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Smith: Area lakes in great shape for summer

June 7, 2017 at 8:13 p.m.


Summer is still a couple of weeks away, but as we all know East Texas summers can start early and often stay late.

One thing is certain, heading into the blast furnace we call summer our area lakes are in great shape.

We are a tad behind on annual rainfall for this time of year, but the rain we have gotten has been impressive amounts. A quick check of the internet shows lake levels and level activity history. There are several websites and apps that can give lake goers all the information needed for planning a trip across the state or across the county.

The "Texas Lake Levels" app by chaos software group is what I use most. It was developed in Richardson, so these folks at least have some local knowledge.

Not every lake in the state is listed but there are over 100 listed on the app. The information is broken down simply and is easy to understand. The capacity or elevation for full pool is followed by the current level with the difference shown either plus or minus.

The app also shows recent activity. There is a 10-day rise/fall shown in inches and a 24-hour fluctuation as well. This is helpful in respect that an angler can see what is happening at a lake that may be 200 miles from them. If the water is rising, at what rate etc. There is also a wind forecast with sustained and gusts for the future 12-hour interval.

It loads quickly and has quick reload times when changing lakes.

The Sabine River Authority website at www.sratx.org is an awesome place for levels and river flows but only has Tawakoni, Lake Fork and of course Toledo Bend. There are Sabine River monitoring sites scattered from Mineola down to Beckville all the way to Orange near Sabine Lake.

White bass anglers can really use this site when the whites are running as there are also flow rates which can be used to calculate how far upstream the fish may be.

The US Geological Survey site https://waterdata.usgs.gov/tx/nwis/current is also a great source of information as is the http://www.lakelevels.info/USA/Texas/

Actually, just google lake levels for Texas and there are many more options. These are just a few that have worked well for me. With the new water at area lakes look for bass to head to the shallows.

Even though many bass have headed offshore to set up housekeeping for the summer, fresh water in a reservoir will bring many to the shallows to feed in newly flooded vegetation.

Enjoy it while we have it. In a few weeks it will be 100 degrees and we will be wishing for rain.

(Email: cksoutdoors@aol.com)

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