Posted by Kerry Grissett on March 26, 2004 at 19:12:10:
In Reply to: Pickwick Historical Lake Elevation posted by Mike4AU on March 26, 2004 at 08:41:38:
The "operating guides" are just that, "guides". TVA does try to follow them for each lake, but weather conditions, rain, lack of rain, etc., often make things run off of the curve. Also, as of 2004, there have been some changes to the operating plan for Wheeler. TVA will try to hold the winter level about 6 inches higher, on average, than in the previous 10 or 12 years. The drawn down to winter pool will not start until after the Labor Day holiday AND they are supposed to start "trying" to stabilize the water levels when the water temp reaches 60 degrees instead of 65 degrees as in the past. However, I don't know where this temperature reading is being taken, so many parts of the lake may be well above 60 or even 65 degrees before they attempt to stabilize the levels for the spawning season. In any case, stabilizing the water level when it reaches 60 degrees should be very beneficial for the crappie, although it will take several years (at least 3-5) before we will be able to see any results.
None of these changes are reflected in the data and guides I have online now. I haven't seen any of the new ones, if they exist, from TVA yet.
As for being really reliable predictors of Wheeler's lake levels, in general, yes they are. However, when it comes to the fall/winter drawn-down and bringing the water back up to summer pool in the spring it isn't very exact for any given date. If you download the .xls file for Wheeler and get the Excel file viewer (if you don't already have Excel) you can see the fluctuations around the mean curve or predicted levels. That will show you how much it can vary. The predictions for Wheeler are very often incorrect. I am not sure why.
Not much help, I know.
Good luck and good fishin'
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