee
The City of Tallassee has enacted Ordinance No. 2017-537, which requires any person who is “in or upon that portion of the Tallapoosa River located within the City Limits or Police Jurisdiction of the City of Tallassee, Alabama downstream of Thurlow Dam to a point one mile downstream of the municipal boat landing behind that business currently known as ‘AES Industries, Inc.’” to wear a United States Coast Guard-approved personal floatation device/life jacket. Failure to comply with this ordinance may result in a $250 fine and up to 180 days in jail.


Shorelines Blog

Renew Our Rivers named Water Conservationist of the Year

Alabama Power’s Renew Our Rivers campaign has earned one of the state’s most prestigious environmental conservation awards.

Read More

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