MARCH 29, 1996


The flood release through Glen Canyon Dam is lowering the lake 4-6 inches per day. High releases will last until April 2nd at which time the decline will slow down. A rapid decrease in lake level normally means slow fishing. The fish will now have to decide which major environmental trigger to follow. Warming water makes them active while declining water levels cool them off. The good news is that high releases will all be over in a week and warmer water will prevail. I would suggest waiting one week before traveling long distances to fish Lake Powell.

The falling lake levels mean that the mudline where the Colorado River dissipates into Lake Powell is now just below Hite bridge. Boat launching is still possible in the upper San Juan River from the Piute Farms road, but 4wd is recommended. CAUTION, there is not room to turn around at the lake shoreline without getting stuck in soft soil. Back all the way down the road to launch your small boat, then pull forward. It is possible to then go downstream from Piute Farms but too shallow to proceed upstream.

Bass and crappie spawning will begin when temperatures reach 60 degrees. That should happen about the 2nd week of April. Expect good bass fishing from April 15th to the end of the month. Crappie will be caught sporadically all during April with some really good catches reported by lucky anglers.

Striped bass are still deep, dormant and scattered. We have no reports of prespawning striper schools. It is just too early and they are too well fed by shad that held over winter. The same warming temperatures will initiate activity in the stripers and they should begin to show after April 15th. Remember that most striped bass are in the upper reaches of the lake and will not arrive at the dam for some time. The big flood event could congregate some fish near the dam but to the best of our knowledge that has not yet happened. The Bureau of Reclamation is still attempting to provide a plan for partial opening of the barricade at the dam to allow angler access on a limited basis after April 15th. More detail will be provided when available.