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Ohio River - Gin Clear

Discussion in 'Ohio River Fishing Reports' started by BMustang, Jul 13, 2007.

  1. In all of my 60 years I don't ever remember the Ohio River being as clear as it presently is.

    While on the river yesterday (Markland Pool) we measured over 8 feet of visibility.

    While the obvious reason would be the drought and low, consistent water levels, we have had similar in the past, but again never in my recollection has it been "gin clear."

    Do things like zebra mussels factor in here, or am I missing more obvious factors??

    Do you think that the crystal clear water conditions has helped or hurt the fishing conditions that we normally experience on the "Big O."
  2. I'm sure the weather has a lot to do with the water clarity but I don't think it is the only factor. I have heard the Zebra mussels have caused clearer conditions on Erie. I hope it also has something to do with better pollution and runoff control. I don't know about the effect on fishing conditions but how could it hurt the fish themselves? Wouldn't the clear conditions lead to more weed growth and more places for the fry to hide?

  3. I went to weirton wv earlier this week, and drove rt 7 all the way up and back. I thought my pool was clear, Bellville. I stopped at several ramps up and down through there... man was it cyrstal clear. I agree with you BMustang. I've never seen the river this clear in 20 years. When it does get clearer it is usually not until the middle of Aug to Sept. I don't know that it really helps the fishing in the short run, but with the clearer water does come the weeds. That is what the Ohio river needs, weeds at deeper depths. The way they control the dams, it almost compleatly ruins the spawn by lowering the water level and destroying the eggs. Having the weeds still in the water column tends to create a buffer between the shore and the waves and the fish should move out a little farther when they spawn. Thats just one of the theories I've read anyway. Does kinda make sense. I'll be hitting the river tomm. hope to catch some nice cats.
  4. its been amazing, meldhal pool is 7-8ft, we took a 12 foot reading in markland the other week, thats just unheard of. even down in cannelton pool the readings were 7-9, i was also up in weirton last week but it wasn't as clear...only 3ft, at night under the lights, still clear for the ohio. as for whats making it clear i think it has more to do with the fact that theres almost no water running through it right now, they seem to been keeping back most of the water so they can keep barges moving without issues so i think most of the silt is just settling out. i would think zebra mussels but they're numbers seem to be down from what they were several years ago so i dont think thats much of a factor. the big thing i have noticed is that the fish are holding in the muddier water, if its really clear we dont even shock many
  5. The other thing that I've noticed going hand in hand with the crystal clear water are the millions and millions of minnows that are virtually everywhere.

    Cast a Little George and watch closely behind your lure. There will be a couple of dozen three inch long minnows in hot pursuit on every cast.

    Clouds of smaller minnows are everywhere. Don't know what species they are, but I'm wondering if the numbers are the same when the water is murkier and we just don't see them, or is this minnow-mania a byproduct of the clearer water???
  6. the shad had the best spawn since 99, thats most of them. the little tiny ones are probably little emeralds, but that varies to the section of river your on, could be river shiners, maybe silvers, most likely emeralds. and any time it looks like its raining minnows its the little young o the year skippies, they did well also. its not so much the clear water i think as much as it is the low water, seems like the bait always does better on low water years, but the clear water does make it alot easier to find the bait
  7. Not to get off topic, but I have noticed the same thing.

    Used to be you'd bring in a branch or something that had been underwater for awhile and it would be covered with them. Now, not so many, and sometimes none at all.

    Is this a natural occurance or the results of efforts to rid the river of them?
  8. Mushijobah

    Mushijobah Urban Angler

    There are huge amounts of mussels naturally living in the river that do the same thing as the zebras would. The first large rain in the watershed will bring it back to its greenish color in no time.
  9. does alotof reasearch on them,,yes that is e of the main factors of the clerity,,,,,,,Water was not clear during the river roar,,@ Matietta wow do those boats move,,,,wife and i had a front row seat for the 2 boats flippingWOW what hp!
    Actually between heat races from the bank I could watch the weeds and fish in the water,,,,so yes its clear!
  10. Hey everyone! I'm new here, but I have been fishing the Ohio for as long as I can remember. I have noticed also that the river is very clear, and that it's depth is very low... The clearness could be a sign of pH levels decreasing/becoming more acidic. The lack of stronger currents (caused by rain) makes the water stagnant and less saturated with oxygen. Those critters that can live on the bottom with little or no oxygen produce acid as a by-product in their respiration cycles. The acid then clears the water of organisms (such as algae) that can't survive at those pH levels. Therefore, we lose our green color. And without rain, obviously we lose our depth.

