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How Droughts Affect Fishing

Effects of Droughts On Fishing


Find hidden fishing spots when the water is low.

You can find stumps, trees, logs, humps, channels and other structure and cover when the water is low

2007 Ronnie Garrison licensed to About.com
Much of the Southeast where I live is experiencing the worst drought since 1982. In early November Lake Lanier was only four feet above the record low level set the first of December that year. Many other lakes are very low. So how does a drought affect fishing?

Low water in lakes has good and bad effects.

Some good effects of low water include:

  • Renewed plant growth on exposed shoreline
  • Sediment in creek and ditch channels is cleared out some
  • Less fishing pressure means more fish survive
  • Low water concentrates baitfish and they get thinned out
  • Fishermen can find hidden structure and cover
  • Some fishing tournaments may be canceled
  • The lake is more dangerous when running a boat
  • Repairs can be made to boat docks, ramps, seawalls and other structures
  • Habitat renewal projects are often easier to accomplish

Some bad effects of low water include:

  • Loss of spawning areas while the lake is low
  • Loss of access for fishermen
  • Some fishing tournaments may be canceled
  • Loss of business for marinas and tackle stores
  • Fewer fishing licenses sold so less money available to state DNRs

Share some of the things you think are good and bad about droughts and fishing in the comment section below. Add to this list and tell us how you respond to a drought.

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