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Old 10-22-2017, 05:46 PM   #1
Pauly D.
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Fall turnover

I went to my local lake this weekend with high hopes. The trout season is open year-round and it holds some good sized rainbows. I was marking fish at 25 feet last weekend and spent the week making long leaders for some chironomid fishing.

Arrived early - check
Sun out, wind calm - check
Chironomid shucks on surface - check
Surface temperature 62 degrees - check
Lake at uniform temperature throughout the water column - uh oh
Lake murky, bubbles rising - double whammy

Looks like I hit the Fall turnover. I didn't see any signs of life whatsoever. What puzzled me is that I could no longer mark fish anywhere shallow or deep. Does anyone know where they go after Fall turnover? Do they bury their guts in the mud or hide in the weeds? Just curious. Thanks,
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Old 10-23-2017, 01:58 PM   #2
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Did you measure the temperature? It seems too warm out to get the water to 39.2 degrees, which initiates turnover.
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Old 10-23-2017, 07:33 PM   #3
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Did you measure the temperature? It seems too warm out to get the water to 39.2 degrees, which initiates turnover.
VT,

Yes I did. The temperature was 62 degrees down to about 40 feet. It dropped to about 50 degrees at 45 feet. Last weekend the lake had a thermocline at about 25 feet and a surface temperature of 72 degrees. It get's down to 39 degrees but only right before freeze-up. I keep a log of it all year.

Maybe I used the wrong terminology. Instead of "turnover" maybe I should have said "mixing". The lake is definitely mixing as evidenced by the water turbidity. The decaying matter at the bottom is definitely making it's way up top. The lake has a lot of plant life so it's probably anoxic at the bottom during summer. That oxygen deprived water has made it was up top and reduced the overall oxygen content in the lake. The trout don't like it an have gone to hide somewhere.

What was strange was that I did not see anything on my sonar. Last weekend the fish were holding above the thermocline. They weren't feeding but at least I could find them. This weekend nada in the deep nor in the shallows. It's like they all disappeared.

I was just wondering if anyone had an experience like this. My guess is that they are holding right at the bottom or in the weed beds hidden from the sonar. The other option is that they all died which I hope isn't the case.

I usually don't fish past Mid October but now that I've been exposed to the dark art of stillwater fly fishing I'm going to keep going until freeze-up. This is new to me.
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Old 10-23-2017, 08:03 PM   #4
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VT,
The other option is that they all died which I hope isn't the case.
That's what I was thinking when reading your post...
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Old 10-23-2017, 08:36 PM   #5
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If those fish died, either they got scooped up by coons or it would stink to high heaven...

Chances are they're still in there, maybe at a spring hole or feeder creeks or some place they can manage to survive.
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Old 10-24-2017, 12:42 AM   #6
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Another possibility. Ever considered they've moved closer to shore and are hanging close to shoreline structure?
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Old 10-24-2017, 09:54 AM   #7
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I can't comment on what is going on in your local lake but I am familiar with another lake in the Adks where it is common to mark absolutely no fish during the dayligh hours but it comes alive with fish at night. Makes you wonder where they all went, and where they all came from. They are still there, likely just skulking on the bottom where your finder doesn't see them, IMO. I suspect the turbidity is from decaying plants in the shallows, perhaps stirred up by wind?
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Old 10-24-2017, 07:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pauly D. View Post
VT,

Yes I did. The temperature was 62 degrees down to about 40 feet. It dropped to about 50 degrees at 45 feet. Last weekend the lake had a thermocline at about 25 feet and a surface temperature of 72 degrees. It get's down to 39 degrees but only right before freeze-up. I keep a log of it all year.
Boy, that's an odd one. I just don't get the mechanism that's riling up the lake. Usually the water density difference is enough to hold all the thermal features in place until equilibrium at maximum density occurs.

Looks like you have some observing to do and a hypothesis that explains all of this to us!
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Old 10-24-2017, 09:21 PM   #9
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we call it "working" down here. when they work we stay away. I kinda like the spring hole idea, or that they are so close to the bottom you cant pick them up. Or could there be enough matter stirred up in the water that the sonar is deflecting, reflecting or being refracted so nothing shows up? Might need a pond biologist to answer this one.
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Old 10-24-2017, 10:30 PM   #10
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Oct 14th

https://photos.app.goo.gl/GbyAXYO0LF4tVFvO2

15" fish 10- 15' down in 20-30' of water near rocky structure
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