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Old 03-08-18, 08:23 PM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 17
Default Help with release schedule

Iím still new to reading the release schedules. Especially these multiple times a day releases. I was wanting to fish IF tomorrow. It looks like theyíre doing two rounds of releases tomorrow. Will this pretty much ruin wade fishing the whole day or will there be a window I could get out there? Thanks for the help, trying to stay safe out there!
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Old 03-08-18, 08:46 PM   #2
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Go to this page
and enter BUFORD DAM/LAKE SIDNEY LANIER in the first drop menu. In the drop menu below that, choose a date. After you have done this you should see a release schedule for the Hooch below the dam.

Next, check out the following web page from the Atlanta Fly Fishing Club:

Do a few mathematical calculations and you'll be able to figure out when the river can be fished the way you want to fish it.

Also, check out the following link and work out the math to figure what the turbidity is like. It'll only give you a "guesstimate" if you're above or below Medlock Bridge at Norcross, but if you reference the AFFC flow rates you should be able to figure out when the water at cetain points is fishable. The most important items to be found in the last link are GAUGE HEIGHT and TURBIDITY.

You'll want the gauge height to be as low as possible and turbidity should be below "8". The lower the turbidity, the clearer the water. Once the turbidity gets below a "4" you might want to consider matching your clothing to the background of the sky. Lower turbidity means clearer water.

I hope this helps, and that it wasn't too confusing. Add another note to this thread if my answer seems a little bit nuts and I'll give you the hill-billy/Cajun run down.
If you have difficulty understanding the post above, read it out loud and it should make sense. This NGTO member is known for his poor hill-billy upbringing and his affinity for all things from Louisiana (particularly if it relates to LSU). It makes for a poor mix of accents and much difficulty in translation. He was doing well for so long, but now seems to have regressed.
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Old 03-08-18, 10:10 PM   #3
Steve Hudson
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Default Good questions...

...and it does get complicated! The time from a release to impact at any given point varies, too, with things like the magnitude of the release, what might be happening in the watershed of tributary streams, and how high the river was before the release began.

If I may humbly suggest my own book, check out CHATTAHOOCHEE TROUT (at local outfitters, on Amazon, or signed copies at It includes a good bit of discussion on the matter of figuring out the tailwater releases and how to make sense of them as they relate to fishability.

No matter what the release schedules and the charts say, however, always stay "in tune" with the river. If you sense that it might be coming up, or if something just somehow doesn't seem right, don't take any chances. Decide that up front, before you get in the water, and you'll be off to a good start!


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Old 03-09-18, 07:13 AM   #4
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Unfortunately with these double releases, Any chance for safe wading is up really close to the dam while watching the release schedule very closely. Anywhere I usually fish (near Jones bridge) and below will be too dangerous to wade.
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Old 03-09-18, 08:59 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by ChaChung View Post
Unfortunately with these double releases, Any chance for safe wading is up really close to the dam while watching the release schedule very closely. Anywhere I usually fish (near Jones bridge) and below will be too dangerous to wade.
Iíve been keeping an eye on the gauge near norcross and I believe itís hit a safe level once in the last 4 or 5 days!
Iím itching to get to that area. Iím tired of dodging egg sinkers and kayaks at the dam!
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Old 03-09-18, 03:50 PM   #6
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Canton, GA
Posts: 145

Is it common this time of year to have multiple releases? I don't recall it happening much between December - February. Tonight's late release rules out a trip for me to JB tomorrow morning.
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Old 03-09-18, 04:09 PM   #7
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It is typical for a spring when the lake is almost full and inflows plus anticipated rainfall would otherwise push it over full. Two releases a day balance the flow more evenly further downstream than one higher volume or longer release. The amount of rainfall in the watershed over the weekend will most likely be one factor that determines next weeks schedule. Keep in mind Lanier is a multi-purpose project and is just one cog in the gear of the entire river system. Here is some light reading material that explains a complex operation.

Last edited by natureman; 03-09-18 at 04:36 PM.
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Old 03-09-18, 05:32 PM   #8
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First - this is "normal" for this time of year, we have been in a drought with Lanier way down so we haven't had to experience it in the past 4-5 years.

Second - No wading this weekend (unless the schedule changes) anywhere below Bowmans. I checked both JB and IF and their lowest point this week is 6 inches higher than I would attempt. I am experienced and older, not to mention a significant lack of common sense and I wouldn't try it

Third - this is GREAT news for April through the summer months, we desperately needed a good scour and hopefully this will continue.

This being said - if they only have one release tomorrow, and due to the incoming rain they just might, there is a chance for Sunday.

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