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Monday, March 20, 2017 3:01 PM

Water level 211.69 ft, stable, 1.7 ft above rule curve (winter pool) Monday. 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.

Last week's cold temperatures and wind made fishing difficult and set the fish back awhile, but did not produce enough rain to raise water levels. Warmer temperatures this week should have fish moving shallower, but don't expect much rain or rise until late in the week.

Arkabutla is low and muddy with limited access. For crappie, fish jigs and minnows or just minnows slow-trolling 4 - 6 ft deep in the main lake, but it has been pretty slow. Catfishing has been about the best luck lately using noodles (jugs) fishing shad over main lake flats; trotlines should work, too. No reports on White Bass or Largemouth Bass. 

The spillway had one gate open 2.0 ft (500 cfs) Monday. 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 fall electrofishing 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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