Steve "Scuba" Street's BLOG

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

The lake level is 552.90 and has dropped four inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running most of the time and both running now. The White River at Newport is also dropping and is now at 12+ feet. We received a little over six inches of dry snow and it did not put much moisture in the lake but did lower the surface water temperature. The below zero temperatures did not help it much either. The sun is shining now and it is to be back up to about 20 today with more snow coming tonight. We went down to the lake and checked the water temperatures. It was 39 degrees out in the main lake in front of Mallard Point in about 100 ft. of water in the North wind and 36 degrees near Blackburns Dock part way back in the creek with ice pushing further towards the main lake from the back of the creek and slush out to the south end of the dock and moving around with the wind. I have not checked it out yet this morning but with the below zero ambient temperatures last night I am sure it is iced in. This happened one other time in the early 2,000s but I cannot remember the year. I had to use a boat to break the ice to get out to the main lake. With this severe shad kill it will decrease the amount of bait fish and it will make it easier now and next spring to catch fish. Most schools of shad that are left will hold game fish and they will be easy to troll through and catch with live bait. With people continuing to kill stripers, this should just about finish off all of the big ones that are left. People are determined to kill them and it seems nothing will stop them until they are gone. The shad will come back since they spawn two or three times a year and are very prolific. Stripers depend 100% on stockings and the game and fish did not stock any last year due to covid. They are resuming stocking this year and barring any more long term high water we should be back to the road to recovery. It will take several years. All of the other species of fish in the lake are at good numbers except White Bass but they are making a comeback. The lake is clear and at a good level and spring looks good so far but things can change quickly. Remember the last of April  2017 when they received big rain in the Norfork water Shed in Missouri and the lake came up 20-ft. in two days? I do. It was not good and it took a long time to get it back down. It was September before it got below 560 and was not a good year for stripers and their future in Norfork lake. It will get better though and I am really looking forward to spring which is not far away. I will check things out a little later and let you know.