Wednesday, May 24, 2017

May 24, 2017

How's Fishing

I have included the e-mail from Ben Havens, Hatchery Manager, in this report.  He speaks to lower numbers for last month and how the flood affected the hatchery and the fish in the stream.  This last weekend (which is after the e-mail that he had sent) was extremely busy here at Bennett.  With the good weather forecast for the area and lower water levels we should continue to see this trend.

Most anglers are still fishing deep to get the best results.  The classics always play a bit role when the water levels are in transition.  Black and gold or gingersnap marabou, jimi hendrix glo balls, and john deere and bedspread mini jigs have all been good choices.  Check the 'what's working' section for some other options.

Of Interest
The following is an e-mail sent out by Ben Havens, the Hatchery Manager.

Date:  May 10, 2017
From:              Ben Havens

Tag Sales
For the month of April, we sold 12,006 tags. Tag sales were down due to the highly unpredictable weather we had throughout the month.  We received a 4” rain event starting on the 21st, with a 1.5’ spring rise. On the 25th we received 1” of rain, and a 6” spring rise. Beginning on the 29th, we received over 7” of rain and had a spring rise of almost 5 feet. The lower ends of the raceways were flooded with 8” of water and the middle pools had 2” of water over them. There does not appear to be any fish loss at this time.

Fish Production
Things were looking really good most of the month. Once the rains started, water quality tanked and the fish responded accordingly.  Mortality has begun to creep up a bit in the hatchery building due to poor water quality and stress. Outside production continued to do well, however there have been several days we were unable to feed due to weather conditions or water clarity.
Fish Stockings
We completed the following stockings this month.
Trout Park -                        26,515 fish
Niangua River TMA –         950 fish
Total Stocked     -              27,465 fish

Spring Flow
We started the month at 170 cfs (74 mgd) and gained over 12” of rain throughout the month ending at record levels of flow, above flood stage. The spring branch has been above normal all month long.

Fish Hauls
We had no transporting of fish in or out of Bennett Spring for the month of April and so far in May.
Bennett Spring Access Maintenance
Staff cleaned and prepared the area for increased use in the coming months. The privies were pumped and trash removed. They are scheduled to be pumped again in a week or so due to the flooding.  The parking lot sustained quite a bit of damage during the flood rises and has been smoothed out. However, it will need attention in the coming months with heavier equipment to finish the job.
We had twelve scheduled hatchery tours this month for over 600 people.  We have a stream team cleanup scheduled for May 13th. Our next big event will be Kid’s Free fishing day on June 10th.

Water Conditions

Bennett is running slightly higher than average - closer to 75% and the level is up a little bit.  We only had a minimum of rain and don't expect any amounts that will adversely affect the stream.

May 23, 2017
Bennett Spring
Gage house level is 2.75.
Daily Discharge levels:
All discharge numbers are in Cubic Feet per Second
minimum was 81 in 1977
25th percentile is 138
Median is 196
Mean is 237
75th percentile is 304
current level is 355
Max was 793 in 1938

May 23, 2017
Niangua River
Gage House reading (water level) is 3.14 feet.
Discharge levels in cubic feet per second:
Minimum was 57.1 in 2012
25th percentile is 93
Today's reading is 369
Median is 2324
Mean is 369
75th percentile is 410
record high max was 726 in 2011

What's Working?
From the fly case

gray scud
Rust RGN's -16
brown copper hot shot
Zone 1 & 2
glo balls - chartreuse, white with pink dot, jimi hendrix
white floss with red head
Possum hair roach
John Deere or gray angry Deere
Marabou - White and peach, gingersnap, shell & white, shell & brown, white, ginger
wooly bugger with gold plate head, green or grizzly
bedspread - fished deep
Zone 3
power bait: chartreuse yellow, salmon peach, lime green
Orange worms

Lunker Club

Ryan Sawicki from Clover Bottom, MO
2 pounds on lime green power bait in zone 3

Austin Buckallew from Terre Haute, IN
2 pounds on a ginger marabou in zone 1

Landen Bulman from Cole Camp, MO
2-1/4 pounds on a sculpin marabou in zone 2

Matt Maltagliati from St. Louis MO
3-1/4 pounds on a chartreuse glo ball in zone 2

Grant Schmitz from Jeff City, MO
black & yellow marabou in zone 2

Grant Schmitz from Jeff City, MO
2-1/4 pounds on home made bait in zone 3

Bruce Baird from Mt. Vernon, IL
2-1/4 pound on a black & yellow marabou in zone 2

Ryan Talkinton from Bowling Green, MO
2-1/4 pounds on a ginger marabou in zone 1

Jacob Mueller from Plain View, IL
3-1/4 pounds on a black & yellow marabou in zone 2

Larry Smedley from Salisbury
2-1/4 pounds on a black & yellow marabou in zone 1

Fishing Times

MONTH               BEGIN                     END
May                   6:30 A.M.                8:15 P.M.
June                        6:30 A.M.           8:30 P.M.
July                   6:30 A.M.           8:30 P.M.
August                7:00 A.M.                8:00 P.M.
September        7:30 A.M.                7:15 P.M.
October                7:30 A.M.           6:30 P.M.

Calendar of Events
Do you like dulcimer music? Mike Pace is playing in the nature center on May 26th at 7 p.m. Feel free to spread the word!

Saturday, 5-27-17
10 a.m. Savanna Trail Hike, meet at the trail head above Bennett Spring.
2 p.m. – 4 p.m. Insects & Bug Puzzle Time at the Nature Center
8 p.m. – Spider Sniff at the Nature Center. Bring a flashlight for a night hike.

Sunday, 5-28-17
2 p.m. Nature Center video – The St. Francois Mountains of Missouri

June 10th,11th Free Fishing
Free fishing for all in state and out of state anglers state wide. .
Kids Free Fishing Day
Saturday, June 10, 2017 The annual kids free fishing day (originally in May). special area stocked just for the kids
Time: 6:30 AM to 8:30 PM

Weed Cutting June 28 & 29 @ 8:00 AM

Weed Cutting August 9th & 10th @ 8:00 AM

Weed Cutting September 20th & 21st @ 8:00 AM

Saturday, September 30, 2017
New: Ladies Only Free Fishing Day. No tag needed, just fishing license if required.
Time: 7:30 AM to 7:15 PM

Saturday, October 14, 2017
Two day event October 14th & 15th.
The annual Holland Derby. A trout fishing derby to benefit the cancer society.
Time: 7:30 AM to 6:30 PM

Weather Forecast

Thursday: Sunny, with a high near 74. West wind around 6 mph becoming south in the afternoon.

Friday: A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 1pm. Partly sunny, with a high near 80.

Saturday: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 81.

Sunday: Partly sunny, with a high near 77.

Memorial Day: Mostly sunny, with a high near 77.

Quote of the Week

Be patient and calm - for no one can catch fish in anger.
Herbert Hoover

Thanks for reading, Lucy