What is Full Pool on Lake Lanier?

Sunset on Lake Lanier ~ Photo by Robert Sutherland

The answer to: “What is full pool on Lake Lanier” is … it depends.  As a man-made lake under the control of the US Army Corps of Engineers (ACE), Lanier is at “full pool” — its optimal level — at two different elevations, depending on the time of the year.

  • Winter Pool begins on December 1st and ends on April 30th.  During those five months, Lake Lanier is considered full pool when it hits 1070 feet above sea level.
  • Summer Pool — the seven months from May 1 — November 30 — reaches full pool at 1071′.

As of midnight on August 6, 2017, Lake Lanier’s level at Buford Dam was 1065.05 feet above sea level — six feet below 1071′ or “full summer pool.”

The lake has not dipped below 1065′ since June and has not been below 1064′ since May 24th of this year.  In 2016, between May 24th and August 6th, Lanier dropped by three feet, from 1069.49 to 1066.49 feet.

The last time Lake Lanier was at full pool was on April 30, 2016 — the final day of Winter Pool — when Lanier’s level was 1070.59.

You can apply the “glass is half-full” perspective to these statistics.  Yes, we are six feet below full Summer Pool.  Lanier can also be reckoned as more than 14′ higher than the levels measured on December 8 + 9, 2008, when it sunk down to the abysmal depth of 1051 feet above sea level.

Click Here for the US Army Corps of Engineers’ public database for checking lake levels.

Before you give that a shot, please allow me to try to confuse you one more time.

The records are not sorted on the normal calendar of January through December.  The stats are organized by what the ACE calls a “Water Year.”  Water years run from October through September.  So, water year 2017 began in October 2016 and ends on September 30, 2017.  Water year 2018 starts on October 1, 2107 and goes until September 30, 2018.

Please Note:  You may also try to determine lake levels by taking the square root of your birthday and add the year of your automobile, minus your phone number.  No, that won’t work, but it will take your mind off of wondering why the government must maintain two calendars instead of one.

About Author

Robert J. Sutherland is a travel writer enjoying life in Gainesville, GA.
Robert has two adult daughters, seven practically perfect grandchildren and a zippy Kawasaki. Contact Robert at [email protected].

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