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

The lake level is 573.02 and is still rising slowly with just a few hours of generation. It is getting dry and they are doing a great job of holding Norfork Lake up as high as possible for as long as possible. Congratulation for allowing it to get to 573. I was not sure they could make it but they are determined.  The White River at Newport is holding at 13-ft and minor flood stage is 23-ft. Go figure. They could drop it anytime they wanted.  All of the other area lakes are dropping slowly. The main lake remains clear and the creeks vary from stained to clear almost daily. The surface temperature is now 85-degrees and just right for boating and swimming. The best bite continues to be early for top-water fish and then switch to jigging spoons and hit the main lake points. The thermocline is 22-ft and will continue to drop until it reaches about 30-31 feet with the hot weather. It seldom  goes much deeper than that. There are always some reports of it going to 40-45 ft. but I have been diving Norfork for 25-years and have never seen it that deep. They are just looking at their fish finders and thinking the line they see is the thermocline. You have to have a camera with water temperature or a fish and temp or go down there to tell where it is.  Walleye will be on the bottom at or near it now but some will go deep and stay there with the stripers. People are now quoting the article written by Game and Fish that is is good for the lake to kill stripers. What I read it to say was they all die when coming up from deep water so do not cull and just keep your first three and do not keep catching and releasing them They may look ok when released but are severely stressed and die later. The old tale of venting them does not work. It allows them to go down right then but they later die. If you are a meat hunter fish for them in deep water. If you are a sportsman do not. They do not dress out very well anyway after the red meat is cut out.  I would like to see the limit dropped to two until the big ones come back, if they ever will with the continuous over fishing and high water. It looks to be a busy summer and it has not officially started yet. Debbie is getting over a hundred calls a day so if you do not want to pay way too much elsewhere better book at Blackburns now. People are hedging and then the cabin is full when they finally make up their minds. We want everyone to be happy and enjoy their vacation and do everything we can to make that happen. Come on down. We will not charge you too much. I certainly do not have time for fishing or diving now but I get reports daily from some good fishermen and divers.