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Water levels 
PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 6:11 pm Reply with quote
Greg Thompson
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Joined: 03 Jan 2005
Posts: 167
Location: Liberty, MO
Just got back from fishing the Negro. Water is dropping very fast and we had to back track more than once in the last 2 weeks. It is all but impossible to get up or down the Negro from Barcelos in big boats. It will take some rain, which they usually get at this time for boats to move farther and more freely. Fish though are concentrated and when you find them, hold on.

Greg
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Lagoons drying out? 
PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 8:51 am Reply with quote
Larry Larsen
Executive Director
Joined: 28 Dec 2004
Posts: 606
Location: Lakeland, FL
I noticed that the weather forecast from our PBA weather report pages predict scattered thunder storms over the next 10 days for both Barcelos and Santa Isabel (upstream). Not too unusual on the forecast but hopefully enough rain will fall to raise the waters a little.

Didn't you also tell me that one lagoon you were in on one day late the first week, had its water level drop 3 feet in just a couple of days when you returned with your GPS? Are some lagoons "dried out" now?

Glad your trips were successful!

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Low water 
PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 11:19 am Reply with quote
Greg Thompson
Site Admin
Joined: 03 Jan 2005
Posts: 167
Location: Liberty, MO
That one was a very shallow lagoon. A lot of the lagoons though are not flowing in or out and the water was dropping in them fairly fast.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 5:30 am Reply with quote
Steve Townson
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I got back yesterday from Barcelos. I have never seen the water levels so low in 12 years. All of the rivers below and above Barcelos are nearly dried out! All boats are either fishing in the Negro or in the river mouths. Rivers are all but inaccessible to any of the motherboats and of course with nearly 50 operational boats right now, everyone is on top of everyone, so frustrating to say the least.
Any accessible lagoons we found with actually had enough water in them were beaten to death by everyone and the water levels there were probably less than 3 ft in any on them at best. One lagoon we found earlier in the week had dropped easily by one foot in just five days. How about catching Traira in the middle of the lagoon where Peacocks were meant to be? Crazy.
Most visible structure was way above the dry lagoon beds so basically any fish caught were either from the sand banks or in the middle of any lagoons where there was at least some deeper water or in the main river. One method we found worked in the main river was to find a shallow sandy beach with really fast water running over it and below this, the water would drop off to about 5ft. Peacocks were congregating there waiting for baitfish to come over the bank. Jigs were the ticket for this method.
The rocks to Santa Isobel are making life difficult for most of the larger boats now and supplies are running short up there too.
So, the fishing was ok, nothing brilliant, but if the rains don't come soon and we don't have the normal annual 'repiquete' or surge then I believe the fishing will be hard, if not impossible, in Jan and Feb.
Steve Townson
Low water 
PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 6:03 am Reply with quote
Greg Thompson
Site Admin
Joined: 03 Jan 2005
Posts: 167
Location: Liberty, MO
Steve,

Is this going to cause a major fish kill? Did you see any big PB's in the drying up lagoons?

Greg
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 8:01 am Reply with quote
Steve Townson
Guest
Hi Greg,
Most of the lagoons are now pretty much drying out along the river proper, so I reckon any fish in their right mind would have run a mile a long time ago. Had a few good blow-ups in the river, but it was tough. The entrances to most of the lagoons are about 6 inches - 1 foot deep only.
People are talking of fish kills, if any are in the lagoons in the next few weeks as water temperatures are real high too. Most fish are in the depths if they can find it.
Greg, I never saw so many dried up holes and low levels before. Crazy, how 3 weeks ago the fishing was unbelievable and now it's looking like a disaster zone. Flying over the Negro to Barcelos was like looking at a moonscape.
Steve Townson
 
PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 9:48 am Reply with quote
Larry Larsen
Executive Director
Joined: 28 Dec 2004
Posts: 606
Location: Lakeland, FL
Steve,

Sounds bleak unless the "normal" 2-3 week long Dec. rain surge occurs that some of the locals always talk about. Sounds like the outfitters need to bring in some dune buggies, airboats and tractors (like they did on Lake Okeechobee a few years ago when it experienced a big drought.) I wonder if there are any waters that would now allow a float plane to land and take off?

I know of a few very deep lagoons but the waters to get to them were generally 1 to 3 feet deep at normal low water levels of years past. This time would be a great one to do a lot of extensive research on the lagoons that have the deepest water (and usually the most giant peacocks). The operations that take the time (and expense) to do the aerial reconnaissance now would surely benefit when the waters return!

Never thought that I would say this, but let's pray for rain!

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Larry Larsen
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 11:41 am Reply with quote
Steve Townson
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Larry,
If it doesn't rain soon, then I would expect some outfitters will cancel. The floatplane outfitters like River Plate etc. will surely have the best fishing waters as long as they can keep their camps mobile. Problem is I can't see this happening for long as the levels are so low. Fingers crossed.
It's pouring down here in Manaus as I write this, so maybe that's a sign of good things to come!!
Steve Townson
 
PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 12:35 pm Reply with quote
Larry Larsen
Executive Director
Joined: 28 Dec 2004
Posts: 606
Location: Lakeland, FL
Steve,

Please keep us updated as long as you are there. I see that Santa Isabel has a 60% chance of rain for the next 3 days and then drier forecasts, and Barcelos has their "usual" 60% chance of scattered thunderstorms for the next 10 days as shown in the PBA website weather forecasts section.

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Water levels 
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