Wednesday, April 2, 2014

April 4, 2014

How's Fishing? 
 As of today, Tuesday, the first of April, the water is still very low and very clear. This may all change before the weekend. The weather forecast calls for strong storms tonight and tomorrow with rain off and on all week long. By Friday the weather should be much improved and it will stay that way through the next week. There is an almost desperate need for rain in this area. Fire danger is high and there have been a number of fires that have gotten out of control.
 The hatchery manager, Mike Mitchell, sent us the tag numbers for March with numbers comparing previous years to this one. This year there were 14,182 tags sold. the number of fish per tag sold for the month was 3.16 per tag. The highest tag sales in the last ten years was 2001 with 23,730 tags compared to the lowest, which was 2013 with 13,604 tags sold. Thanks for sharing that with us, Mike. We still have the occasional angler who is unhappy with the size of the fish he is catching, but, in general, the size of the typical stringer of fish is much improved.

 Last week, our friends, Tim and Janet, were here visiting from Colorado. Tim is an avid fly fisherman and he was totally blown away by Bennett Spring. It reminded me of my first visit to the Spring. I remember thinking "oh, now I get it.' I could see why people, even those that don't fish, keep coming back. Mike Perry, the Assistant Hatchery Manager, was kind enough to stop working in the pools to take us on a tour of the new hatchery. Even though I had been through the new hatchery a couple of times, our friends asked questions that I hadn't thought of (for example - if the fish have to be given antibiotics are they safe to eat? answer: they are isolated in the hatchery pools until the medicine is out of their systems) . They were only able to stay for a day but I feel pretty sure that they will be back, and next time Tim will have a fly rod in his luggage.

 Who's Fishing? 
The best catch and release story that I've heard happened this week. Mike Richardson was fishing on the top of the dam. He raised his line to be cast at the same moment that a robin flew over his head. The robin flew right into the line and was tangled in it. Mike scrambled in his vest for something to cut the line, but before he could do that the bird landed and somehow worked himself free. In case you were wondering, the lure he was using was a salmon colored marabou I offered to give him a lunker button, but he acknowledged that the bird probably didn't make the two pound requirement. Even so, nice catch-and-release Mike! FYI - to figure out how much a fish weighs that you release, measure the girth and length. Multiply the girth times the girth times the length and divide by 800. That will come very close to the fishes weight in pounds.
 (girth x girth x length over 800. )

 Fishing Times
 April from 7:00 to 7:30
 May from 6:30 to 8:15
 June/July from 6:30 to 8:30
 August from 7:00 to 8:00
 September from 7:30 to 7:15
 October from 7:30 to 6:30

 Water Conditions
Most Recent Instantaneous Value on March 24, 2014 for Bennett Spring
 Spring output is 103 cubic feet per second - down again from last week
Minimum for this date was 80 (in 1936)
25th percentile is 141
Median is 195, the mean is 271.
The 75th percentile is 289 and the Max was 1450 in 1983.
The water level at the Gage House is 1.96 feet. A very typical reading for August

 Most Recent Instantaneous Value on March 24, 2014 for the Niangua River
 Cubic Feet per Second is 113. This is a new record low for this date.
Minimum was 127 in 1995
The 25th percentile is 207, the median is 378, and the mean is 431.
The 75th percentile is 485 and the max was 1120 in 2008,
Gage house reading is 2.20.

 Lunker Board
 3-28-14 Kirt Lueders from Imperial MO
2 pounds on a john deere in zone2

 Lance Myers from Lebanon, MO
4-1/8 pounds on a yellow jig in zone 2

 Mike Mathis from Moberly, MO
2 pounds on a rabbit hair in zone 2 

 Jeffrie Smith from Columbia, MO
2-1/4 pounds on a white zonker in zone 2

 What's Working?
 Zone 1 or 2 white zonker
salmon, red & white, white, or creamsicle marabou
gray scud
john deere, gray deere
red holographic or gold crackleback
snow rooster tail, blue rooster tail
Black ants
red brassie
multi colored or gold tinsel mini jig

 Zone 3
 salmon peach power bait
gold power bait dust

 Weather Forecast 
Thu Apr 03 Strong Storms 78°/41° 80 %
 Fri Apr 04 Partly Cloudy 53°/32° 0 %
 Sat Apr 05 Partly Cloudy 62°/40° 0 %
 Sun Apr 06 Mostly Cloudy 61°/40° 10 %
 Mon Apr 07 Mostly Cloudy 60°/37° 20 %
 Tue Apr 08 Few Showers 58°/37° 30 %
 Wed Apr 09 Partly Cloudy 64°/40° 10 %
 Thu Apr 10 Sunny 68°/46° 0 %
 Fri Apr 11 Partly Cloudy 69°/46° 10 %

 Calendar of Events 
Moss Cutting March 25-26,    
April 22-23.    
 May 20-21,  
  June 24-25,    
July 29-30,    
August 19-20
 Sept. 16-17
 October 14-15
 Kids Fishing Day is on May 3, 2014 
Free fishing weekend is June 7 & 8, 2014
 Catch and Release Season begins on November 14, 2014
 Catch and Release Season Ends on February 9, 2015

 Quote of the Week
“Be patient and calm – for no one can catch fish in anger.” – Herbert Hoover Thanks for reading! Lucy

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