Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

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The lake level is 553.94 and has dropped 1-3/4 inches in the last 24-hours with generation about 1/2 the time. The water is getting very clear and it is cooling with this winter weather especially in the backs of the creeks where it gets shallow. It is to get colder and is to last about another week. Our normal high is 50 and it is struggling to get to 30. It is snowing lightly now but the ground is not covered. All of the ice went well south of us and that is very good. The wind is to pick up and that is not good. It does not look to be the best conditions especially Sunday and Monday where it is to get as cold as I have seen it in many years. This global warming is the biggest threat to America. The water temperature on the main lake was 44 when I went out yesterday and there may be a chance of a shad kill if it drops below 40. I never though this would happen this year with a surface temperature of 48 going into February where it typically raises instead of dropping. What is rare about this is the length of time it is lingering around. They are dropping the lake a little now and only need to continue for about three inches to get down to the power pool. It would be nice to get several feet lower than that to make room for spring rains but a lot of things need to change for that to happen. It is very good that the rainfall has been lower than average for the last couple of months and there have been multiple chances for them to drop all of the area lakes. They are all about in the same condition, close to power pool. They have a lot of leeway now and can allow the White River at Newport to get to 21-feet until April 14th but have shown no inclination to do so. I do not know who made these rules but it must have been a long time ago before computers could control the whole system. They certainly need to be reviewed and changed like they did for the minimum flow for the put and take trout on the river raising the power pool and taking away 1.75 feet of flood capacity. It was cool with an ambient temperature of 30 when I went out yesterday afternoon and the wind was calm. I fished brush piles in Blackburns creek for about 1-1/2 hours and caught some nice crappie in the 14-15 inch range. No giants but very good ones. I was casting the 1/16th ounce jig past the brush and allowing it to sink into it. They would bite about the time it touched wood. I did not try for any bass with the spoon as my fingers were getting cold everytime I took off my heated gloves. I must be getting puny but there was not anybody else out there. The lake is in excellent condition and at a perfect color and depth for fishing. It just needs to stay that way. Higher water does not affect fishing much except if it comes too fast . It does affect day users and launching and parking but Blackburns is set up to handle about anything. It is just nice to be able to drive to the dock and step right on for people that do not like steps like it is now. Anyway all of the area lakes are in the same condition so far this year as I mentioned before.