FOXHOLM - "It's good to be out again," remarked a fisherman operating a boat on Lake Darling this past week. The lake, which is situated on the Upper Souris National Wildlife Refuge, opens for boat fishing May 1 of each year and closes Sept. 30.
A year ago anglers at Lake Darling were greeted by extremely murky water due to high flows entering the narrow reservoir. As water levels increased, all boating on the lake was cancelled. This year is much different.
Water on the lower end of Lake Darling was unusally clear, a sharp contrast to conditions encountered at the same time in 2011. A few fish were caught during last Tuesday's opener, but fishing is only expected to get better in the days ahead. The water temperature remained primarily below 50 degrees. As the water temperature rises it is expected to trigger fish into a more aggressive feeding pattern.
The level of Lake Darling this past Wednesday was 1,596.62 feet, slightly below its preferred summer operating level of 1,597.0 feet. No water was being released. The flow in the Souris River at Sherwood was recorded at 206 cubic feet per second this past week. The flow at Baker Bridge below Lake Darling Dam registered a scant 11 cfs.