Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Rum Binkley with some nice Norfork Lake crappie. They were not released sorry. Image title

The lake level is 557.32 and has dropped 4-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours. They quit generating 24-hours ago and now have spillway gates open equal to 2-1/2 generators. The White River at Newport is 23.17 feet and dropping. All area lakes are dropping except for Beaver. It is raining now but the heaviest rain is coming later this week. Wednesday is to be the best day of the week.  The surface water temperature was 50-degrees when I came in last evening and the water clarity varies with the wind and water discharge at the dam but in general it is stained a little brownish green and has a clarity down about 3-feet.  It is darker in the middle of the river channel when there is a lot of discharge. I know these reports are all over the place but I am just reporting what is happening. They seem to have a tendency to try and drop the level until they get down to the top of the power pool and then slow way down. That level is 553.75 and I would be glad to see that again. I do not have an answer why they are not running the generators and usuing the flood gates to manage the levels but it is usually due to maintenance but I have had no word about that. They seem to be able to manage the flood gates pretty well. They opened up all of the flood gates in 1993 and had not opened any since then until 2008 when everything was flooded. They can manage things much better now as far as the gates are concerned as they found out that just running all of the generators was not enough. They now need to have a new look at dam management policies and up date them again. I realize it is a complicated process but the current plan does not work. I know it is all about the $ but I bet they do not allow Branson Landing to flood out again. The weather pattern of continuing fronts coming into the west coast and then spreading across the county is showing no signs of changing anytime soon and we can expect this for a while They should let out as much as they can without flooding any body out down stream and not quit until they reach the mid to high 540's at least until June. Nobody could have done anything about the flood of 2017 but this would give us a better chance most years. People say what happens if it does not rain and the lake gets too low? It is much easier to manage how much water you let out of the dams than it is to manage how much comes in. The natural flow of the Norfork River would about keep up with the city water uses here at Mountain Home. They do not seem to be much concerned about wasting energy potential by going around the generators and did take away 1.75 feet of flood capacity to provide continuous flow to the put and take trout in the rivers so that takes away the argument about the dams were built for flood control and energy generation and not recreation. The rules need to be reviewed. All types of fishing are working a little but none very good unless you just happen to find feeding fish and that is not that common. I go out for a couple of hours and catch 2-4 fish and that is about it. Some days if I did not have to write this report I would not even go out. It is cold, damp and rainy with a high in the low 40's but tomorrow is to be better.  April and the top-water bite is coming soon and I am ready. There will be a pre-spawn feed but it is not here yet but Blackburns still has $59/day one bedroom cabins that come with a free stall for your boat and no price increases again this year. Think on the bright side. We will not charge you too much.