Catahoula Lake draw down

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Catahoula Lake draw down

Postby Mr.L » Tue Nov 19, 2013 6:48 am

What is the deal with the draw down on Catahoula Lake? At 6:30 the center of the lake reading was 28.86 ft. -.15. Have the operators at the Jonesville Lock and Dam who control the diversion canal gates forgot about the proper level of the lake for duck season which is only 4 days away? This is getting ridiculous. Last year, the claim was the rivers didn't have enough flow to have it at 29.5 ft. by opening morning. Many blinds were on dry ground on the north end last year and didn't have water till a couple of days before first split ended. The lake was at its proper level a few days ago. Why was the water not held at the proper level? Maybe it is time to start calling representatives and senators like some people did during teal season.
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Re: Catahoula Lake draw down

Postby Original Duckster » Tue Nov 19, 2013 7:26 am

I have no idea what the H they are doing! Near as I can tell, they are still passing water through the locks. The downstream gauge is showing a steady rate.

They "may" be trying to be proactive before this weekends rain event. :rolleyes: My forecast predictions are for a couple of inches total. This they can take off quick with proper use of the locks.
What say you Larry?

Mr. L., Call and keep calling. Maybe the new fella McAllister wants to take care of his constituents?

I can tell you this...........Saturday for the youth hunt, conditions on the head were perfect.
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Re: Catahoula Lake draw down

Postby Mr.L » Tue Nov 19, 2013 8:27 am

Original Duckster, you and me both know they can drain the lake fast when they want to. We have hunted the lake for years. As low as the water is below the diversion canal, they could drain 6 in. or more water in 24 hours. I say they can deal with high water if and when it should rain an inch or two. The accuracy of the weather forecasts are hit and miss at best. At 29.3 ft. to 29.5 ft. there is about 7 to 10 inches of water on the north end of the lake around Bird Island, Big Bend and Mosquito Bend. A drop of 4 to 5 in. of water makes it impossible to drive your boat and mud motor to blind. Decoys won't float properly at that level. I wonder if anyone is even working full time at the Jonesville Lock and Dam. Larry Reynolds wrote in a posting awhile back that they go sometimes several days without checking on diversion canal locks. I am sure last year they got several complaints about water level. It really aggravates me to have high hopes about a good hunt and then find out water has been drained.
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Re: Catahoula Lake draw down

Postby Lreynolds » Tue Nov 19, 2013 9:41 am

I don't know what the Corp is or was thinking, but our goals for Catahoula Lake water levels have been crystal clear, and our instructions to the Corps of Engineers have been equally clear. However, the Corp had no-one on duty to operate the structures since last Friday. The Corps' manpower reduction has caused a number of hiccups in water-level management for over a year, and I suspect they will continue. Those adjustments are being made (or already have been made) today, and our goal remains 29.5 by November 23 just as it has been since the opening day of the East Zone was set for Nov. 23 in early August.
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Re: Catahoula Lake draw down

Postby Mr.L » Tue Nov 19, 2013 10:19 am

Mr. Reynolds, I know you can't control what the Corps does and you want the lake to be at its proper level of 29.5 ft. on opening morning of duck season. But I can't figure out why the Corps can't keep it at its proper level even with the manpower shortage. After all, aren't the gates of the diversion canal now controlled by an automated process at the Jonesville Lock and Dam? How hard is it to mash a button or control to slightly crack the gates to allow for inflow once water reaches 29.5 ft.? This would not require a daily monitoring. They shouldn't open gates and go off and leave it alone for an extended period of time.
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Re: Catahoula Lake draw down

Postby Lreynolds » Tue Nov 19, 2013 10:35 am

Mr.L wrote:Mr. Reynolds, I know you can't control what the Corps does and you want the lake to be at its proper level of 29.5 ft. on opening morning of duck season. But I can't figure out why the Corps can't keep it at its proper level even with the manpower shortage. After all, aren't the gates of the diversion canal now controlled by an automated process at the Jonesville Lock and Dam? How hard is it to mash a button or control to slightly crack the gates to allow for inflow once water reaches 29.5 ft.? This would not require a daily monitoring. They shouldn't open gates and go off and leave it alone for an extended period of time.


