We are a couple of weeks beyond the winter flood, and all of us are breathing a little easier. The U.S. Corps of Army Engineers has been releasing 20,000 cubic feet per second since early January, moving all this flood water through our lake system. The word is that operators will continue this flow until Table Rock Lake is down to 920 feet, which may happen as early as next week.
It's been an interesting 30 days here on our tailwater. News of the trouble on Lake Taneycomo in November reached most local newspapers. But about as soon as the news was really spreading, the situation righted itself and tragedy was adverted. The water quality from Table Rock had deteriorated so badly that trout started dying both in the tailwater and in the Shepherd of the Hills Hatchery. But a welcome cold snap flipped Table Rock's water over at the dam, sending good, oxygenated water to the bottom. Our water here on Taneycomo is excellent now and will stay that way through the summer.
Oh how things change quickly on our tailwater fishery. Two weeks ago, our trout just below the dam were fighting for their lives. Water quality was lethal for many reasons. I believe we've covered all the "why." (See my November 24th report for an explanation. ) But cold, windy weather last week has changed that, partially turning Table Rock over and sending good, oxygenated-water through the turbines and into our lake.
There's a big contrast between a Lake Taneycomo fishing report from last week and this week. We've gone from the edge of disaster to "a bite on every cast." Three things have changed to cause this: We're getting water from the top of Table Rock Lake through the spill gates, and we're getting better water through the turbines because Table Rock is starting to "turn over."
This has been quite a week here on Taneycomo. Trout dying at our hatchery--lethal levels of nitrogen and sulphur in Table Rock's water--zero levels of DO coming through the dam into the hatchery--and high nutrient levels in Table Rock is blamed.