During the last few days the Corps has been shutting down or reducing generation at Bull Shoals in the early morning hours and turning it back on around 7:00 am. Low water at BSD in the very early morning means low waters at Rim Shoals in the late morning and afternoon. I contacted Rim Shoals Resort for the straight info about water levels at Rim Shoals and this is what Gary Flippin told me.
There are variables, like creek-run-off, ground saturation and cfs generating that affect the final results, but here are the general rules for water levels at Rim Shoals.
When generation begins at Bull Shoals, it takes about 6 hours to arrive at Rim. 7-8 units will get here in 4 hours.
It takes 8-10 hours for water to fall out. When the dam shuts down in the wee hours, we see it in the mornings. Mid-morning generation changes affect evening fishing.
Around 1:00 a.m. Bull Shoals cut back to 2 units, and the water was noticeably lower here at 6:00 a.m. By 9:00 a.m. we could see the water at 2 units here. Bull Shoals kicked generation up to 4 units at 6:00 a.m. and I expect to see that rise here around noon.
If the change in generation lasts for less than 4 hours, we won't necessarily see a complete drop, because the receding water can be overtaken by the rising water.
0-1 units: ideal for wading, but tough for boaters.
2 units: good for wading and boating
3 units: waders will stay closer to banks, fish from Menoka's trail or use the taxi service to reach river islands.
4-6 units: limited wading, use taxi to wade from river islands. Drift fish from boat.
7-8 units: Rent a boat, hire a guide, consider going to North Fork, Crooked Creek or Spring River.
We experience approximately a 1 foot rise of water at Rim for each unit generating at Bull Shoals.
Hope this helps a bit.
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