Martin Lake (Sabine River Basin)

Service Spillway of Martin Lake and Dam (Photo by Freese and Nichols, Inc.)Martin Lake (or Martin Creek Lake) is located about three miles of Tatum in Rusk County on the Martin Creek, a tributary of the Sabine River. The Creek and the Reservoir are named after Daniel Martin, who settled firstly with his family near the creek called Hogan's Bayou at the time in 1833. The Lake is owned and operated by Texas Utilities (TXU) Electric Company for electric power generation purposes. Water Rights Permit No. 2693 (Application No. 2932) was issued to Texas Power and Light Company (presently TXU Electric Company) on November 19, 1971 and authorized the construction of a dam to impound 77,619 acre-feet of water.

The construction for Martin Lake and Martin Lake Dam started May 31, 1972. Deliberate impoundment began on September 30, 1974. The design engineer for the project was Forrest and Cotton, Inc. and the general contractor was Central Plains Contracting Company. Martin Dam and appurtenant structures consist of a rolled-earthfill embankment approximately 6,875 feet in length, with a maximum height of 67 feet and a crest elevation of 321.5 feet above mean sea level. The service spillway is located near the left (west) end of the embankment and consists of concrete ogee crest and chute. The crest is 160 feet in net length at elevation 294.0 feet above mean sea level. Four tainter gates, each 14 feet tall and 40 feet wide, control the service spillway. The emergency spillway, located at the left (west) abutment is an earth trench cut through natural ground. The uncontrolled broad-crested weir is 1,000 feet in length at elevation of 312.0 feet above mean sea level. According to 2014 TWDB volumetric survey, Martin Lake has a total reservoir capacity of 75,726 acre-feet and encompasses 4,954 acres at conservation pool elevation (306.0 feet above mean sea level, NGVD29). The dam controls a drainage area of approximately 130 square miles.

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