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Tuesday, April 25, 2017 5:26 PM

Water level 213.06 ft, falling 0.03 ft/day, 3.1 ft above rule curve (winter pool) Tuesday. Expect rapid water level rises and drawdowns as rain events happen and the Corps tries to achieve and maintain winter pool (210 ft) until May 1. For water level information, call (662)562-6261 or check at for a table or for a graph. Be sure to check the date on the table as it is not always updated daily.

This past weekend's rains bumped up the water level a little, but it is headed back down already. Unless we get more rain, expect the water to be brought back down to rule curve (210 ft) until May 1.

Crappie are "trapped in a puddle" with the water low (even though it is above rule curve) and are spawning on whatever cover is available. Most fish are being caught from off the dam and in the gravel pit. Any fish that headed shallow with the little rise are heading the other way now. Expect crappie to spawn 3 - 5 ft deep or more if the water is falling, shallower if it is rising. Fish bright-colored (black/chartreuse, pink/white, etc.) jigs and/or minnows. Some folks have been picking up a few crappie slow-trolling 3 - 5 ft deep in creek mouths in the main lake. Most White Bass and catfish have been caught incidentally by crappie anglers. Some White Bass are still up in the creeks and river spawning where they can be taken on jigs, spinners, or small crankbaits. There are no size or number limits on White Bass. Catfishing should be best fishing lines or noodles (jugs) over main lake flats with various natural baits. No reports on Largemouth Bass.

The spillway had one gate open 3.0 ft (700 cfs) Tuesday. There have been some small crappie caught recently fishing jigs and/or minnows. White Bass have started to show up; fish jigs, spoons, small crankbaits, etc. About the best luck has been for catfish on natural baits fished on the bottom.

MDWFP electrofishing last fall found above average spawning success for most fish from the high water last spring. Most Gizzard Shad were about 4 inches long. Blue Catfish ("white river cats or "white humpbacks") were abundant in creek and river channels and shallow flats, with most fish 15 - 36 inches long. White Bass were not as common as in prior years, but most were larger (12 - 15 inches) and were mainly found on sandy points. Largemouth Bass, crappie, and bream were around any remaining cover (brush, stakes, stumps, etc.). Most bass were 10 - 17 inches long, with both smaller and larger fish seen. Crappie were mostly this spring's fish (3 - 4 inches) or fish over 12 inches long.

The daily creel limit for crappie is 15 per person. Crappie must be over 12 inches long. Anglers may use no more than 4 poles per person and no more than 2 hooks or lures per pole. There is a 40 crappie per boat limit for boats with 3 or more anglers. The 12 inch length limit does not apply to the reservoir spillway, but the spillway has a 15 crappie creel limit.

Limits on Black Bass (Largemouth and Spotted Bass) are statewide limits: no size limit, 10 fish per person daily.

Contact the COE office (662)562-6261 for accessible ramps at current water levels.




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