March 19, 2008
By Wayne Gustaveson
Lake Elevation: 3588
Water Temp: 49-53 F

Lake Powell is still cold. That is good, considering the past few years when March winds have blown away the snow pack and greatly reduced expected runoff. There have even been March snow storms that have increased the snow pack to an average of 118% in the Colorado River drainage. It looks very promising for significant runoff and a subsequent rise in lake level of 40 feet or more. Lake elevation is creeping up steadily now rising about a half inch per day.

That news continues to be good for boating access. Primitive launching at the old Hite Marina location will commence as soon as the lake level exceeds 3606 sometime in May. The Castle Rock cut on the south end will be flooded in June regardless of the success of the planned deepening project during April 2008.


 Louis Santi; Helper, UT, with 5lbs 7oz largemouth caught in Bullfrog Bay - March 9, 2008

The bad news? Fishing is still waiting for a bit of warming before really taking off. There has been some spotty success on warm afternoons for bass and stripers but it will get a lot better as soon as the daily air temperatures consistently exceed 70 degrees. That happens soon as day length exceeds darkness on the first day of Spring. The magic water temperature to key on is 57 F. When that happens fishing really takes off.

For the present - Patience is required. Fishing is not good all day long. There are some short daily feeding periods when fish become active. There are also times when fish can be seen on the graph but they are not interested in feeding.

Stripers are caught sporadically at Glen Canyon Dam and other canyons on the south end of the lake, close to the current as water is drawn through the dam. Schools can also be found in the backs of most canyons lakewide where remnant shad populations still exist.

Bass are dormant most of the day with short activity periods. Largemouth will be near brush and smallmouth will be on rocky structure. Find the warmest water possible to interdict active bass coming close to the surface to feel the warmer water.

The current weather forecast is for warmer days free of wind. That can change fishing prospects in a hurry. Best Spring fishing is always found after 3 days of warm calm weather. It continues to be good until the next storm front blows through with a drop in water temperature.