Author Topic: Upper Lake Mary is flowing nicely  (Read 706 times)

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Offline PhishingPhreek

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Upper Lake Mary is flowing nicely
« on: March 08, 2019, 08:24 PM »
Saw a post on Facebook today of Upper Lake Mary and how it's flowing over the spillway nicely. I tried to share the video directly into a post here, but haven't been able to. You can check it out by clicking on the link below.

I don't know Lake Mary as well as many of you, so I don't know if this is unusual for this time of year, but I do know Lake Mary has struggled with good lake levels in the past. I think it's always exciting to see our fisheries overflowing!

Lake Mary is finally over flowing! Arizona sure is getting a lot of moisture this year!


Offline cousinlll

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Re: Upper Lake Mary is flowing nicely
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2019, 09:03 PM »
WOW!!!  That's such welcome news.  Yes, lake has struggled with water visibility close to nil in previous years.  Nice to see it getting flushed out a bit. 

Offline Fishless

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Re: Upper Lake Mary is flowing nicely
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2019, 04:57 AM »
Good winters which have been few and far between will have Upper Mary spilling and lower Mary becomes a great trout lake as they grow fast in that fertile flooded lower lake. Sure is good to see
"I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people and I expect the same from them." John Bernard Books

Offline OneBlade

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Re: Upper Lake Mary is flowing nicely
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2019, 07:08 AM »
That's a cool video.  Looks nasty out there though. I wonder if any walleye or pike fall over the dam and get stuck down in the lower lake mary.

Offline FishMan

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Re: Upper Lake Mary is flowing nicely
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2019, 11:20 AM »
Iíll let you know while Iím fly fishing the Lower this spring.
When in doubt, set the hook!

Tom

Offline Tweeder

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Re: Upper Lake Mary is flowing nicely
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2019, 07:23 PM »
This is awesome to see.  Coming from someone who lived up there for a few years and has seen the lows and highs like this before here is what I can remember from experience.  Unfortunately that lake will never "clear" up like other lakes in the state, why I don't know but in the 20+ years I have fished that lake I have never been able to see more than a few feet down.  Granted we have seen some dirtier water in recent years where even seeing a foot down isn't possible so it will have better clarity than before.  I remember one of the times it filled and I did some exploring in the upper end of the lake I was amazed seeing lots of smaller crappie (visually) in the upper end in the spring chasing really small minnows near the surface. I mean tiny, no more than 3/4 inch minnows.  My guess is the crappie migrate there with the flooded high grass and bushes to spawn and feed on the minnows and other aquatic insects and larvae that are plentiful when it fills.  There is also a circular "hole" maybe 20-30 yards in diameter and much deeper than surrounding area way up there when it fills that used to hold decent numbers of perch and crappie.  Overall, it's similar to the Carlos effect just without the size.  Should be a lot of 10-12 inch crappie in there in there by spring 2021.  Maybe even good numbers by next fall. Growth rate fluctuates depending on food supply.   

Matt to answer your question yes, there will be pike, walleye and even some catfish that end up in lower Mary. And like the trout but not quite as much they benefit significantly from the new lake syndrome but unfortunately with the crack in the lake bed lower Mary doesn't hold water usually long enough for them to survive long.  That being said we have been in a long drought so consistent good winters and monsoons could change that.  Just guessing but if say 6-8ft of water makes it to the winter in lower Mary at the damn and there is a decent winter again that following year would probably be incredible for many species.   Like fishless said the trout grow really fast, stock trout in the spring will be over a pound by fall.  And if they put any incentive trout in there which they usually do those will be nice size.  Occasionally they will throw some in upper Mary too but with clipped fins the pike seem to get them before anglers.

Take it for what it's worth, I'm no biologist, I haven't lived up there in a while, and my experience with that lake is dwarfed by many other experienced fisherman.  Just my recollection of experiences I have had and seen over the years.

Offline PhishingPhreek

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Re: Upper Lake Mary is flowing nicely
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2019, 10:23 PM »
Thanks for you insight on that Kevin. Sucks that the lake just can't seem to clear up. Maybe it's just a lot of mud/dirt and less rock than a lot of lake. Or maybe people from the Flagstaff area are just too dirty...   :P

I don't think I've ever seen Lower Lake Mary with water in it, so it would be pretty interesting to see if I'm able to make it up there this summer.

Offline Fishless

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Re: Upper Lake Mary is flowing nicely
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2019, 06:12 AM »
Kevin I think more than seepage out of the lower lake Flagstaff switches to the lower lake for water supply to the city and surrounding areas so the lake being shallow even when spilling goes down fast. I remember in the old days catching 4-5lb trout out of upper Mary that survived pike attacks and grew up and the perch were quite nice size. Would be neat if Stoneman lake ever got perennial water in it again that used to be perch capital in AZ and the old days the monster pike fishing was something at Mormon lake when it had perennial water. Will be interesting how the crappie respond in upper Mary with this somewhat new lake effect :dontknow:
"I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people and I expect the same from them." John Bernard Books

Offline azbohunter

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Re: Upper Lake Mary is flowing nicely
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2019, 04:30 AM »
The wind blows down the length of Upper Lake Mary just about every day plus skiers and boat traffic keep the silt suspended in the water column. Just the nature of the lake...it is great to see all the water flowing into all of our lakes.
Genesis 27:3  Now then, get your weapons,your quiver and bow,and go out to the open country to hunt some wild game for me.