Winter Bait Kill!
Saturated ground soils and excessive autumn rainfall in north Ga has caused Lake Lanier to rise over 5feet in less than two weeks this December 2015 and January 2015. As a reaction to prepare for more winter rains the Army Corps of Engineers has basically had to release from Buford Dam 24/7 ranging from 6,000 to 11,000 cfs around the clock during most of the month of January. The Farmers Almanac is calling for an exceptionally cool winter for 2016 which could be the “one-two-punch” for our fragile bait fish in the Lanier impoundment. The combination of Buford Dam water releases which will likely drain every bit of our Summer/Fall-stored water which is slightly warmer and it is quickly being replenished with frigid winter-stored water in which the threadfin shad will have no where to hide as lake temps plummet. Although “winter-bait-kills” commonly occur every year in Lanier this 2016 winter/spring fishing season could prove to be more catastrophic for baitfish from years past causing a feeding frenzy among the trout downstream of Buford Dam. White and silver should be the killer color combo for most flies and lures if this occurs. Anglers should watch for lake elevations around 1070 which is the Corps “winter-pool-rule-curve” for water storage during this time Buford Dam release schedules will likely reduce flows to allow for fishable low water conditions on the river. Beware high water is dangerous and unproductive! Before you go check the flow!!!