Lake Taneycomo

Lake Taneycomo News, November 19

Posted by Phil Lilley on November 20th, 2015
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This has been quite a week here on Taneycomo. Trout dying at our hatchery–lethal levels of nitrogen and sulphur in Table Rock’s water–zero levels of DO coming through the dam into the hatchery–and high nutrient levels in Table Rock is blamed.

This has been quite a week here on Taneycomo. Trout dying at our hatchery–lethal levels of nitrogen and sulphur in Table Rock’s water–zero levels of DO coming through the dam into the hatchery–and high nutrient levels in Table Rock is blamed.

I made a couple of trips out to the hatchery on Tuesday after hearing rumors on Facebook about huge numbers of trout dying and big fish kills in the lake. All those reports were bogus–exaggerated as suspected. But trout did die in large numbers and hatchery personnel couldn’t do much about it except try to move fish to other raceways where the water was a little better. They have succeeded in saving a vast majority of the fish in the hatchery including most of the brood stock but they have had to change their management schedule to make it happen.

Are we out of the woods? Not quite. But cooler temperatures haven’t brightened all our faces and cold weather this weekend may turn the tide. As Table Rock’s surface temperature drops into the 50’s, it should cause the lake to “flip” or turn over. This sends cooler water, high in dissolved oxygen down to the depths of the lake and mixes the layers of water throughout the lake. This should cause the water flowing into Taneycomo to get better–more oxygen and less suphur and nitrogen. As winter and colder temperatures approach, it will get better and better.

Another issue was 5 to 7 inches of rain the area received on Tuesday. This brought Table Rock’s level up past 917 feet which is a level that the Corp considers the mark between normal winter pool and flood pool. So they needed to release water to keep the level from reaching levels above 917 feet, so much so that they were restricted by their own rules from releasing this using their turbines. They simply couldn’t inject enough O2 into the water to keep it above 4 ppm which is their minimum standard. So they had no choice but to spill water over the top flood gates in addition to some through the turbines. They started released yesterday at 4 p.m. and continue to presently.

Consequently, this has brought up our DO levels in our lake! Yippy!! That’s what the trout think.

This morning, my friend Rolan Duffield, as well as guide Chuck Gries, reported trout fishing was excellent! They drifted San Juan Worms and egg flies under an indicator 10-12 feet under an indicator from the dam down to Trophy Run and caught lots of strong and health rainbows. Others downstream reported doing pretty well too. But you had to put up with the strong sulphur odor–yep–rotten eggs!

The trout caught up below the dam were spitting up tons of scuds too. I’m sure the running water as displaced them from their resting places along the banks.

Not sure how long the gates will be open–hopefully for a few days. But we’re over the hump I believe, or at least real close to it.

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