MOON PHASE (71%)
46° - 50° F
31° - 35° F
66° - 70° F
Unfortunately warm temps are the LEAST of the concerns on this lake at the moment. Water quality is the issue, with the ph fluctuating wildly. At one point it got so bad that they were dumping in fesh water from the river to attempt to dilute the problems...it did not work and currently its just not a good place for bass (wipers included) to survive...much less thrive as they once did.
You could raise 10million dollars and put it all into stocking this lake today and the results would be the same as doing nothing. The lake was designed to cool a plant that was a certain size, its now expanded way beyond its original plans and the lake is simply too small.
I hate to say it, but the good old days are behind us, probably for good. It would take a massive undertaking to expand the lake to an appropriate size to make this lake a fishery again.
I really miss this lake, days of catching 50-100 wipers in an afternoon are gone in this state...do accomplish this we now need to take a ride to an Illinois cooling plant lake....the loss of this lake makes me very, very sad, but I'm glad I was able to take advantage of it while it was good...good, it was simply unbelievable.
Water quality should be priority #1, unfortunately that needs to be fixed before any talk of stocking again even begins.
Water temperature is not the only trigger for bass spawning, photoperiod (day length) is also a factor. If fish with a defined spawning period don't spawn when they're ready because conditions aren't right, they'll resorb the eggs.
The wipers (White/Striped bass hybrids) worked for several reasons: they're sterile (which means there shouldn't be a concern about introducing an "exotic", beside they were already stocked in Wisconsin); the primary forage base in Columbia Lake - shad - is one of their preferred prey species; and they can tolerate the higher water temperatures (up to a point).
Tolerance of warmer water is why some catfish (especially flatheads) do OK there too.
If I were you, I'd push for a permit to buy and stock wipers, and remember VHS (THE FISH VIRUS) is already in the receiving water, so that shouldn't be a reason for denial.
Also be aware that the Dept. of Agriculture has to approve any fish stocking where there's a disease concern.
MOON PHASE (1%)