Lake levels were at 357ft on Monday, March 13th. They have been dropping quickly, and as of Thursday, lake levels at NewJohnsonville were just over 355ft, and TVA is predicting a fall into the 354ft range by Wednesday. Flow rates continue to be strong, with most of last week having over 100,000cfs moving through our area. Flow rates will drop off as TVA gets the lake back to winter pool of 354ft. Surface temps have been in the low to mid 50’s most of this past week. TVA usually will start raising the lake through the month of April, starting near 354ft on March 1st, and having the lake up to spring pool by April 30th. Of course, if we experience abnormal rainfall, everything might change. March is a time of unsettled weather, as old man winter dukes it out with summer, leading to some quickly changing weather. Both the Duck and Buffalo Rivers are returning to normal as of this weekend, but if we see more rainfall, expect the rivers to once again come up. The Cumberland River at Cumberland City was at 3.73ft on Friday.
Fishing has been improving for most anglers, but the wind still seems to be the limiting factor for most. We’ve seen some nice days with warm temperatures, but it always seems that those warm days come with excessive amounts of wind. And with some below freezing temps on some mornings, and falling water levels, most fish have returned to deeper water. Spring is usually a time when fish start moving up in preparation to spawn, most of our sunfish species like bass and crappie will spawn when water temps stabilize in the mid to upper 60’s, which usually is around mid to late April on Kentucky Lake. Some Crappie and bass did move up shallow as the water level came up and water temps rose, but mostly following the shad, as the shad were moving into warmer water. Bass anglers were tossing crankbaits and jerk baits over rocky banks this past week, and coming up with some good fish, as it seems the bass population has improved quite well from previous years. Crankbait colors that have been working best are the crawfish colored ones; also some slow presentations using Jig and Craw combinations are working. The catfish bite should improve as the current slows and water levels stabilize. The Tn National Wildlife Refuge is now open to all areas, the Duck River unit and all others are open until November 15th.
Upcoming Events will be; NWTF Turkey Banquet on March 25 at JERA, KLBA on April 1st at Chickamauga Lake, ABA division 40 on April 2nd out of Birdsong Marina, Tenn Madcatters on March 5th at the Clarksville Marina, and the Cumberland River Catman’s association on April 8th at Ashland City.
Turkey season is still a few weeks off, with the Juvenile hunt on April 8-9th and the regular spring season starting on April 15th. Limits have changed, now its 2 bearded turkeys/season, and only one can be a jake. More information can be found on page 26 of last years hunting guide or going to TWRA’s website TNWildlife.org