Get ready for possibly last river rise

Published 12:01 am Sunday, July 6, 2014

Needless to say, the popular recreation lakes were buzzing with boat activity this holiday weekend.

We were blessed this Fourth of July by a small cool front that lowered air temperatures, kept the afternoon thunderstorms at bay and humidity was low enough to make the weekend a bit more tolerable. Do not get used to this weather, of course.

As we enter this coming week, the air temperature is going to rise again. It is July. This is the Deep South and it is supposed to be hot and humid. That does not mean we have to like it, but we have no choice.

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We will probably have rain in the form of scattered afternoon thunderstorms back in the forecast by Thursday. All this rain is good and bad. The rain keeps the water quality and level up, but it has also produced the most mosquitoes we have had in a long time.

I know this is off subject, but my longtime best friend, my little min-pin named Bean Dip that goes everywhere I go, was diagnosed with heart worms erecently. Most everyone around here knows Dip. In 7 or 8 years, he has never missed coming to work with me on weekdays. He just doesn’t do Saturdays, his day off work.

I have him in good hands at Miss-Lou Vet Hospital in Vidalia, so maybe we can get rid of the heart worms that came from a single mosquito bite. Heart worms used to basically be a death sentence. Many dogs have died from heart worms in the South. So get your dog tested and keep them on preventive meds.

Now, let’s get back to fishing. With all the pleasure boaters buzzing about, many fishermen and ladies head toward the backwater lakes where there is no pleasure boats.

The live oxbows, the Old River bend lakes still connected to the Mississippi River, get right for fishing when the stage at Natchez drops to about 35 feet or lower. We did have a level of 34 feet a few days ago, but that was short lived.

There was a lot of rain in the Mississippi River Valley north of us near Tennessee. That created the rise we have today. The predicted level at Natchez/Vidalia today is 36.3 feet. The forecast looks like we will see about 37 feet mid-week this coming week followed by another fall.

This will probably be the last rise we have, so get ready to see if the bream, chinquapin, largemouth bass, white bass, sea-run stripers, yellow barred bass and white perch fishing will be good this year. Last year, and the two years before that, conditions were not good on the live oxbows. I still say the sliver carp are to blame for the poor fishing on the Old Rivers the past two to three years.

If you have been reading my columns, there is no need to explain, again, where this non-native nasty, good for nothing fish came from and how devastating they are to our native fish.

You can do a bit of research on silver and bighead carp to get a better understanding of these invasive fish and what I mean. As far as I can tell, nothing is being done to try to thin them out. I think it is too late.

They are so thick in the Mississippi River, we will never get rid of them. It is a sad and serious issue that, to my knowledge, has been ignored by the government for the most part. No surprise there.

Anyway, I have yet to hear of any boating accidents in this area and hope it stays that way. This weekend was busy on the lakes. Do be expecting the same amount of boat traffic the rest of the summer, so be careful and practice safe boating.

Oh…Your Louisiana fishing license expired on June 30th, so do not forget to purchase your new license.