The Tennessee Valley Authority manages a stairway system of nine dams along the 652 miles of Tennessee River that begins north of Knoxville, winds through northern Alabama and terminates in Kentucky. There are another dams at 20 tributary rivers and reservoirs feeding into the main river.
What happens this week at Fort Loudoun Dam in Lenior City and upstream at Cherokee and Douglas dams will certainly determine the fate of the anglers.
Here is what we can expect. Cherokee Dam on the Holston River and Douglas Dam on the French Broad are forecasted by TVA to release the equivalent of one inch per day into the Tennessee River. As you can see in the photo the water is expected to drop about an inch per day in Fort Loudoun. It’s been doing just that for days now as the water is sent into downriver. Loudoun is full pool at 813 MSL with the level today at 808.
“We will be dealing with two water factors here this week,” noted Josh Bertrand. “Those are the falling water and current.”
The falling water is the given. But so is current. You’ve got to wonder whether or not the fish are already acclimated to the current from living in a river system. So what’s a little more matter? Same thing with the falling water. What it will come down to, is how the combination of all those intangibles influences the prespawn migrations of the bass.