As with most things in life, lots of people look at changes in a negative way. Not me! I’m going to find that ‘Silver Lining’ in most anything and the lower water at Lake Lanier has some very definite pluses for outdoors lovers!

Simple, common sense would indicate that the lower water levels force the fish in the lake to live in a much smaller environment. Therefore, more fish are inhabiting much less water area, which makes them far easier to find and catch, and this is a tremendous opportunity for anglers!

Standing trees, huge rocks, underwater ridges, and other sunken debris are beginning to surface as the water falls. This phenomenon also has a positive effect on the lake, the fishermen, the visitation, and the manner in which the lake is utilized.

For the angling fraternity, these newly exposed structures become visible targets of opportunity that enhance fishing possibilities. Also, it gives smart fishermen a chance to mark these places and objects on a map or GPS for later use when the lake is at or above normal levels.

This period of lower water levels also tends to reduce greatly the numbers and size of boats that run wildly around the lake. Therefore, visitation is reduced tremendously, and the lake becomes a haven for kayaks, canoes, and other smaller craft. In fact, the serenity that comes with lower lake levels and the coming fall season brings out wildlife and birds that are rarely seen during the hectic summer. This is especially true on trips taken up into the wilds of the upper Chattahoochee River above Lake Lanier.

After the lake has receded, the upper rivers become considerably longer and shallower, and navigation without a specially designed, shallow-running boat is impossible. So, it is always my pleasure to take expert anglers, parents and children, or couples up into the river in my jet boat for great fishing or to see nature as they have never seen it before. The fishermen have opportunities of catching rare fish like the shoal bass and walleye, and the others are treated to an ecological world that most never dreamed existed this close to Atlanta!

As for the lake and rivers, the lower levels allow vegetation to grow in newly exposed areas and old sludge to dry and become renewed topsoil. And, when the waters return in the spring, as they always do, the new growth and rejuvenated soil will add underwater habitat and food for the fish, aquatic animals, and birds.

The changing seasons and different weather patterns are often viewed as detrimental by many humans, but these moods of nature always seem to bring positive results in the end. Therefore, keep an open mind and don’t give up on the lakes and rivers just because their waters are low. This is only a natural metamorphosis that is beautiful to experience, and will result in magnificent splendor for the coming spring season!

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