    I have gone fishing numerous times this year, and haven't caught a thing! I have also talk to some other local fisherman, and they are saying that nobody is catching anything on our strip of the river (East Liverpool to Wheeling)! Does anybody know why the fish pop. seems to have declined this summer? I wonder if it could be linked to this possible pH decrease phenomenon, or if it is simply just a cycle and they will be back next season.

    Ohhhhh well. Anyway, like they say "The worst day of fishing is better than the best day of work!"
  11. Champion188 Elite

    Champion188 Elite Smallie slayer

    Most of my river fishing is done from New Cumberland to Hannibal also. I have also noticed a decline in catching fish.This has been a terrible year for me and most others i've talked to.I've fished a few tournys too where there have been very few fish weighed in.The water is pretty clear as mentioned,but IMHO I think it was clear-er last year.
    I am curious? Has anyone else noticed a decline in weed growth over the past few years? I used to know where a few nice weed beds were.It seems they gradually disappeared over the last 2-3 years.
    I have been fishing this stretch of river since I was a kid and can't remember it ever being this tough to catch bass.
    On another note I have talked to alot of people who say the catfishing is fantastic. And I have caught a number of channels and flatties while bass fishing this year on a variety of lures and they look really healthy (not that I would keep them).In the past it seems that every catfish I caught was in bad shape,either with sores or marks all over it.
    Supposed to get alot of rain next couple days,that may green it back up again.

    One more thing. I have noticed alot more fry this year than ever before,I mean HUGE CLOUDS of fry about 1" long ,they appear to be shad but not sure.I have yet to see any fish feeding on them though.
    In years past I would always see hybrids busting these baitfish,but not this year.
  12. Im gonna get shot for this one ,,,but guys someones pullin wool!

    Striped Bass are suicidal right now @ dusk!

    Cats are being caught and big ones at that,,, i dont mean to sound like the board's ass but Ive been pinned to the river,,,,, due to my truck catching fire the day I got back from my honeymoon!
    Thank god I dont litter,, and had a few half full soda pop bottles in the cab or she'd have been toast!
  13. Welcome to the board mswearin.Kingjohn nailed it. There are Hybrids being caught at night . A few up to about 9 in the AM around here(Greenup Dam). It's the best night bite we've had in a few years. Very agressive on carolina rigged stick baits and shad bodies. Some Cats here too, if you care to go after them.The only thing goin on through the day is the tons of Gars.Welcome again
  14. for backing me up on that one,,, we run the boat full plane until we see theaction on the surface and go from there... Take good binoculars as well.
  15. Fishman

    Fishman Catch bait???

    The clear color to the river is awful for the fishery. Good plankton blooms (green water) = good fishing. The river is loaded with nutrients so I'm sure the weather/mussles are to "blame" for the clarity. Clear water with a lack of nutrients won't do anything for plants on the bottom either. They simply have to have food. But again, I doubt that's the issue. Just need some (more like a lot) of rain and it'll be back to normal.

    The fishing only seems terrible cause most of us are use to fishing it when it's normal. Downsize lures, lighter lines, ect there's still fish to be caught :)
  16. Back out on the river today (Friday) (New Richmond area) and the water had cloudied up some as a result of the storms that have gone through Greater Cincinnati over the past few days.

    Still very clear, but visibility today was 3/4 feet as opposed to 7/8 feet a week ago. There was even some color in the water out in the main river channel.

    Fishing was only so-so. A couple of smaller stripers and a channel cat or two.

    Amazing that we caught several baby (4/5 inches) skipjacks on bare hooks that were being retrieved. Not snagged, but hooked through the lips. I don't ever remember that having happened before.

    Advanced weather forcast is for sunny dry days ahead, so I assume that the water conditions will remain pretty much the same and/or return to its pristine conditons.
  17. KingJohn - Any luck with the stripers at the dams? Or just cruising the river until you find them in the deep holes. I was thinking of fishing Devola one night??