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.

Mike Eakle with a nice one released under the dock. Image title

The lake level is 553.54 and has dropped 1/2 inch in the last 24-hours. They are regulating the lake around the top of the power pool at 553.75 and it has not changed much all winter. They have been running the one operating generator for about 8-hours starting at 9:AM and then shutting everything off again. The White River at Newport is 6.54 feet and very low but has started to rise just a bit. I would certainly like to see the level lower going into the spring rains. The visibility is good on the main lake and I could see my lure down about 10-feet yesterday evening. It is stained a little green in the creeks but is very clear near the shore. It is as clear as I have seen it in a long time. The surface water temperature is 54-degrees on the main lake and much warmer back in the creeks. It gets warmer the further back you go especially if the sun is shining. The new news is that the crappie, bluegill and turtles have moved in under Blackburns dock. If it does not get cold again they should stay there until spawn. It usually means spring is here. Some of the larger crappie are near spawn but will hold off until the water temperature maintains above 60 for several days. Black crappie spawn first and Whites like a little warmer water. The spawn continues in Norfork Lake for about 6-weeks with the larger ones first. They do not like creeks with high water runoff or current and like a steady water level. If the water is rising or lowering quickly they have a way of waiting or moving the nests to where they want them. They can do this a couple of times and wait as long as they can and then just spawn in open water if the level keeps changing rapidly. The females spawn and move to shallow brush right away and the males stay on the nests until after they hatch and until the fry can make it on their own. The whole process takes about 7-days. A steady water level with shallow cover makes for a good spawn. Fishing for the males staging before the spawn or trolling the shoreline and catching them off of it is not good unless you just do not care. Crappie have not been stocked in Norfork for several years but they have maintained a steady population but there seem to not be as many larger ones as there were a few years ago but the fishing pressure has increased with many people moving here bringing with them a lot of meat hunters. There used to be two crappie guides on Norfork, Harvey Hall and Jay Smith who put in a lot of cover and brush piles and helped the lake. Now there are many of them and they just see how many fish they can kill to try and impress potential customers. The same is happening with Stripers. The Game and Fish updated and improved the neglected Corps of Engineers brush piles a few years ago but it needs to be done again. .They used to allow the public to cut Cedar Trees on the shoreline and put in their own brush by getting a permit. They quit that. It went from every other year to nothing for a few years. it is probably because there are a lot of dead Cedars on the shoreline caused by them leaving the water level up too high for too long. I have 28-acres of Cedar forest and cut my own trees to put in for brush piles for my customers. Many of them really appreciate it. There needs to be more people do this. Norfork basin was cleared before flooding and there is no natural cover like Bull Shoals which was not. They allow fish cover permits on Bull Shoals which do not need them. Go figure. Blackburns now has all of their cabins open and are getting ready for your visit. We are still the home of the $59/day one bedroom cabins until Memorial Day and a free stall for your boat comes with the cabin. All cabins are individual with no duplexes and all have big covered porches. Come on down. We will not charge you too much and there will be no price increases for 2024. Some raised their prices already and are going to raise them again next week. We are not. We want our regular customers to be able to have an affordable vacation not see how much money we can get from them. Shop, compare prices and give Debbie a call at 870-492-5115 for a reservation. We are the first to fill up and you will have to pay much more elsewhere.  If you have too much money and must pay more stay at Blackburns and give the difference to disabled Veterans. We like them.