Mother Nature doing her part to raise area lake levels

Mother Nature doing her part to raise area lake levels

Posted: Friday, March 18, 2011 9:52 am
By: Brent Callicott

 Mother Nature doing her part to raise area lake levels | Mother Nature doing her part to raise area lake levels

More rain — something we really needed just a month ago and now Mother Nature has sprung a leak that seems to continue every other 4 to 6 days.
I would say we have had enough rainfall to last for several days or weeks.
I know the farmers are needing the ground to dry out some so they can get out in the fields and start working their farmland. Our water table should be good for several weeks or even months.
Looks like other than a brief shower or two, our warm and somewhat dry weather may be around for a few days.
As for the water levels on Reelfoot Lake, they are up for sure.
I was on the lake Tuesday and found the lake to have stained water and some clearer water in places.
According to the USGS website, the normal lake level on Reelfoot Lake is 282.20 feet above sea level. Right now, the lake is in the 282.95 range, which puts the lake at around 7 1/2 inches above the normal lake level. I was all over the lake and you can tell the lake is higher than normal.
Just think, in a matter of one year, this time through mid-June of last year 2010, Reelfoot Lake was very high. Then the summer drought took over through late winter of 2010-11, causing the lake to be at near record low levels. The the rains started back in February and have brought Reelfoot back to it normal levels and above. What a roller-coaster ride Reelfoot Lake has been on in the last 365 days.
The Mississippi River is extremely high and continues to rise. This also plays a major roll as the river levels are high, which in returns helps the water table around the lake to be high. All of the snow-melt and now heavy rains in the northeast will come down the Ohio River as well as from the Cumberland and Tennessee rivers will empty into the Mississippi River causing the river to rise even more.
Warm weather has finally settled in for a few days. It seems and this should really help the fishing.
Fishing reports: On Tuesday, Jimmy King and Austin Hopper caught their limit of crappie on Reelfoot Lake in just over 3 hours.
Then Wednesday, Jimmy King, Roland Pope and Ethan Pope kept 90 crappie.
Jeff Crabtree and Paul Johnson, both of South Fulton, fished Reelfoot Wednesday and kept 32 nice crappie.
Also, my dad (Lanny) and one of his fishing buddies, Ray Wilson, managed to have a decent day on Wednesday as well at Reelfoot.
I was asked to pass along, please make sure when you park a the boat ramps, make room for everyone else. Some folks are reported to be taking up three and sometimes four parking spots with a one truck/trailer combo. Just remember to have respect for others who might want to use the ramp and lake.
The fishing is not that hot at Kentucky Lake on crappie, but this warmer weather will change it all. A report by one of the TWRA officers in the Paris Landing area said that 44 boats were checked one day last week and the top boat had only 10 crappie in the cooler.
Just a word about BassMaster Elite Series rookie bass angler Ben Parker. This week, Ben is fishing the Citrus Slam on the St. Johns River in Palatka, Fla. This is his second professional Elite Series tournament in as many weeks. It started Thursday and concludes Sunday.
When I spoke with Ben Tuesday, he was having a very good pre-practice and hopes this carries oer for him during the bass tournament.
He did well and made the cut and claimed a check in last week’s event.
For Ben, making the cut to fish Day 3 in last week’s Harris Chain of Lakes tournament in his debut as a rookie angler I know was one of Ben’s goals. There are so many things that play into making a living as a bass pro. Things fell into place last week for him and maybe will do the same this week.
The remaining BassMaster Elite Series schedule on Ben’s list is as follows: Alabama Charge, April 6-9, Pickwick Lake- Florence, Ala.; Battle On The Bayou, April 14-17, Toledo Bend, Many, La.; Pride Of Geogia, May 5-8, West Point Lake, LaGrange, Ga.; Carolina Clash, May 12-15, Lake Murray, Columbia, S.C.; Diamond Drive, June 9-12, Arkansas River, Little Rock, Ark.; Dixie Dual, June 16-19, Wheeler Lake, Decatur, Ala.
Remember, you can follow Ben during his tour and the rest of the touring pros by going to www.bassmaster.com website and watch each weigh-in live or visit his own website at www.parkersoutfitting.com.
Good luck Ben and keep up the great work.
Here are the area Open Buddy Bass tournaments scheduled that I have at this time.
The Gibson County Bass Club will be hosting a open buddy bass tournament March 26 at Gibson County Lake. You can register the morning of this event. I should have more on this next week.
The 3rd Annual UTM Collegiate Bass Anglers Team Buddy Bass Tournament. This will be April 2 out of the Paris Landing State Park Marina. Entry fee will be $100 per boat plus a extra $10 Big Bass Award Pot offered. More to come on this event but if you need more information, you can contact the president of the UTM Club, Grayson Smith, 931-237-4627.
Then on April 23, the 18th Annual Reelfoot Lake Bass Club Open Buddy Bass Tournament will be taking place on Reelfoot Lake out of the Kirby Pocket State Park area on Highway 22, just north of Samburg. More to come on this tournament as well.
A naturalist experience for a half-day canoe float through seldom-explored areas of Reelfoot Lake is planned to observe old growth cypress forest, a heron rookery and an eagle’s nest as you paddle through the cypress swamp. Large fish swimming, ducks taking flight and an occasional snake making an appearance add excitement to the trip. A variety of bird life such as songbirds, ducks, herons, owls, or an eagle usually show up to check out the canoeist.
Trips will depart from the Reelfoot Lake State Park’s Visitor Center at 1 p.m. on Saturdays and 9 a.m. on Sundays in March and April. Cost is $20 per boat if park canoe is used. Private canoes are no charge.
We suggest you bring snacks, drinks, a change of clothes, camera and binoculars in a waterproof, floatable container. Trip is about 3 hours.
For more information on this Reelfoot Lake canoe trip tour, call the Reelfoot Lake State Park’s Visitor Centor at 731-253-9652 for reservations and additional information.
A reminder about the Bicentennial Celebration year of 2011-12 for Reelfoot Lake is now going on. Reelfoot will be celebrating it’s 200th year of existence. There are many events planned, so stay tuned.
More to follow on this huge celebration. For more information, you can contact the Bicentennial chairman David Haggard at david.haggard@tn.gov
I want to take this time to wish my grandmother, Zelma Denton, a belated happy 91st birthday. I hope your day was very special and so proud to call you my grandmother.
Til next week’s column,
catch ya on
the water folks
Brent

Published in The Messenger 3.18.11

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