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This will be interesting for the crappies….

  • Tom Sawvell
    Inactive
    Posts: 9559
    #1942943

    On Friday morning Lake Zumbro’s water temp was 54-55 degrees with cloudy skies and significant wind. We found crappies up near their spawn areas, primarily male fish. The males for the most part had not gotten tar black yet but were turning….more than they had shown earlier in the week. The male fish had very little tail damage from fanning beds and a couple of big hen fish we caught I brought home to check the spawn’s development, which was apparently getting real close to getting watery loose. Friday afternoon saw temps in the 70’s and Saturday was slightly cooler, near 68-69, but another banner day for temps so I think the spawn got started on the lake. Fast forward to this morning.

    Since we were quite dry here, the forecast rain was welcomed. Forecast amounts of course are always a big guess, however our late weather last night said .5 to 1.5″. At 4 AM my electronic gauge was at .61″. At 8 AM the gauge showed 1.84″ and the radar is showing heavy rainfall possible in the next three or four hours. Cascade Creek behind the house has come up some but I think will rise much more when water from outlying areas gets into it. The Zumbro River is always slower to show a visible reaction to heavy rain but its already up some. All of this will heady straight to Lake Zumbro where two other branches of the Zumbro River system will merge at Oronoco then merge again with the south branch coming from Rochester. All this water is going to be much cooler and dirty from fresh field run-off and the lake will come up. How much? We’ll have to wait out the rain to see how much falls in the whole of the watershed.

    If the male fish were just beginning to fan beds, I think this rise will push them back to deeper water until this passes and the cooler water will just prolong the hen’s spawn development a while. But if this water comes AFTER spawning got under way, those nests already full of eggs will likely smother with silt if the males can’t keep them cleared. On the Zumbro the larger crappies are always the first to dump eggs. The larger fish is where the strongest genetic chain lies, so I am hoping that nests hadn’t been used yet. Crappies can hold back the spawn for several weeks if conditions aren’t right.

    Right now its a waiting game to see what the lake does. These high water events seem to be an annual menace at this time of the year in more recent years. AS mentioned before, we were very dry in this region so hopefully much of this excess rain can be sucked up by the ground since much of the land is opened up for planting. At the same time the extra water carries the expose dirt to the lake where its needed the least. Its definitely going to be interesting to see how all of these factors play into this year’s crappie production.

    haleysgold
    Participant
    SE MN
    Posts: 930
    #1942966

    I was there early Friday too.
    Sounds like you did much better than I did!
    Only stayed a short time. The wind made it tough.
    Hopefully it doesn’t wash too much into the rivers like you said.

    How much rain you have in the gauge now?

    Tom P.
    Participant
    Whitehall Wi.
    Posts: 3208
    #1942987

    Was out on Pool 7 yesterday looking for Speks in the 4-6 foot range with timber could not find anything going. Found a couple of areas that were wind protected in about 1.5-2 feet deep with heavy muck bottom just off of deep water water temp was 61 and very dirty which surprised me. What was really surprising everyone was in there, Speks, Sunnies, Bluegill, Large and Smallmouth Bass, Northerns, Perch. The most impressive there were absolutely no gills under 7.5 inches that we caught a few pushing 8.5 not much for Speks but did get a few smaller size.

    The Bass and Northers were so aggressive they were killing our bobbers when we would real in, switched up to some top water baits and had fun with them. When this died went back to bobber fishing again. All fish were released.

    The bite definitely took a hit when the colder wind started up about 6-30 to 7 PM really shut them down.

    buckybadger
    Participant
    Upper Midwest
    Posts: 4087
    #1943023

    We’re over 3″ here with rain still falling in Reads Landing MN on the river.

    Tom Sawvell
    Inactive
    Posts: 9559
    #1943024

    At 1:45 PM Rochester at our house is 2.34 inches and the lake’s rise right now is straight up. Cascade looks like over-creamed coffee. The Zumbro River right here isn’t showing a lot of rise but I think the watershed to the west got dumped on, hence the sharp rise. It looks like the lake is up about 8″ just since noon.

    Still raining here but we may see a dry slot in a bit.

