The Shotem' and Caughtem' Blog is the place to find the latest reviews and commentary on gear, destinations, conditions, events, and general knowledge to inform our readers and give our opinions to anyone listening.

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Colorado River Pollutants head Downstream

As is the case with many environmental disasters the first line of thought is how it will effect the human population.  As is the case with the recent Colorado chemical spill into the Colorado River the first attention goes towards drinking water.  However, an even larger threat is to the overall food chain.  Plants and small insects then just head up the food chain.  Another thing is that much of the water in the Colorado river is also used for irrigation.  This will effect even more animals higher up the food chain.  Agriculture is then contaminated and so are the rabbits, mice, birds, coyotes, deer etc.  Eventually we as humans are then contaminated world wide. 

Hunting and Fishing for sustainable Living

Though no one likes to admit it, it once again hits home the way of life we have a passion to lead.  Here in Kansas it will take a while before our herds populate enough to contaminate our food chain just a state away.  States even further away would not have to deal with this for an even longer period.  However, we might never know when we walk in a super market where our steak, corn, or if a box might hold some of the soybean or other plant fillers from the contaminated area.  

Wildlife and Parks Funding

Due to the adverse effects to the food chain I am sure the government will rely on some of the surplus provided by those of us that hunt and fish to help pay for the clean up efforts going on as we speak............Just a random thought on a Tuesday for you to ponder.  By the way have you thanked a hunter or angler today?  

Tuesday, 11 March 2014 21:13

Weather and Water Temperature in Fishing

So we at Shotem and Caughtem decided to get our nerd on this week.  Since temperatures are on the rise around the US and with day light savings creating longer sun warmth periods we wanted to know how do you gauge water temperatures by what is happening weather wise to guess what water temperatures might be in places we go to fish.  

What we found is that there are a lot of factors that go into water temperature vs weather to get an exact gauge but you can start to get close.  First lets find out the most important thing.  At what temperature do fish species spawn to be able to ride the two weeks prior of aggressive fishing that is close to being upon us.  

Here is a list of some of the spawning water temperatures for the most popular game fish.  The temperatures are in Fahrenheit.

Largemouth Bass 68-72

Smallmouth Bass 59-60

Spotted Bass    63-68

Yellow Bass   62-66

Cherokee Bass 55-57

White Bass    57-68

Striped Bass 59-65

Muskie   49-59

Walleye 45-51

Northern Pike 40-52

Sauger   40-45

Paddlefish 50-55

Warmouth   75-80

White Crappie    60-65

Black Crappie 62-68

Bluegill   70-75

Green Sunfish    75-85

Red ear 68-75

Channel Catfish 75-80

Blue Catfish    70-75

Flatheads    66-75

Bullhead Catfish 79-89

Carp    63-75

Rainbow Trout 50-55

Brown Trout    47-52

Brook Trout 45-48

These are typical temperature ranges where fish spawn and almost every species will spawn several times during the spring and move from areas that are too warm into waters that are just right as too warm or cold of water is lethal to the various fish’s roe.  The time of year that these fish spawn will vary by location due to the air temperature and other factors so one state in the south such as Texas may see their fish spawning long before Minnesota and you will see those up in some shallow pond spawn long before those in a moving river carrying the spring snow melt.  A thermometer to drop in at a depth of 3 to 8 feet might be more handy than you realize.

Weather affects water temperature in a lake every day and throughout the year. On a daily basis, weather conditions can cause subtle changes in water temperature. Seasonal changes in weather temperature can cause dramatic variations in a lake’s water temperature—even causing waters to mix.

Daily Changes

Strong winds can cause large waves that can mix a lake’s water. Cloud cover is also important. Skies can be cloudy, clear or a mixture. On cloudy days or foggy days, when visibility is low, the sun cannot warm top waters as quickly as on clear days. On clear, sunny days, a lake’s top waters may become warmer than bottom waters.

Seasonal Changes

Winter
Low weather temperatures cause a lake’s water to become cold. Sometimes the water near the surface gets so cold, it freezes. During winter, nearly the whole water column (the depth from surface to bottom) becomes uniformly cold and near freezing.

Spring
Sun begins to warm the cold water near a lake’s surface. When water reaches a certain temperature—exactly 4 degrees C or 39.2 F—it reaches its maximum density or heaviness, and it sinks. This process causes a lake’s waters to mix. Wind also plays a role. Winds get stronger during spring and help to mix the whole water column, from top to bottom. This seasonal mixing, called turnover, also occurs in the fall. This mixing also helps circulate nutrients throughout the lake.

Summer
Sun warms the surface waters of a lake. Winds die down and are no longer strong enough to mix the whole water column, or depth of water. Surface water becomes very warm, but the bottom water remains cold. Swimmers may notice this sharp temperature difference, called a thermocline.

Fall
In the fall, Great Lakes surface waters begin to cool. When the temperature of the water reaches 4 degrees C or 39.2 F (as it does in the spring), it reaches its maximum density or heaviness, and it sinks. This seasonal process causes a lake’s waters to mix. Wind also plays a role. Winds get stronger during fall and help to mix the whole water column, from top to bottom. This seasonal mixing, called turnover, also occurs in the spring.