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Sardis Lake


Tuesday, April 25, 2017 5:19 PM

Water level 251.37 ft, rising 0.1 ft/day, 7.3 ft below rule curve Tuesday. Expect rapid water level rises and drawdowns as rain events happen and the Corps tries to maintain rule curve; it is supposed to rise from 241 ft on March 1 to summer pool (260 ft) on May 1. For water level information, call (662)563-4531 or check at http://155.76.244.230/offices/ed/edh/docs/bullet.txt for a table or http://155.76.244.230/offices/ed/edh/plots/sardplot.png for a graph. Be sure to check the date on the table as it is not always updated daily.

This past weekend's rains raised the water level here more than any of the other Corps reservoirs, but not nearly enough to push it up to rule curve. The water should continue to clear up unless we get another significant rain with runoff.

MDWFP electrofishing this past Friday found some crappie still up in the shallows (2 - 5 ft) spawning; about half were keepers. However, anglers report catching mostly small crappie fishing shallow. As usual, most bigger fish spawned first and smaller fish started moving in. Folks are reporting better success on keepers fishing 5 - 7 ft deep and/or using orange/chartreuse jigs (with or without minnows), especially in larger sizes. Not all big fish have spawned, but are spawning deeper. Jigging and wading shallow (less than 5 ft) in flooded grass has been producing mostly short crappie lately. Most White Bass have been incidental catches by crappie anglers, but some are still up in the river and creeks over a sand bottom where they can be taken on jigs, spinners, or small crankbaits. There are no size or number limits on White Bass. Catfishing should be good fishing various natural baits in newly flooded areas with a variety of techniques (lines, noodles, rod-and-reel). Channels are more likely to bite worms or stinkbaits, while bigger blues prefer minnows, cut shad, or flavored chicken. Channels have been moving into the holes in the rip-rap rocks to spawn; worms under a bobber have been working in these areas. No reports on Largemouth Bass, but they should also be in shallow, flooded grass where spinnerbaits or buzzbaits fished on the grass edges should work. Some folks are enjoying bowfishing for gar and carp in similar areas.

The ramp into the river at Wyatt's Crossing was recently cleaned off. Last week a channel was dug to the river through the mud bar at the Hwy 7 ramp.

The spillway had one gate open 0.5 ft (100 cfs) Tuesday. About the best reports here have been a few crappie and White Bass. For White Bass, drift a 2 jig rig just off bottom in the current or fish small crankbaits or tailspinner lures. For crappie, fish jigs and/or minnows under a bobber near the rocks or troll in the Lower Lake. Catfish can be taken fishing natural baits near the bottom.

MDWFP shocking in the Lower Lake last year found Silver (jumping) Carp. Anglers are cautioned that small Asian carp (Silver and Bighead) are very hard to tell from shad. As a precaution, it would be a wise conservation practice if anglers refrain from moving any live "shad" caught down here anywhere else to avoid spreading these fish.

MDWFP fall 2016 electrofishing found most Gizzard Shad were about 3 inches long (spawned last spring). Threadfin Shad had shown up again; most were about 2 inches. Blue Catfish ("white river cats or "white humpbacks") were abundant in creek and river channels and shallow flats; most fish were 13 - 35 inches long with a big group near 21 inches. White Bass were uncommon; most were 11 - 12 inches and were mainly found on sandy points. Largemouth Bass, crappie, and bream were around any remaining cover (brush, stakes, stumps, etc.). Bass of all sizes were seen with a good proportion from 16 - 21 inches. Crappie were 2 - 16 inches with lots of "short fish"; keepers were mainly 13 inches.

MDWFP fall 2016 trapnetting found fish mostly from 2016 and 2015 less than 8 inches, although larger fish were seen, especially Black Crappie.

The daily creel limit for crappie is 15 per person. Crappie must be over 12 inches. 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, including Sardis Lower Lake, 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)563-4531 for accessible ramps at current water levels.

 

The daily creel limit for crappie is 15 per person. Crappie must be over 12 inches. 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, including Sardis Lower Lake, 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)563-4531 for accessible ramps at current water levels.



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