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The Rooster

Question about fishing standing timber

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My lake has a lot of standing timber in several coves.  I just now read that for a newly flooded reservoir that standing timber can be great for several years and then as time goes by the wood starts to rot and uses up a lot of oxygen in the water for doing it.  How long does this take to happen??

The lake I fish was flooded in 1989 to 1991.  Not totally sure exactly when but it's been well long enough for rot to start happening by now I would think.  So should I avoid fishing these areas??  The water that these trees are in is usually 25 to 30 feet deep.  

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I really do not know the answer to this question but I fish Lake Shelbyville in Central Illinois which was flooded and dedicated in 1970. Some of my best fishing days have been around flooded timber in 15-25 foot of water. These old trees are so rotten that some only stick up a foot or two out of the water at normal summer pool. I'd say you have a good 20-30 years before this is any concern, if any.

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Wood lasts a very very long time underwater. The deeper and colder, the longer it will last. That is why you will see standing timber that breaks off right around the water line.

I fish a lake that was flooded in the 60's and when the water gets down, there is wood everywhere.

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Wood lasts a very very long time underwater. The deeper and colder, the longer it will last. That is why you will see standing timber that breaks off right around the water line.

I fish a lake that was flooded in the 60's and when the water gets down, there is wood everywhere.

X2

Toledo Bend was flooded in 1969 & I still pull up branches as small as ½

In order for wood to rot there must be oxygen present & while there is oxygen present in water the dead tree can not extract it. There is wood lying around on lake, river, & ocean floors that has been there for hundreds of years.

This is the lake floor 15' low ;)

100_1193.jpg

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My lake has a lot of standing timber in several coves. I just now read that for a newly flooded reservoir that standing timber can be great for several years and then as time goes by the wood starts to rot and uses up a lot of oxygen in the water for doing it. How long does this take to happen??

It depends on the type of wood, trees like willows last for a good couple of decades, trees like mesquite ( a lot harder than willows ) last twice as much as willows.

The lake I fish the most was built in the late 60 's ( no land clearing ), I 've been fishing that lake for more than two and a half decades and the willows are still there, mesquites still have most of their branches. What rotted relatively fast ( in about a decade ) was the huizache brush leaving only the trees.

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I have never heard of Decay causing enough oxygen depletion to affect bass. And if it did the effect would only be on the bottom where woody debris had collected. And the time period for when the heaviest amout of decay would occur for your lake has already passed. The first couple years are the most intense when branches and small material falls to the bottom. Fish the timber and good luck.

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Based on the trees that are visible in the area I'd say they are oaks, poplars, maples, a few pines, stuff like that.  There are a lot of areas that do have trees that are rotted off right at the water's surface or a foot above.  But the bigger areas that I was mainly posting about here, they are still way over my head tall.  20 feet or more tall above the water.  

I'll try them out and see what happens.  Never really have tried any of that stuff before.  I just shoot right passed it going on up the lake.

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My lake has a lot of standing timber in several coves. I just now read that for a newly flooded reservoir that standing timber can be great for several years and then as time goes by the wood starts to rot and uses up a lot of oxygen in the water for doing it. How long does this take to happen??

I'd be pretty critical of that if I were you.  Underwater wood rots at an EXTREMELY slow rate.  Just read the other's responses for first hand experiences.  Wood lasts a very long time as long as it is submerged.  So that means that the minimal amount of rot will only result in what should be a minor (if any) oxygen depletion.  

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You all ever bump one of those old rotted trees,I did and it smashed my console and graph!

I darn near jumped out of the boat!

Oh you have no idea ;D!! I fish two lakes that have TONS of standing timber so bad on one lake whole sections are electric motor only. Just a month or two ago I was sitting on the deck of the boat navigating for my partner (I'd point where to go). Well IMHO he started to go to fast for my comfort (It can be scary on the deck of a john boat in these conditions.) when a large tree came up on us way to fast for us to avoid. I signaled to cut the motor (more like scream like a little girl) and the tree slid underneath the boat and I about fell out but our speed saved us in the end. He lifted the motor up and by some miracle we didn't get stuck, fall out, or f up the motor.