    Tom Sawvell
    Inactive
    Posts: 9559
    #1943103

    I have 2.77″ at 8 PM thru my digital gauge. Lake Zumbro shows a steep uphill rise, almost vertical, since 8 this morning and is currently one foot over normal summer pool…maybe 3″ below the onset of the no wake. We’ve really got water moving thru behind the house now. Cascade is up a couple feet and the Zumbro River has shown rise now as well so I think the nice fishing we had this last week will take a serious hike until water returns to a level less than 6″ over summer pool. The rain was cold too so this will pull water temps back too.

    haleysgold
    Participant
    SE MN
    Posts: 930
    #1943120

    ZF had 3.25″ at 4:30 PM and it rained quite a bit after that.

    I would guess the crappies in LZ are in deep water for a few days.
    Maybe later in the week before they start up again?
    On the bright side, the morels should be popping like crazy!

    Tom Sawvell
    Inactive
    Posts: 9559
    #1943121

    At a little after 3 this morning the digital gauge showed 3.10″ here. I checked the monitor site for the Zumbro at 3 and the lake was two feet over summer pool and still sailing up. There’s quite a bit of water coming thru Rochester yet and Manorville 3.25″ at the 10 oclock news last night and that branch of the river comes in at Oronoco. I’ll assume the other branch that merges in Oronoco received similar amounts of rain. Lots of farm country dirt comes in off those two branches. It’ll take a couple more hours on no rain before the whole story is told as far as levels goes. If the lake stays at or near the 2 foot over mark we should be back on it by Thursday or Friday if we don’t see any more rain during the week.

    The crappies won’t move far from where they were last caught in spite of this high water. They just won’t be looking to seek the shoreline until the levels drop to near normal.

    haleysgold
    Participant
    SE MN
    Posts: 930
    #1943123

    Ah yes. Getting back on it by late in the week. Long range forecast calling for rain Friday through Monday.
    Doesn’t sound too promising…

    Tom Sawvell
    Inactive
    Posts: 9559
    #1943142

    The Middle Fork of the Zumbro River at Oronoco is at a hair under 4 feet high this morning, the same with the South Fork here in Rochester at 37th Street. Cascade Creek will figure into the 37th Street reading. The tail water predictions for the dam on the lake is for normal flow by next Friday, so the lake should be about back to reality by then as well, maybe Weds if they keep the generators spinning to release water.

    Tom Sawvell
    Inactive
    Posts: 9559
    #1943315

    Right now the lake is tickling three feet high. This will be more than enough to mess with he spawn by holding it up. When this water drops things will likely fly in a day or two.

    buckybadger
    Participant
    Upper Midwest
    Posts: 4087
    #1943324

    ~3.75″ here along the river outside of Wabasha and Reads Landing for the storm

    The bite was really starting to kick back in on Pool 4 with the slowly but steadily increasing water temps and good clarity. Later this week things should bounce back with temps on the rise, but rising water levels are going to make trolling tough with fouled baits and chocolate colored water in some areas.

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    Tom Sawvell
    Inactive
    Posts: 9559
    #1943373

    With the flood control here in Rochester we see the water come up fast and drop like a rock when the rains stop….like the flood control is supposed to work. Lake Zumbro right now has already begun to turn the downward corner and is dropping already. Judging by the amount of water at the plunge pool below the dam on the lake I ‘d feel safe saying they are most likely blowing as much water as they are allowed thru the turbines right now.

    I haven’t paid much attention to what the weather brought to Wisconsin’s rivers that flow into the Miss above Wabasha, but I would agree with you Bucky that things could get messy with junk in the water and heavily soil laden water. We needed rain, we didn’t need a deluge.

    Tom P.
    Participant
    Whitehall Wi.
    Posts: 3208
    #1943389

    They are predicting more rain for the whole weekend all the Creeks are rising quickly around here so I imagine the Miss will be on the rise and dirty.

    Tom Sawvell
    Inactive
    Posts: 9559
    #1943397

    We have the same holiday forecast as well. I hope the lake drops enough to get the spawn finished before we get hammered with high water again. This every year drenching at the time of the crappie spawn is getting old. I’d rather see low water.

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