Lewis and Clark Lake 2013 Fishing Forecast
Annual fisheries surveys are conducted on Lewis and Clark Lake to monitor fish population trends. Electrofishing, gill netting, hoop netting, and seining are used to collect information that helps biologists monitor trends in populations of fish species. Angler surveys are conducted during some years to gather information on angler use and harvest. These long-term trends in fish population status and angler use are used by biologists to make management decisions and determine regulations.
Key Issues in 2013 for Lewis and Clark Lake
- High flows from the 2011 flood has drastically altered habitat throughout the reservoir but especially in the river reaches and the upstream areas of the reservoir. Large amounts of sediment were moved around within the reservoir and deposited in new areas. Anglers are cautioned that there will be sandbars and other obstructions where there was deep water before and deeper areas in places that were relatively shallow prior to the flood.
- Sedimentation is a very important process occurring on Lewis and Clark Lake. Large amounts of sediment are deposited by the Niobrara River which contributes to the growing delta near Springfield, SD. As the physical characteristics of Lewis and Clark Lake change, anglers will need to adjust their fishing strategies.
- Walleye recruitment has been relatively low from 2009 through 2011; however, the 2007 and 2008 year classes were especially strong, and will continue to provide good fishing opportunity.
- Channel catfish abundance was normal in the lake portion of Lewis and Clark, but higher than average in the Springfield area in 2012. These fish should provide good angling opportunities.
- Angling success is affected by gizzard shad production. During years with good numbers of gizzard shad throughout the summer/fall seasons, angling success can decline due to the amount of food present.
Information on each fish species:
Lewis and Clark Lake
Additional questions and information can be obtained by contacting:
Missouri River Fisheries Center
1550 E. King Ave.
Chamberlain, SD 57532