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

Caught fishing with Bink's Guide Service. Image title

The lake level is 553.26 and is the same as it was at this time yesterday. There has been no discharge for over two days and the White River at Newport is dropping again and is now at 4.47 feet and very low. The top of the power pool is 555.75 at this time but changes to 553.75 at the end of this month and stays there until April. It used to be at 552 all the time until the minimum flow law went into effect for the put and take trout in the rivers that took away 1.75 feet of flood capacity. When people say the lakes are for flood control and power generation only they are wrong. They sacrificed flood control for trout with the implementation of this law. They could do the same thing and keep the area lakes from flooding all of the time. There are usually ample times to drop the lake in the fall and winter and keep them lower in the spring before the rains but nobody seems to want to address the antiquated regulations. There needs to be some form of government accountability and not just keeping the lakes too high. There seems to be more of an effort recently to get the lakes down to the top of the power pool after rising past it by the Corps of Engineers but when it is turned over to the power company they almost always stop generation. I would like to see the level down to the high 540's going into May. The surface water temperature is 82-83 degrees and dropping. They are forcasting the ambient temperatures to drop with a chance of rain on Thursday and highs dropping down to the high 60's. The weather has been beautiful this past week. and people are taking advantage of the combination of weather and low prices here at Blackburns where you can get a 1-bedroom cabin for $59/day and a 2-bedroom for $77. Not bad. They come with a free stall for your boat. Crappie have been slow moving back to the brush from the main lake but I am seeing more larger schools roaming on top of big brush piles this weekend than before. Kentucky bass are everywhere on brush with a few largemoputh mixed in and also a few smaller walleye. A lot of fish remain at or near the thermocline at 32-feet in open water at various depths on shad. Some bass are feeding on shad shallow in the evening part way back in the creeks.I have seen no evidence of a striper kill this summer but a lot of small ones in the 5-7 pouind range are being killed by an increasing number of fishermen. Fishing pressure has increased dramatically in the last few years. Norfork now has 15-20 guides on the lake now where there were just 4-6 just a few years ago and they all seem to want to brag about how many fish they can kill to attract customers. The lake is in excellent condition for swimming and boating but fishing is only fair. Spoons remain the lure of choice.