Rain raises Reelfoot Lake water level, but cold weather slows down fishing
Posted: Friday, December 2, 2011 3:02 pm
Old Man Winter paid a early visit to our area with cold temperatures, rain and some snow earlier this week.
This should send the water temps on a rapid fall and will get down into the 40s.
Reelfoot Lake has really come up in the last several days with the large amounts of rainfall our area has received.
Right now, Reelfoot is in the neighborhood of being pretty close to the normal pool level. By my calculations and the USGS website, Reelfoot still likes two inches being the normal level. That is much better than it’s been the last two duck seasons at the startup. This is making it much easier to get around on Reelfoot Lake for hunters and fishermen.
Speaking of Reelfoot Lake, duck season opens in the morning on the lake as well as statewide in Tennessee.
Saturday marks the day that area waterfowl hunters have had circled on their calendars since the season ended this past late January.
A promise of large numbers of duck arriving daily in our area, especially with the weather we have had going on around here just kinda adds to the excitement.
Once the season opens in the morning, hunters will have almost two months of hunting ducks and geese in these parts, 58 days remain of the 60-day season.
The Tennessee Statewide and Reelfoot Lake Zone Duck season dates are Saturday through Jan. 29.
Tennessee Goose season is as follows: The Northwest Canada Goose Zone will be Saturday through Feb. 12.
The Northwest Zone includes Lake, Obion and Weakley counties; the portion of Dyer County, north of Highway 104; and the portion of Gibson County bounded on the south by Highway 104 (west of Trenton) and on the west by Highway 45W (south of Trenton).
The Tennessee Statewide Canada Goose season will be this weekend Jan. 29. The Statewide Zone includes all counties and portions of counties not included in the Northwest Zone.
Kentucky’s long duck season will reopen Monday through Jan. 29. The Kentucky goose season will go through Jan. 31.
The winter trout stocking program of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency got under way Thursday. TWRA plans to release more than 88,000 rainbow trout into Tennessee waters from December through March.
The program provides numerous close-to-home trout fishing opportunities for Middle and West Tennessee anglers during the winter months. These fisheries also provide a great opportunity to introduce children or first-time anglers to fishing.
The trout will average about 10 inches in length. The daily creel limit is seven, but there is no size limit.
TWRA has announced a list of locations to receive stockings in this year’s program. Please note that the dates and locations are subject to change. You can get the entire list by visiting the TWRA website at www.tnwildlife.org.
Ponds that will be stocked around our area are: Union City Reelfoot Packing Pond, Martin City Pond, the Paris City Park Pond and the McKenzie City Park Pond. These ponds will be stocked on two different dates — Dec.14 and Jan. 18.
I had a very interesting thing happen to me this past Saturday afternoon.
I was out in my yard picking up limbs and cleaning up the yard after the high winds last week.
As I walked around the corner of my home on the north end, I just happened to catch something out of the corner of my left eye and realized a large buck deer running right at me from my neighbors yard, Ted and Brenda Perry. This deer had come from behind their home and crossed Shatz Road onto the corner of my property and on around the corner.
I was in somewhat of a state of shock, to say the least. I wish I could have seen my expression and reaction on tape once I spotted this deer. The first thing I noticed was his rack on top of his head, which would have figured to be between a 4- to 6-point maybe 8-point buck.
I have often heard and been told that deer roam through the Pleasant Valley neighborhood area at night with several sightings being reported. I even remember back many years ago when I grew up down the street, that someone had a deer run through their sliding glass back doors.
This deer would have weighed at least 120 to 140 pounds, if not larger. You have to understand that my eyes by that time were big as a well. I thought I was seeing things until I realized I really was … seeing a deer in my yard.
As I decided to run to the window hoping my wife and daughter could see what I was seeing, this deer came within 20 to 25 feet of me at a slow trot.
The last time I saw the deer he was headed to the East about to cross Pleasant Valley Avenue behind my home.
So, as many hunting seasons are in session right now, deer for one is beginning to be like our squirrels, rabbits and other wild animals, they are forced to roam in town with humans and they get used to that to some degree.
I have since been told by another one of my neighbors down the street from me, Derek Raines, that he has had a similar run-in with a deer in his yard at some point.
As timber is being cut, farmland fence rows are torn down, subdivisions are increased in size and many other things, these deer especially have no other place to go. Deer are all over the Union City area, especially the eastern parts of town.
But folks, there are many people in the United States of America that have never seen a rabbit, squirrel and deer, just to name a few out in the wild. They have only seen something like this in a zoo. This is very, very true.
I am thankful I have opportunities to be outdoors and God shares his nature of animals with me while fishing, hunting or just simply in my own yard. Take advantage of if and share with your own families. You would be very, very surprised who has never seen these type animals in the wild that we see every day right here in Obion County.
I want to again ask you to please send us your photos, stories, or any other outdoors information that you might want passed along to the general public. I can be reached at 731-446-3678 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Even if you have questions for me or need information, I will do my best — or my father will — to help you out what you are needing. You can also drop your photos by our office on Jackson Street in Union City.
Til next week’s column,
Catch ya on the water folks
Published in The Messenger 12.2.11