Shad Kill Alert: Sign Up Now

Sign up for the SHAD KILL ALERT by sending an e-mail to   By signing up for this e-mail alert you will be the first to know of this event.  If you have signed up in the past and did not get the alerts last year please re-send as my digital skills leave much to be desired and I know I’ve managed to loose a few or delete some.  Read further to find out why you will be the first to know a SHAD KILL is happening.

Special:  Book your trip before the end of the year for the month of February.  One full day fishing and two nights at River Cliff Cabin for two  $448.00 plus tax on lodging $8.82

Two full days fishing and three nights lodging:  $897.00 plus tax on lodging of $13.26

I popped over to the boat ramp near the dam this morning and took the lake temp about 4 inches below the surface and came up with 52 1/2 f .  We are looking for the temps to hit 42 at the surface which seems to be the number when this event happens.  Nevertheless even with out a shad kill the fishing is usually good at the dam in the early spring.  My outlook on this happening is good due to the higher water levels in the lake and the long term forecast for a cold winter.    Currently the C.O.E. is releasing 30,000 +/- CFS to bring the lake levels down to normal pool level of 654.00 MSL ( mean sea level ) which still leaves plenty of water for S.W.P.A. (South West Power Administration)  generation for the early spring power demands which is normal.  One of the signs I look for is gulls diving on the water.  Last year I was checking out the cabin we manage and walked out on the dock and saw some gulls in an eddy upstream.  I hopped into the River Cliff boat and took a 1/4 mile boat ride upstream and took pics of shad on the bank (froze my butt off too! )  Those that had signed up for my Shad Kill Alert were the first to know of this event.   This year like last  two years I will send out the ALERT to those who have signed up for the ALERT and you will be the first to know of this event with a picture included as proof.  So sign up now by clicking on  and include Shad Kill Alert in the subject line.  You should get an automated response confirming your e-mail has been received.  Often during this event there are rumors of a shad kill that get started.  Not from this guide.  I check just about every day.  That’s the nice thing about living less than a mile from the DAM I can hear the flood gates and the horn from the dam from my porch.


Most years the White and Norfork rivers will get a shad kill. The key that seems to cause these kills appears to be the surface temps of the lakes.  A 42 degree surface temp seems to be the magic number.  This morning I dropped a thermometer at a boat ramp just down the road and came up with a temp of 52 which is a few degrees warmer than two weeks ago.  I also watched for gull activity below the dam as well.  A good sign that shad are coming through is when the gulls dive to the water and take shad from the surface.

When shad get pulled through turbines of the dams and into the rivers it causes some very exciting feeding activity.  The trout on these rivers go absolutely berserk and feed voraciously.  This can be seen if the shad come through with their swim bladders intact and full of air.  Explosive takes on the surface of the water will excite any fisher when this happens.  It is THE most fun of all the fishing on the White River.  It will get the adrenaline pumping for sure and dang near cause a heart attack when a fisherman has such a take on his/her floating fly from a big brown trout.


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2 Replies to “Shad Kill Alert: Sign Up Now”

  1. Hello Jim,

    ever since we fished with you i have been following your website, good work man!! I will pass it on to all my friends in hope you will gain more business from it. Keep up the posts and good luck with the fishing!!

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