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Was wondering when they spawn on Power plant lakes. Also how there activity changes through the seasons. Any info is appreciated thanks! 

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Welcome to the forum!  I assume that you are asking how the hot water discharge on power plant lakes affects bass spawning times.  I don't have any experience fishing small cooling ponds.  I do fish one lake where hot water discharge makes a noticeable difference in the water temperature near the plant.  I assume they still spawn when the temperature is between 55 and 65 degrees in the spring.  How the water gets to that temperature shouldn't matter I wouldn't think.  Hopefully,  someone with more experience on this type of lake will chime in.

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Contary to some beliefs Black bass, all species, only spawn every 10-12 months each year because it takes that long to regenerate eggs.With that said not all bass spawn at the same time and hot water power plant discharge lakes are a anomolly regarding water temps. 

Winter period is still the cold water period in a power plant lake away from water discharge, only the bass within range of the warmer are affected. When the water gets too hot the dissolved oxygen levels drop so bass move out the area. Bass are warm water fish and the discharge area draws them there and they spawn when everything is right, water temps in the mid 60's to lower 70's could have several spawning cycles as the warmer water spreads out and rest of the lake warms up much later.

Tom

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Thanks TNBOY and WRB! I’ve been reading this forum for a few years and finally signed up! Not sure why I didn’t do it earlier lol that information helps me out. For some reason something clicked in my head about it. The hot water discharge is actually closer to the colder side of the lake. But the lake runs  west and east . Most of our wind comes from the west and the east side of the lake is the hot side 

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Most if not all power plants MUST have discharge temperatures back to intake temperatures within a couple hundred yards of the plant.

While the fishing is usually very good because it also attracts bait fish, it doesn't nessessarily mean all are going to be good spawning grounds.

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That’s interesting because the water temp was 68 on the west end and then almost 80 on the east side. 

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27 minutes ago, Michael Whitfield said:

That’s interesting because the water temp was 68 on the west end and then almost 80 on the east side. 

There is usually a temperature buoy at the point of equalization 

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I fish this lake all year.  This lake is a convergence of two small rivers.  They meet at the dam and the power plant sits between them.  The plant intake is on the west side and the discharge on the east.  The temperature buoy is located on the west side near the intake.  Daily readings can be found here:

https://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?site_no=05578300

and they show the coldest area of the lake.  

 

I was on the lake two weeks ago and the "hot" side was 76 degrees while the "cold" side was 59.  The disparity is much greater in the winter.  I was bank fishing in February on a bridge just a few hundred yards downstream from the discharge.  The plant runs so hard in the winter that the water temps at the discharge can be in the 90's (that section of the lake is closed as a "waterfowl refuge" in the winter).  As you stand on the bank in the "legal" area to fish in the winter you get covered in steam which quickly freezes on you and your gear.  Fishing with braid at this time is almost impossible because it holds so much water and it freezes even while you're reeling in.  

 

Back to the OPs question:  When is the spawn on this lake?  I have talked to guys that routinely place in tournaments on that lake and no one has ever been able to answer that.  Spring is the most confusing time to fish Clinton Lake.  Two weeks ago I fished for seven hours through the whole lake from 59 degrees to 76 degrees.  I caught one bass.  I talked with a guy that was loading up at the same time I was.  He has been fishing that lake for over ten years and he fished all day also.  He caught no bass.  Neither of us found a bass on a bed on any part of the lake.  Clinton can be a great lake and every year the top five tournament bass are 8+ pounds.  I love fishing it in summer and fall and even bank fishing in the winter when every other body of water is frozen, but I'm done with spring fishing on that lake.  I went to Lake Mattoon today and with bright sun and 70-73 water temps I did extremely well.  My day started with four bass out of laydowns in a 100 yard stretch at Mattoon.  I can't figure Clinton out around spawn.  I'll wait until the summer pattern is in full force before I go back.  

 

You should take a look at this website if you haven't yet:

https://www.ifishillinois.org/profiles/selector.php

The fish surveys are getting older now.  The most recent are 2016 and some are several years older but some of the lakes have recent fishing reports and those can give you an idea of what stage the lake is in.  Feel free to PM if you have questions about lakes around here.  I've only gotten back to bass fishing just a few years but I have some tournament-fishing friends that provide me with a lot of info.  

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I'd assume they spawn at a similar time there as they do at the power plant lakes here in KS, which is typically late April through early June. The spawn is a much more drawn out process on the power plant lakes here. 

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I fish a nuke plant discharge series of lakes that are connected by canals.  The process is that the plant pulls water from the "cold" side (public 13,000 acre lake) and discharges into the "hot" (private 3,000 acres) side.  There are 3, 1,000 acre Lakes (pools) that are connected by canals.  The plant discharges into pool 1 which feeds into pool 2 and then into pool 3 which empties back into the "cold" side with a water temperature that is supposed to be within 3 degrees of the "cold" side temperature.  Spawn is a tricky problem because you can find a lot of varying water temps depending on which pool you fish in.  Most days we run all 3 looking for the active fish.  I have caught bass on a buzz bait in December in a snowstorm at the end of the canal 1 (warmest water) leading  to canal 2 where there is current and warm water.  Add to it that there are numerous big fishable creeks (more like small rivers) that feed into the various pools as well.  The creeks all run at normal seasonal temps.  I find that matching the seasonal probability of longer daylight ( around the first full moon in April) with the right water temps and there will be some spawners.  I will say that they spawn longer and more often due to the stable water temps.  It is a winter fishing bonus because if I can get to the ramp, no matter the winter conditions or air temp, I can fish with a good probability of catching them on many different techniques.   

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Welcome to bass resource! Sorry I can’t help you with warm water discharges as they are a big no-no in my neck of the woods after the Kingston ash spill years ago on Christmas. 

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 Thanks big angus that makes me feel a little better lol I was out there last sunday for over 12 hours...skunked 😂. I was bound and determined to catch at least one. That’s good to know about the spring though, I’ve only been on that lake twice and the first time was in the middle of summer and did much better. A buddy and i are going there Friday night to catfish it. Hopefully we won’t have the same results. I’ll keep those two sites you gave me in mind. This weather we are having cat be helping. Supposed to be 80 today and then 60 tomorrow. 

 

Toxic, that sounds like an awesome lake to be on what  nuke plant lake is it? I enjoy browsing waters on google maps. “Possible future trips” lol 

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It is a great lake but fishes tough most of the time (cold side).  The hot side is fun but the average bass size is usually lower.  It's Lake Anna, Virginia.  The other problem is that the hot side is totally private and there are no public ramps.  You cannot get to the hotside from the cold side.  There are 3 dikes that separate them and the return flow from the hotside to the coldside is a bridge at water level with barriers.  You need to know someone who lives there or has access to a ramp.  I used to guide on the hotside for people that lived on that side of the lake.  I also guided on the cold side.  Both sides are extreeeemly busy in the summer months.  

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Clinton gets a ton of pressure and lots of tournaments run on it.  Deffinately some nice fish in it, but some serious sticks make the rounds. As angus says its a tough one to figure in the spring.  I think the Spawn on these lakes has a lot to do with photo period length and moon phase.  My opininion, "If the dogwoods are blooming Bass will be spawning", even on power plant lakes.  I'm sure some big girls have gone already and some more will go.  Deffinatley a lake to look for off the wall spots that might not get as much pressure. 

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