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Lake to river water levels not good for 2024.


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Taken from Fish Rapper.com, Jeff Sudan

 

Water levels during the spawning season have been talked about a lot recently too. There’s more to learn, but apparently, there is a correlation between high water during spring, and a strong year class of walleyes. For me, common sense would suggest that more shallow water would warm faster, and food production would be enhanced. Again, I’m only speculating about that.
What I do know is that right now, water levels on Lake Winnibigosh are lower than folks would like. I talked with Megan at the US Army Corps of Engineers office at the Pokegama Dam on Thursday. Despite holding back on water flowing out to the Mississippi River, Winnie’s water level is about 5 inches below what the Corps of Engineers calls the mid-level band. As my accompanying photo of Tamarack Bay shows, the water is not “drought stage low”, but it is far from ideal.

Folks down river from any one of the Corps of Engineers operated dams are seeing very low water. That’s because they are all being held at minimum flow, according to Megan, there is no short-term plan to increase the flow through any of them. Everyone would like to see the water level rising, but it remains to be seen whether Mother Nature’s plan includes that.

041224-mississippi-river-at-winnie-dam.png.d50a4b9f63888ca75bbd85c5dbe7163a.png

 

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Northern MN is also in a moderate (stage 2) drought, while a significant portion of southern MN is not anymore.  Much of the recent storms that have come through the area dropped snow to the north, but rain or rain/snow mix to the south.  Rain obviously has a higher moisture content than snow does, because its pure water.

 

The good news is that a multi-day, slow moving low pressure system is set to arrive on Monday.  There will be a wide geographic area of 1-2 inches from the Dakotas to Western WI.  This is the GFS model for rainfall through next Friday.  The back side of it is supposed to have some cold air.  In a week it'll feel like early March again.

 

Higher, murkier water is always better for walleyes.  They prefer darkness.  Not sunshine.

 

 

7 day precip.jpg

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7 hours ago, gimruis said:

Higher, murkier water is always better for walleyes.  They prefer darkness.  Not sunshine.

Fish too clean of water (real blue) and you are likely to not see, mark or catch much. Fish too dirty (cardboard color)…and all you do is make yourself sick with the number of seemingly uncatchable marks on the fish finder. It’s that in-between color that’s the sweet spot. This water is generally a little green under ideal conditions, to a little chalky.

 

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