Posted by Kerry Grissett on March 19, 2004 at 23:41:19:
In Reply to: ?? re water levels/Wheeler posted by Smallie on March 19, 2004 at 22:48:32:
A lot depends on what area of the lake you are talking about and how much rain has fallen in the previous 24, 48, 72, 96 hours and where it fell. Some feeder creeks/rivers can be much higher than the level at Wheeler dam indicates on the lakeinfo.tva.gov page if there has been any significant recent rainfall on that area or watershed. Some watersheds cover quite a broad area, so the rainfall does not have to be local to affect the levels of some creeks/rivers, such as the Elk river, which goes far up into Tennessee. Flint creek usually takes 48 hours, give or take, after the rain stops falling on the watershed just to crest.
Right now, the levels around Wheeler should closely reflect the recorded levels at the TVA site since the most recent rainfall has had time to crest, fall back to normal levels and stabilize. However, if there is significant release at Guntersville dam, the levels of Wheeler lake closer to the tailraces of Guntersville dam can be much higher than the lake level recorded at Wheeler might indicate.
It is late and I know I am probably not being very clear, but it takes watching a lot of things and monitoring levels, rainfall, etc. to accurately predict what the lake level will be at any given time at any specified area on Wheeler or on any other lake on the Tennessee river. Wheeler also fluctuates much more than some lakes because it is used as a flood control lake as it has the capacity to rise at least 6 feet from minimum winter to maximum summer pool.
This weekend the predicted level (aprox. 551.0 AMSL currently) on Wheeler is supposed to rise about 1.5 feet (the TVA predictions for Wheeler are very often subject to late changes and very frequently dead wrong!!!). I attribute this to it being the weekend and the higher temps meaning that TVA doesn't have to generate as much electricity. Browns Ferry Nuclear plant provides the majority of the power in this area and the dams are now used more as stop-gaps for peak demand periods. Nice weather, less heaters running, weekend - less business demand, all this equals less demand on resources.
I know this hasn't helped much, but it really does take studying particular areas for an extended period to be able to understand how high or low any particular area of the lake will be. You can't go solely on the TVA lakeinfo page. You have to take all those other things into account.
Good luck and good fishin'
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