The concrete run-of-the-river gravity dam was built in 1914 as the first major project of Alabama Power Company, and named for Captain William Patrick Lay, its first president. The dam's hydroelectric facility has a generating capacity of 177 megawatts (237,000 hp).
Lay Lake covers 12,000 acres (4,900 ha) and has a shoreline about 289 miles (465 km) long. It is a recreational lake with fishing opportunities for large mouth bass, spotted bass, bluegill and other sunfish, crappie, catfish, striped bass, hybrid and white bass. Lay Lake has hosted the Bassmaster Classic four times: 1996, 2002, 2007, and 2010. Alabama Power maintains seven public access sites on the lake.
- Tharpe, Bill. "Lay Dam and Lake". encyclopediaofalabama.org, January 7, 2009, updated October 5, 2010.