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Lack of precipitation having negative effect on water levels at area lakes

Lack of precipitation having negative effect on water levels at area lakes

Posted: Friday, May 11, 2012 3:01 pm

Lower than normal water levels people who live and depend on the Tennessee River System and Kentucky Lake concerned. Normally at this time of year, Kentucky Lake is usually up from the winter pool level of 354 to the summer pool level mark of 359 feet above sea level.
I have my opinions on why the lake is still low and it boils down to precipitation. Over the last several weeks, we have had hardly any large amounts of rainfall — not only in our area but along and up the Tennessee River System. But TVA has their thoughts as well. It may have to do with the repair of the Highway 68 Bridge at near Ken-Lake Resort.
Another thing that is playing a large role in the low water levels is our winter. We, along with our neighboring folks up the Tennessee River and up and along the East Coast, didn’t have the snows during the winter months that  normally occur. This means no snow melt, which turns into runoff water into the Tennessee River waters.
These I feel are the two most important factors. Now, the TVA folks may be holding something back and not saying exactly what is going on, but if you just think about it, this all makes since.
Just this past Sunday morning, areas over around Carroll County and southern Weakley County had 4 to 6 inches of rainfall. This was very isolated and will help just a little but not near enough. Then some folks in our area had an inch to inch and a half of rain. Others, not a drop.
Speaking of the weather, you may know by now, but January through April of 2012 were the warmest of that time frame on record in a 118 years. This was the warmest January through April months on record, according to the National Weather Service. Some areas as much as 8 degrees above average.
Last week, James “Bubba” Bobbitt of Rainbow, Ala., and a former resident of this area, fished in the Lake Guntersville, Ala., Everstart Professional Bass Tournament hosted by FLW Outdoors. He fished as a co-angler, who fishes from the back of the boat. Bubba was able to grab the day one lead with a hefty 5 bass limit that weighed 21.06 pounds. His first day lead and pounds helped in propelling him into the finals with a not-so-good Day 2 (9.08 pounds) and Day 3 (finals, 8.10 pounds), claiming a three-day total weight of 39.08 pounds. Bubba transferred with Goodyear when the local plant announced their closure plans. He now lives near a lake that is one of the best in the nation in Lake Guntersville. Bubba is also a longtime member of the Reelfoot Lake Bass Club here in Union City.
For his efforts, Bubba was able to cash in a check for $1,987.
Congrats Bubba on your great tournament.
As I mentioned last week, several members of the Reelfoot Lake Bass Club fished in the Tennessee Federation Nation West Regional State Tournament last Friday and Saturday on Pickwick Lake.
There were 126 anglers from Nashville to the Mississippi River that had qualified and fished. Brett Taylor received top honors of the six-member Reelfoot Lake team that went and also landed him a spot on the 2012-13 State Team as a boater. Brett along with 13 other members of different clubs from across Tennessee will now move on and represent the Tennessee State Team in the Southeastern regionals. Brett had a two-day total weigh of 10 bass that weighed 24.65 pounds. He finished seventh place overall. Others who fished from the Reelfoot Lake Club and their standings: Jamin Barker in 15th place with eight bass that weighed 20.04 pounds, Rick Kelly in 64th place with four bass at 8.79 pounds, Jerry Gammons in 69th place with three bass at 8.72 pounds, David Rhoades in 98th place with one bass at 4.40 pounds and Bill Coffey did not weigh in a fish.
The 10th annual Reelfoot Lake Catfish Tournament will be held at 6:30 a.m. June 16. For more information, call (731) 253-2007 or e-mail,
Have you ever wondered what it is like to canoe your way around on Reelfoot Lake? Well, now you have that chance. Spending your holiday Memorial Day weekend by “Winding Through the Wetlands” of Reelfoot National Wildlife Refuge? You can join Refuge Ranger Tara Dowdy on May 26 for a guided canoe trip through the historical “Glory Hole” area of Reelfoot Lake. This free event will last about three hours as canoeists wind through the trails into some of the more remote areas of Reelfoot National Wildlife Refuge. A variety of flora and fauna may be seen on the trip, including wood ducks, ospreys, herons, egrets, snakes, and variety of plants such as lily pads, swamp rose mallow, flooded cypress trees, and much more!
You will need to meet at the Reelfoot National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center at 7:45 a.m. Canoeists will then leave the visitor center and drive to the Grassy Island boat ramp, where the launch of the canoes will take place promptly at 8 a.m. and end at about 11 a.m. Canoes will not be available for rent. Participants must bring their own canoe or kayak. Due to the duration of the float, sunscreen is strongly recommended, as well as hats and sunglasses. You may also want to bring your own drinks and snacks.
If inclement weather arises that day, the event will be moved to June 2. Be prepared to be flexible as declining Lake Levels may require re-routing the tour to more accessible areas within Reelfoot Lake.
Reelfoot National Wildlife Refuge is joining many other federal, state, and non-governmental organizations to get people out on the water. The Summer of Paddling 2012 is a series of events that involve canoeing and kayaking along — on the upper and lower reaches of the Mississippi River. Participants of all ages can enjoy these events.
To see a calendar of events along the Mississippi River, visit the Summer of Paddling 2012 website at
For more information or to make reservations, call (731) 538-2481, Monday-Friday at 7 a.m.-3:30 p.m..
Saturday, the Reelfoot Lake Bass Club will be hosting their annual Big Bass Event on Reelfoot Lake. Tournament hours are from 6-11 a.m. Only one bass can be weighed in by each boat registered to fish the tournament. Blastoff and weigh-in will be at the Kirby Pocket State Park area. Entry fee is $60 per boat. A guaranteed 1st through 3rd place with prize monies totaling $800 will be given away.
If you have not registered, you can register from 5-6 in the morning
Next weekend, the Third Annual Wounded Warrior Bass Tournament will be held on Kentucky Lake out of the Paris Landing State Park Marina. There will be $2,500 given away for first place. They will also payout 1 out of 10 boats.  There will be only a three-bass limit and tournament hours are from 7 a.m. until 1 p.m. that day. Entry fee is $110 per boat with an extra $20 per boat for the Big Bass Pot. You can register the morning of the tournament starting at 4:30 a.m. at the ramp area. There will be roughly 25 Wounded Warriors from the Fort Campbell Army Base paired up with 25 other people to fish this tournament.
News from the TWRA
The winning entries for the 2012-13 Tennessee Wildlife magazine photo contest have been selected by staff members of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. The selections will appear in the annual calendar issue of the magazine which will be available in early July.
Wallace Covington of Union City was one of just a few that were selected as a winner for the 2012-13 calendar. Congrats, Wal-lace!
The TWRA staff selected the winning photographs from hundreds of submissions and had the challenge to narrow the entries to 13 photos that will appear in the calendar issue.
The 2012-13 calendar issue will begin with August.
I want to wish our daughter, Gracyn, a Happy 8th Birthday. She is about to complete her second grade year at Union City Elementary School. Wow, where have these years gone? Everyone has tried to tell us time passes quickly. Gracyn, I hope your day was a very special one. Love mom and dad.
Til next week’s column,
Catch ya on the water folks.

Published in The Messenger 5.11.12

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