Lake Powell Report
The Best Is Yet To Come
April 1, 2019
Quality of life is measured by amount of time spent fishing.
The snow and rain continue providing the moisture, and eventually the runoff, needed to allow the lake to rise back to the levels that enable safe passage and enjoyable fishing trips over the length of the lake. The Lake Powell water level is slowly declining due to the continued stormy and cool weather that we all have experienced lately.
Hope For A Large Rise
The lake has been holding near 3571 feet (mean sea level) during March. In mid-March, it dipped down to 3570.90. The lake level will slowly decline until the runoff starts with melting snow and more rainstorms. That's good news for those planning to come to the lake this year. We hope for a large rise in lake elevation when the weather warms.
On A Rare, Calm, Sunny Day
My weekly trip was on a rare calm, sunny day. The water temperature was 47°F at launch and did not change much until the afternoon with a high near 53°F. Last week, I only got one bite in Navajo Canyon so this time I went all out: to the back of Last Chance. The water was clear on the way into the canyon. The visibility in the water was over 10 feet deep at most main channel locations.
Near the back of Last Chance, there is a distinct color change from clear to murky. Visibility changed from 10 feet to two feet. In Navajo, the back of the canyon was muddy because of an inflowing stream. Visibility there was only a few inches. Last Chance only gets storm runoff, so it is not as murky. This concept is the same over the length of the lake. Canyons with inflowing streams have lower visibility.
Two Striper Catches
In most years, I fish in the last arm on the right. This time that arm was very shallow due to low water levels. In February, I found striper schools on the bottom at 60 feet or deeper. After graphing for a while and not seeing any deep schools, I switched to trolling with a Lucky Craft XD pointer (chartreuse-shad color). It took about 20 minutes before I hooked the first striper. It was gratifying to land that fish after being skunked the week before.
It took another 30 minutes to catch striper number two. It was disappointing to get one more bite and have that fish just rattle the lure but miss the hook. In two hours of trolling, I caught two stripers which was 200 percent better than last week.
Switch To Bass Fishing
The water temperature increased so I switched to bass fishing. This time of year, bass fishing is better in the afternoons with warming water. There are some great bass spots in the back of Last Chance. I went to a few of my favorite spots and fished rocky structure, sandy flats and tumbleweed piles.
Despite my expertise, warming colored water and calm conditions, neither bass, nor crappie, nor bluegill responded. I finally got the message and departed back to Wahweap. Two hours later, I was safely off the lake. I am sure the fish were giddy with excitement as they saw me leave, but I will be back. Fishing will be a lot better as the water warms into the 60s.
Warming Means Better Catching
The best is yet to come! Significant warming will result in much better catching results. Watch the weather and plan future trips during calm warming periods that continue for at least three days.
At press time, lake elevation was 3,570 feet and water temperatures were 47-53F.