The other man's job is always easy ....... until I have to actually do it.

I believe actual operation of the structure is simple, but I don't know what all is involved to maintain all aspects involved, of which lake water levels is just one. Clearly, there are 4-day periods when no-one is monitoring or operating. I've received equally frantic phone calls when rain is in the forecast as I do when duck season is impending. In the last 3 weeks alone: "how are we going to get this water off the lake" to "where the hell is the water"?

But sincerely, Thank you, Mr. L for at least acknowledging that I, me, Larry Reynolds, really do want the water level at a stage to maximize hunting opportunity for the opening weekend. I've been dealing with e-mails, phone calls, and websites since 6:30 am this morning, and you are the first person to do so.

I'm sick and tired of all the absolute BS conspiracy crap and accusations of some crazy agenda that I am supposedly up to regarding Catahoula Lake.
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Re: Catahoula Lake draw down

Postby Original Duckster » Tue Nov 19, 2013 10:43 am

More conspiracy against hunters!!! :hammer: :banana:


I was just told the "real" reason for the continued draw down! This has to be true as I heard it at a local gathering place for older gents to drink coffee and solve the worlds problems. :biggrin: Allegedly this came from Mr. Smith with the LDWF.

It seems that there is an attempt being made to deepen the channel between French Fork and the Canal by letting water in at Archie and flowing it out through the Canal. We all know how things have silted in south of French Fork the past few years. My question is who came up with a model that shows this will work? With the water level about 27.5'msl the flow is NOT concentrated in the channel! Instead the majority of of water will flow across the flats to the WNW of the channel. There will be little scouring taking place in the target area as there is not sufficient velocity or volume of water. Just my thoughts on the matter. :grooving:

Larry, while I may question and speak my mind, never doubt that I don't respect the effort you put forth.
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Re: Catahoula Lake draw down

Postby Mr.L » Tue Nov 19, 2013 11:03 am

Mr. Reynolds at least you are man enough to answer phone calls and emails. I have emailed the Vicksburg Corps of Engineers to ask them some questions about Catahoula Lake water management several times but they have yet to reply. Do you know if they are going to open up the gates at Archie to compensate for the dropped water level?
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Re: Catahoula Lake draw down

Postby Toledo » Tue Nov 19, 2013 11:08 am

Lreynolds wrote:In the last 3 weeks alone: "how are we going to get this water off the lake" to "where the hell is the water"?

I'm sick and tired of all the absolute BS conspiracy crap and accusations of some crazy agenda that I am supposedly up to regarding Catahoula Lake.


I can only imagine. Suspicous group for sure. I think many forget just how little water makes up 6" of elevation on a piece of water that small. Keeping water levels "perfect" when mother nature is also in the mix is never an easy thing regardless of the water body. No matter the water level though there will always be those complaining that its too low and those saying its too high because everyone has their own agendas that they believe should be top priority.

I still go back to the fact that if people weren't so locked in to hunting their spot this would be a non-issue. Crazy to think that 6 inches of water can make a break someones duck season when other public hunters on places like the MS river deal with 35+ft variations and adapt all season/ every season and its never an issue.

As the others have said, its nice to have someone at least working with the public on issues. Hell I bet 99% of the foks giving you crap couldn't even tell you who your predecessors were.
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Re: Catahoula Lake draw down

Postby Mr.L » Tue Nov 19, 2013 11:37 am

Toledo you can't compare Catahoula Lake to the flooded timber hunting along Mississippi River. On Catahoula Lake the most successful hunting takes place on the opening weekends of the first split and second split. If water level is not at the mark set by the Tri Party agreement many hunters cannot hunt. Six inches of water makes a big difference. Ducks do not come to Catahoula Lake ahead of cold fronts like they once use to in 70's and 80's. Years ago you could watch weather and if an approaching cold front was coming you could go hunting there and expect a good hunt. For some reason migration patterns have changed. If you can't hunt on opening morning now, you more than likely won't have many chances to have successful hunts during rest of season.
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Re: Catahoula Lake draw down

Postby Jayhawker » Tue Nov 19, 2013 9:13 pm

Piss on 29.5 I want it at 34 for opener. I've said it before. People cannot get to their blinds up in the trees. Flooding up will allow more people access to their blinds, the people in the middle will still be able to hunt and everybody will be happy. Don't give me any crap about flooding the feed too deep. If that was a concern they wouldn't be trying for 29.5. We don't give a dam if they can eat out there obviously, so flood deeper and please the locals. If it wasn't for us locals CAtahoula Lake wouldn't even exist. Did I mention my great paw paw hunted there and my great grandkids will hunt there if I have to die to make it happen.

