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

The lake level is 553.56 and has dropped 2.2 inches in the last 24-hours with generation a little over 1/2 the time. They continue to drop the discharge and level on The White River at Newport and have for over a week. At least the lake level is heading in the right direction finally and is just under the power pool of 553.75.  It is hard to get an accurate surface water temperature now with the variation caused by how deep it is and where you are in relation to the wind. It is cooling down fast near the shore but not so fast out in the main lake in 100-ft. of water where it is just over 40. It certainly is not going up again any day soon. It is to be nearly a week before we get over freezing but we are 1/2 way into February and spring is on the way. I will let you know when ice starts forming in the backs of the creeks near the shore. That indicates there is a shad kill.  I went down to the dock and started up about a dozen boats yesterday and checked batteries. They need a full charge or they will freeze and ruin them in below zero weather. I also lowered the boats that are on my five boat lifts part way down in the water so the lower units will not freeze and break. All of the lower units have had oil changed and new water pumps but but it does not take much moisture in the oil to freeze them in this weather. We are not used to it here and you can get by with a little until it gets this cold. They are sealed up but not pressurized.  We have already refurbished the dock with new cables, much more support and new floats to withstand a heavy load caused by snow and ice on the roof. When you see what I call the fingers or walkways on the sides of the stalls go under water you are in trouble and you must get the snow and ice off the roof. If you do not there will be damage and bending of metal if you have a steel dock and possible collapse of the roof on a wooden dock. The last time we had heavy snow and ice I worked all night getting the ice and snow off the roof. Others did not and their docks collapsed. Mine did not. I do not believe in swindling insurance companies because they look for any excuse to raise their rates. There is not an excuse for allowing damage but it did allow some people to get a new dock where they could not have on their own.  I am very happy with mine and do my best to keep it in good condition. The dock and boats are as secure as possible, I have split much wood and laid it in, have my house wired for my new generator in case of a power outage, checked the antifreeze and batteries in all my vehicles and am as ready as I know how to be and will hope for the best. We will see. Things have a way of working out if you are willing to help yourself. I will go fishing again when it hits 30 and give you a report. That is what I do.