Big rains challenge pier height

Published 12:01am Sunday, January 13, 2013

All this crazy rain raised the water levels of Lakes Concordia, St. John and Bruin so high, whoever is in charge, shut the lakes down to boat traffic this weekend, and for good reason.

Pier platforms underwater and boat wakes don’t mix.

Is it just me or what? If I had lake-front property — a pier and all — when contractors or whoever said, ‘Build your pier this high off the water,’ I would have gone at least two- to three-feet higher than recommended to allow for Miss-Lou winter rains and tropical storms.

Some of the older piers on these lakes are not under water because back then they were built higher off the surface.

For the past decade the height of the newer piers just kept getting shorter and shorter. Some were built during extremely low water years, and those are way too low. So now the lake levels are held lower than they used to be to accommodate the piers that were built too low.

Oh well, It’s something we just have to deal with because there is no way a property owner would spend the bucks to rebuild the piers higher.

The exception of lakes being closed is Lake Bruin. It remains open and there was a bass club tournament held there Saturday. I received several texts from those that fish with this club and some are catching some nice fish and some are not.

If you ride around and look at Lake Bruin’s piers you will notice most are built higher off the water than some piers on Lakes Concordia and St. John. That was a smart move.

When it rains 8 to 10 inches like we just had from this recent weather system, they do not have to worry about damage to the pier platforms. I guess Lakes Concordia and St. John will be open by this coming weekend. The weirs are blowing water out fast. I sure hope they let the level get down to about a foot above normal and shut the weirs off.

This same thing happened in January last year. The lakes were real low going into the winter months and then the rains came, weirs were opened, and we lost way too much water and never regained it. Hopefully, the department of transportation or whoever is in charge of the lakes will make sure we hold some of this water this year.

By March 2012, when the fish were spawning, the rains stopped. The spawn was horrible. Fishing was extremely tough, and the water quality was very bad for ski people and people that swim in the lakes.

We’ve had low water since spring of last year. Low water really diminishes water quality during the hot summer months. There is nothing fun about swimming in funky, hot water so hopefully they will hold some of this rain in the landlocked lakes.

This rain came just in time. The bass and white perch spawn will kick off in mid-February. The higher the water levels of the lakes, the better the spawn we will have.

Next up in the bass tournament scene is the 27th Annual J.R. Roberts Memorial on Feb. 2, 2013. This is a non-profit event that offers one of the highest payouts of any open bass tournament in the area. You can fish alone or as team. The fee is $120 per boat.

The early-morning late registration and weigh-in will be held at the Lake Bruin State Park. This event was established by some really great friends of my dad’s back in 1987.

For entry forms and more information contact me. I will also have the entry forms at the Sports Center in Natchez this coming week.