Fishing Report: Lake Powell
From Wayne Gustaveson at www.wayneswords.com:
“Surface feeding stripers”
Lake level is still declining with 16,000 acre feet of water flowing into the lake while 24,000 acre feet flows out. Water temperature is climbing with early morning temperature now at 59 degrees F. Hopefully the warming air temperature will allow the runoff to increase and allow the lake to rise. Water clarity is still crystal clear in the southern lake. It is possible to see the bottom in 30 feet of water in some locations.
These warming conditions have ushered in the expected behavioral change in adult striped bass that are waiting to spawn. Each spring adult stripers migrate back to where they were spawned, similar to salmon running upstream to their nursery location.
Stripers spawn at night so they are not that easy to find during the day. Stripers spawn on the surface so there are no nests to mark the location of the spawning event. The evidence of the spawning location is the early morning presence of large schools of stripers swimming on the surface as they wait for the 10 degree temperature spike which is the trigger that allows spawning to occur. That trigger would be an early morning water temperature of 62-64 degrees which increases to 74 or above in the afternoon. While waiting for the temperature increase, the striper schools pass the time by swimming aimlessly near the surface, slurping up tiny microscopic plankton in the early morning hours. When the morning sun hits the water the school drops down to 40 feet or more and waits for that spawning trigger. Usually spawning occurs between May 10 and June 10.