C.J. Wood, Recreational Angler
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Posted on July 22, 2013 | Permalink
Smithville Lake Report
Location: Smithville Lake
I went kayak fishing with my wife at Smithville Lake for the last hour of daylight we had Friday evening. Fish were finicky for as hot as it was but we managed to persuade them to bite. I ended up catching my personal best Chain Pickerel, that dragged me about a hundred feet or so, and surprisingly didn't bite off my light 10lb test. My wife ended up catching her personal best crappie! I tried to weigh the pickerel but I felt like I was going to hurt it so I decided to take a quick photo and get her back in the water safe and sound to catch her another day.
The sad part is that the lake looks awfully polluted, more than I remember seeing it several years ago. There is a lot of oil discoloration on the surface of the lake. I remember when the state used to only allow electric motors in the lake but it seems like in recent years they've allow gas engines. The visibility went from 4-5 ft to maybe 1 or 2 on a good day.
DNR Response:The “oily discoloration” on Smithville Lake was likely a byproduct of the breakdown of organic matter, not from outboard motor use. At first glance these substances can sometimes look and feel almost like a petroleum product. The Smithville Lake watershed has always suffered from nutrient runoff, largely due to agricultural activity. Because of the excess nutrients, Smithville has been experiencing intense algal blooms and aquatic weed problems in recent years. When these plants die and decompose, they can cause water discoloration, foul odors and low dissolved oxygen levels.
That certainly was a heck of a chain pickerel! Congratulations on your catch.