Lake Powell Fishing by Wayne Gustaveson March 4, 2016 & Glen Canyon Water Levels

Lake Powell Fish Report – March 4, 2016

Lake Elevation: 3594

Water Temperature: 51-55 F

By: Wayne Gustaveson

March is coming in like a kitten, at least until the weekend when the temperature drops and a winter storm snows and blows. The Lake can certainly use more the moisture.  Fishing in the spring is always better during warming periods.  Here is what to expect when the next storm blows out and weather warms once more.

Largemouth bass warm up and get a lot friendlier when the water temperature exceeds 57 degrees.  Today the water temperature climbed to 55 after starting out at 51 degrees. The best time to fish for bass is a calm afternoon in the warmest water available.   Wind tends to mix the warm surface water with the cold layer underneath which slows down the catching.

Bass fishermen now are catching some really nice fish casting jerkbaits toward shore from sandy coves to rocky points.  It takes a lot of casts but the reward is worth it.  Remember to use a stop-and-go retrieve when working a jerkbait back to the boat.

Smallmouth bass really don’t get excited until water temperature exceeds 60 degrees.  It will be mid March before smallmouth bass are caught with any degree of regularity. Walleye really are tuned into warming water but not for feeding purposes. Warming kicks off the spawning urge and these fish forget about feeding until spawning is concluded around the first week of April.

Stripers are dependable.  They are the easiest fish to catch right now.  During the day go to the back of the canyon and look for a water color change from clear, to green to murky. Fish in the murky water. Troll to find them with a medium to deep diving lure in white or shad color.  Their mood changes with the day.  Sometimes they are willing to chase and hit trolled lures until it’s time for you to leave.  On most other days they peck at the lure and an occasional fish is caught. At the beginning of the week stripers were really excited in Navajo Canyon. Two anglers caught 45 fish trolling and casting. Today the same two anglers only caught 21 stripers in the same place.

I use trolling techniques to find fish and then try something else to catch more fish.  Today it was casting because spooning did not work.  We used shallow and deep diving Lucky Craft pointers. When one fish was hooked trolling the other anglers started casting the same lures while the first fish was being reeled in.  Almost half the fish caught today were taken casting while a hooked fish was stimulating the feeding response in following stripers.

At night stripers are being caught near the lighted docks at the various marinas. Chum the fishing area and then drop a piece of anchovy to the bottom and slowly work it back up and down until the fish hitting depth is discovered. Return the bait to the productive depth each time for quicker results in hooking fish.

Remember that it is now possible to use dead threadfin or gizzard shad caught in Lake Powell as bait.  It is also legal to cut up a striped bass and use that as bait to catch more stripers. If you are in the Arizona portion of Lake Powell the only license needed is a Utah resident or non-resident fishing license.

Lake Powell is a very friendly place to fish for some very cooperative fish species. You should come and give it a try this spring.


February 29, 2016

This notification confirms that the release volume from Glen Canyon Dam for March 2016 will be 700,000 acre-feet.  Hourly and daily average releases from Glen Canyon Dam for March 2016 will be scheduled through Western Area Power Administration to be consistent with the Glen Canyon Dam Operating Criteria (Federal Register, Volume 62, No. 41, March 3, 1997) and to also achieve, as nearly as is practicable, this monthly volume.  Hourly releases during March 2016 are anticipated to fluctuate between approximately 14,000 cfs in the daytime and approximately 8,000 cfs in the nighttime.

We anticipate the release volume for April 2016 will be approximately 658,000 acre-feet with fluctuations between approximately 13,000 cfs and 9,000 cfs.  The anticipated release volume for May 2016 is 700,000 kaf.  This will be confirmed in a subsequent notification toward the end of March.

This notification supersedes all previously issued notifications and is current until a new notification is issued.  All times identified in this notification are local time (Mountain Standard Time) and not hour ending.

If there are any concerns or questions regarding these operations, I can be reached at 801-524-3642.  Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.


Paul J. Davidson

Hydraulic Engineer

Bureau of Reclamation

Office: 801-524-3642

Cell: 801-641-8783

About Judy Franz