Renolds, why don't you just flood it permanently, put in an overflow, and you'll never hear another complaint from us lake protectors again cause we'll always have water the same and nothing to complain about.
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Re: Catahoula Lake draw down

Postby Jayhawker » Tue Nov 19, 2013 9:16 pm

Plus we can get back to fishing like the good ol days.
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Re: Catahoula Lake draw down

Postby Lreynolds » Tue Nov 19, 2013 9:16 pm

Mr.L wrote: Do you know if they are going to open up the gates at Archie to compensate for the dropped water level?


I left the office at 10:30 for a meeting in Vidalia and will be flying the NE Louisiana survey the next 2 days, but according to the last e-mail I got from Steve Smith, the canal structure is closed and Archie is open.
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Re: Catahoula Lake draw down

Postby Lreynolds » Wed Nov 20, 2013 7:49 am

Original Duckster wrote:It seems that there is an attempt being made to deepen the channel between French Fork and the Canal by letting water in at Archie and flowing it out through the Canal. We all know how things have silted in south of French Fork the past few years. My question is who came up with a model that shows this will work? With the water level about 27.5'msl the flow is NOT concentrated in the channel! Instead the majority of of water will flow across the flats to the WNW of the channel. There will be little scouring taking place in the target area as there is not sufficient velocity or volume of water. Just my thoughts on the matter. :grooving:


As you already know, that has exactly nothing to do with the lowering of water levels in the Lake over the weekend because the Archie structure was not open. There is a desire to maintain the integrity of the channel by flowing water through it. The Corps has all kinds of modeling regarding the flow through the lake, upstream and down canal with other targets to meet and boundaries to adhere to. I've seen nothing that suggests we can deepen that channel, but I'm no hydrologic expert.

Original Duckster wrote:Larry, while I may question and speak my mind, never doubt that I don't respect the effort you put forth.

OK ...... I will never doubt that you don't respect my effort. :sad:
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Re: Catahoula Lake draw down

Postby Original Duckster » Wed Nov 20, 2013 8:14 am

I was just told the "real" reason for the continued draw down! This has to be true as I heard it at a local gathering place for older gents to drink coffee and solve the worlds problems. :biggrin:


This ^^^^ . Please see my source for the information. :biggrin:

34'msl works for me! Catfish get going then and I'll have waterfront property to fund my retirement.
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Re: Catahoula Lake draw down

Postby Park Duck » Wed Nov 20, 2013 9:10 am

Lreynolds wrote:
Mr.L wrote: Do you know if they are going to open up the gates at Archie to compensate for the dropped water level?


I left the office at 10:30 for a meeting in Vidalia and will be flying the NE Louisiana survey the next 2 days, but according to the last e-mail I got from Steve Smith, the canal structure is closed and Archie is open.

Coming to vi-Lou and you didn't even call me? I'm hurt.
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Re: Catahoula Lake draw down

Postby Park Duck » Wed Nov 20, 2013 9:10 am

Jayhawker wrote:Piss on 29.5 I want it at 34 for opener. I've said it before. People cannot get to their blinds up in the trees. Flooding up will allow more people access to their blinds, the people in the middle will still be able to hunt and everybody will be happy. Don't give me any crap about flooding the feed too deep. If that was a concern they wouldn't be trying for 29.5. We don't give a dam if they can eat out there obviously, so flood deeper and please the locals. If it wasn't for us locals CAtahoula Lake wouldn't even exist. Did I mention my great paw paw hunted there and my great grandkids will hunt there if I have to die to make it happen.

Renolds, why don't you just flood it permanently, put in an overflow, and you'll never hear another complaint from us lake protectors again cause we'll always have water the same and nothing to complain about.



