Friday, February 25, 2011

Ozarks Water Conditions : Feast or Famine

Just last week when I was checking on the current water levels in several of the Ozarks streams on the USGS Water Chart I was thinking to myself how I hadn't ever seen so many of them in RED (below average conditions) at once before. I made the comment to a buddy later that day about how we could sure use some moisture to bring water levels up to normal conditions in several rivers we like to frequent.
Several weeks ago we had made a trip down to the NFOW for a weekend fishing trip and were amazed at how low and clear the river was. I had never fished it with a water level below about 650 cfs so the 300 cfs it was running at the time was a drastic change. The fishing was great and the river looked beautiful but we were dragging bottom in our pontoon boats at almost every riffle which made me wonder what it might look like if the dry spell continued on through spring and summer.
With a trip planned for the next several days I awoke this morning and pulled up the USGS site , knowing that the Ozark region had been getting the same rain/snow weather maker that we had just endured I was interested to see the changes. WOW!....what a difference 24 hours makes. The red dots had almost all been replaced with dark blue ones indicating water levels up into the 90th percentile. All of a sudden my thoughts of low water troubles turned 360 and I began to wonder if there was going to be any fishable water next week except below the controlled tailwaters? It appears as though the only river that didn't get a big boost in water levels was the Eleven Point and it could have used it as much as any of them. Some just came up to normal conditions for this time of year while others are a raging brown torrent as we speak and would no more resemble a trout stream than the muddy Marais Des Cygnes river just South of where I live here in Kansas. I guess as is always the case with mother nature , you take what you can get simply because we really don't have a choice!

1 comment:

  1. The way Ozark streams go up and down is intense. One minute low cfs, the next a raging force taking down anything in its path.

    That is some crystal clear water in that second pic. Wow!