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Wood underwater takes a long time to deteriorate. This is why you see the remaining trees out of the water in the form of small timber posts sticking up.

Standing timber, a/k/a wood, is productive all year.

Look for irregularities such as fallen or leaning trees, roadbeds, dropoffs, ditches, brushpiles, etc. on the bottom among the trees.

If you can find a point within the timber coming off the shore give it a try. The point will be better if the wind is blowing onto it.

Use a crankbait to locate the fish or go deep to 30 and 40 feet with a jigging spoon or a worm.

Isolated trees are also a good place to try.

Cedar trees, if any in your lake, can be outstanding.

And you need to know your trees. Sometimes the bass will go to a cedar. Other times an oak. And then a cedar.

Remember "leaning tree" as the bass will stay under the shadow of the leaning tree.

Catt fishes Toledo Bend. This is the best reservior for standing timber so be sure to read what Catt posts.

Good luck and be sure to bring a lot of baits just in case you get snagged.  ;D   ;D   ;D

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I expect a few snags.  Most of these tree locations I'm refering to are in coves along the main lake.  The mouths of them might be best since the creek channel might run along in front of it.  I'll have to use the graph to see what the bottom looks like back in there though.  I still need to learn how to do that also, I don't know enough about the one I bought this passed year to tell everything it's showing me all the time.  

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Incidentally, I got this information from this site while reading the articles.  A few people who responded here though say that it's not accurate on the part concerning the wood rot and oxygen use in the water.  What does that say about those articles??  Seriously??  I was planning to read them all  to improve my bass fishing skills.  

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Research on Biodeterioration of Wood, 19871992

United States

Department of

Agriculture

Forest Service

Forest

Products

Laboratory

Research

Paper

FPLRP529

Chapter 1 Decay Mechanisms and Biocontrol

For decay to occur, the moisture content must be

above fiber saturation (average 30 percent) and the temperature

between about 2C and 38C. Oxygen must also be

available because decay fungi are aerobic organisms. Finally,

a suitable substrate, such as wood, must be present to nourish

the fungus. Interference with any of these requirements stops

the decay process. For example, storing logs under water

interferes with the requirement for oxygen, and thus prevents

decay.

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Or more simply put, I guess I should just refer back to all the times I've fished up a piece of wood that's completely waterlogged so it won't float, covered with slime to indicate it's been down for a long time, but not a soft spot on it from decay.  I guess if I'd have thought about this then I would have figured that out, but reading the articles here had me thinking they must be right on.  

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Wood underwater takes a long time to deteriorate. This is why you see the remaining trees out of the water in the form of small timber posts sticking up.

Standing timber, a/k/a wood, is productive all year.

Look for irregularities such as fallen or leaning trees, roadbeds, dropoffs, ditches, brushpiles, etc. on the bottom among the trees.

If you can find a point within the timber coming off the shore give it a try. The point will be better if the wind is blowing onto it.

Use a crankbait to locate the fish or go deep to 30 and 40 feet with a jigging spoon or a worm.

Isolated trees are also a good place to try.

Cedar trees, if any in your lake, can be outstanding.

And you need to know your trees. Sometimes the bass will go to a cedar. Other times an oak. And then a cedar.

Remember "leaning tree" as the bass will stay under the shadow of the leaning tree.

Catt fishes Toledo Bend. This is the best reservior for standing timber so be sure to read what Catt posts.

Good luck and be sure to bring a lot of baits just in case you get snagged. ;D ;D ;D

The lake I fish most often is 7190 acres and 4100 acres were left with standing timber when the dam was completed in 1977.  In such a lake, there is a lot of timber standing in unproductive water, which is why I quoted Sam's post.  One has to find the structure and cover situation that creates productive water.  Otherwise, fishing timber can be an unproductive experience and it may be incorrectly assumed that the water is oxygen depleted.

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