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Wondering what your opinion is with depth visibility and what yall consider to be clear/stained/muddy water.

Here in north Texas I've always seen it as this-

 

Muddy-brown, can't even see a foot deep (as is the case a lot of the time for my local Dallas area lakes)

decently Stained- you can about 2-3 feet under the surface

Clear- you can see more than 4-5 feet under the surface

 

 

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I’d agree here on our Midwest reservoirs;

 

<1’ muddy

1’-2’ good stain

2’-4’ average clarity (good)

>4’ clear

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That sounds like how I rate them.

 

I may have to make a Secchi disk to take out with me...haven't used one since college 40 years ago, but I think I still remember how to use one. ;)

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1 hour ago, Team9nine said:

I’d agree here on our Midwest reservoirs;

 

<1’ muddy

1’-2’ good stain

2’-4’ average clarity (good)

>4’ clear

Same here. 

 

But it on some lakes, 4’  viz is muddy. In on others, 2’ viz is pretty clear. It’s all relative to the particular lake. 

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Muddy= Strong coffee with light cream

stained = tea

average clarity = green tea

clear = drinking water

Tom

PS, use a seccihi disk for determining water clarity.

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In So. Florida we use the Secchi disk indoors. At 12 feet Medicare will cover your cataract surgery.

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I fish Ray Roberts here in north Texas.  4-5 feet is pretty clear.  2-3 is stained and <1 is pretty muddy.

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2 minutes ago, hawgenvy said:

In So. Florida we use the Secchi disk indoors. At 12 feet Medicare will cover your cataract surgery.

With a knife not a lazer.

Tom

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I've got a home made secchi disc, in the boat, weighted so that it drops straight down and half inch nylon rope marked in 1 foot intervals so that it is easy to read, stored in its own bucket with holes drilled in the bottom so that it drains readily.  Plans to make a secchi disc are readily available on line.  Each lake that we fish in will have a range of water clarity, depending on weather, time of year and whatnot.

 

The 300 acre conservation lake that I fish a lot has had varying secchi readings from a foot and a half to 8 or 9 feet.  Where you are in the lake ( main lake or back in a cove ) sun or shade, grass or clay bottom, can have an effect on your secchi disc reading, making it harder or easier to see.

 

My current problem with the secchi disc is to remember to use it.  My secchi disc sits in its bucket underneath the steering column, ready for deployment,  I don't have to move to deploy it, my issue is that for whatever reasons I just don't use it all that often.   Thanks for this post.   I'm going to resolve to use my secchi disc more often.  I originally got it so that I could be more scientific about matching bait colors to water clarity, but that requires consistency and resolve on my part - not really my strong suits.

 

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We have some really clear lakes up here. 

Muddy - 1-5ft visibility 

Stained - 5-10ft

Clear - 5-30ft

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Back in the days before we knew anything we used a spinnerbait wound up to the rod tip and stuck the rod down into the water, if you could see the blades that determined the water was clear enough to use a spinnerbait that deep.

The spinnerbait method isn't objective but it's a lot better then trying to define water clarity.

Tom

PS, Nothing to do with the topic other then vision, Medicare doesn't cover lazer eye surgery, you pay for it out of pocket, even in Florida.

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Totally depends on where you are fishing.  The tannic water of Florida I fished vs the gin clear water on St Clair have totally different perspectives on what is clear, stained and muddy.  

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21 hours ago, Team9nine said:

I’d agree here on our Midwest reservoirs;

 

<1’ muddy

1’-2’ good stain

2’-4’ average clarity (good)

>4’ clear

Same around here. I feel awkward when I'm on water that I can see the bottom in 8-10' of water. 

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Most of the waters I fish in South Florida are very clear compared to some northern state waters I have fished. It is nice to be able to see fish swimming around like it is a aquarium. Some places in Florida have dark water but those seem to be more common in Central/Northern Florida.

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Muddy <1'

Stained 1-5'

Clear>5'

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Back in the day Bass Pro shops carried an inexpensive light/temperature probe that was one of the best pieces of equipment I ever used . I would drop it at Mark twain reservoir during high muddy water and it would register zero light at ten foot .

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Stained water isn't muddy water, it's stained like tea because vegetation stains it and it can have very good depth of light, if no suspended particulates to defuse light.

Muddy water is just that heavy soil particulates from either rain run off or soil erosion form wave action.

Clear water is just that clear and may look off color from algea blooms or small particulate decaying vegetation matter. When I say our water is clear the depth of light is more then 10, some lakes you can see the bottom during clam daylight over 25'. Same lake with clear water the depth of light during algea bloom maybe 1/2 that those depths, if high winds stir up wave action soil erosion the shoreline areas canbe muddy, other areas clear.

Tom

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