I like this dude. He has it spot on
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Re: Catahoula Lake draw down

Postby Toledo » Wed Nov 20, 2013 9:29 am

She is easing back up but only three days to go. 28.97'
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Re: Catahoula Lake draw down

Postby Jayhawker » Wed Nov 20, 2013 11:24 am

Park Duck wrote:
I like this dude. He has it spot on



You should go get a job for fish and game then. They need some guys that care about our cause. We can't have outsiders comming in here thinking they can hunt our lake, which is happening more and more. Plus, this is the only place I can afford to hunt some reserved spots. Hell I'd have to pay big money for a blind on private land somewhere else. Here I get to hunt my private claims for free. We don't even pay no taxes on our private claims even. Where else can a fella do that. Why on earth would we want this important part of our louisiana culture to end.
Too bad our guy Riser didn't get in, I'm told we'd have had nothing to worry about. Looks like well have to work on wrapping Mcallister around our finger like the rest of em. Shouldn't bee too hard. I'll even shed a tear at a town hall telling him how much my grandkids love hunting my blinds, and one almost got hiperthermia one time when we hunted out in the elements at Saline.
At least we old-timers should be granfatered in if they change some stuff. After all we dug the lake.
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Re: Catahoula Lake draw down

Postby Original Duckster » Wed Nov 20, 2013 12:40 pm

Jayhawker, are you Park and Toledo's sock? Just askin
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Re: Catahoula Lake draw down

Postby Jayhawker » Wed Nov 20, 2013 1:43 pm

Deos mcallister hunt ducks? I've got an empty spot in my blind for opening morning right next to terry brown. Its the spot riser was gonna be in til he got disinvited last weekend.
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Re: Catahoula Lake draw down

Postby Jayhawker » Wed Nov 20, 2013 2:39 pm

Original Duckster wrote:Jayhawker, are you Park and Toledo's sock? Just askin


OD. Its ovious the club can't count on you and mr. L to tell the truth about our plite. You keep complaining about water levels when there's a bigger threat looming. Leave the management of this lake to the politicians who are well trained in everything biological pressure game and fish to maintain our tradition of running tresspassers off our lake.
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Re: Catahoula Lake draw down

Postby Toledo » Wed Nov 20, 2013 3:48 pm

Original Duckster wrote:Jayhawker, are you Park and Toledo's sock? Just askin


I can honestly say we have no clue who Jayhawker is.
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Re: Catahoula Lake draw down

Postby Mr.L » Wed Nov 20, 2013 7:08 pm

Jayhawker, I'm trying to figure out what your plight is and who is the club? I am a "LOCAL" and have been for 58 years. You say you want the lake at 34 ft. so you can hunt in the trees and everybody else would be able to hunt their blinds in the middle. At 34 ft. every blind from Big Bend to center of lake would be under water. The only way you could hunt would be out of a floating blind. When the water is that high the majority of good ducks (mallards, pintails, teal, etc.) have left and went to the Louisiana Delta or elsewhere. All you would shoot would be trash ducks ( canvasbacks, scaup, redheads). If the lake were left at 34 ft. year round, all Catahoula Lake would be good for is trotlining, trap fishing and net fishing. Good ducks would just pass on by every fall and go where they could feed. What makes Catahoula Lake attractive to ducks is its shallow characteristics that allow for good duck feed like chufa and sprangletop to grow. Take away the duck feed, keep water at 34 ft year round and all you would have is a miniature Toledo Bend. I have nothing against fishing because I do trot line and trap fish the lake in the spring.
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Re: Catahoula Lake draw down

Postby Jayhawker » Wed Nov 20, 2013 7:33 pm

Mr.L wrote:Toledo you can't compare Catahoula Lake to the flooded timber hunting along Mississippi River. On Catahoula Lake the most successful hunting takes place on the opening weekends of the first split and second split. If water level is not at the mark set by the Tri Party agreement many hunters cannot hunt. Six inches of water makes a big difference. Ducks do not come to Catahoula Lake ahead of cold fronts like they once use to in 70's and 80's. Years ago you could watch weather and if an approaching cold front was coming you could go hunting there and expect a good hunt. For some reason migration patterns have changed. If you can't hunt on opening morning now, you more than likely won't have many chances to have successful hunts during rest of season.
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