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Thanks! You told me what I wanted to know. That means Calderwood and Chilhowee should be good for Trout again. They won't be much warmer than Cheoah. Now that TVA is slowing down the generating, it takes about 2 days for all the water to turn over in the two lower lakes.

Back in the 20th century Fontana's release water never went above 52 degrees. It was frequently below 50.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Troutgirl, good to hear from you. We were a bit worried!

So...Fontana. Am I correct when they generate they release deep water and when they draw down the lake level they release surface water through an upper gate? ( realizing they still release for generating also) Seems lake drawdown in the Fall would be releasing that warmer, summer warmed water with possibly mixed in generating water. I assumed that's why I was getting 64°-65° water in Calderwood several weeks back.
I may be way off here though. And certainly have no past years personal experience.
Strange though, and I wonder what is the cause of the warmer water nowadays? Troutgirl has mentioned siltation in the past I believe.
 

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As the lake silts-in, the deep pocket of cold water keeps getting smaller, shallower. There's no other rational explanation for the fall discharges getting warmer after many days of generating, day after day, lowering the lake. Before the silting, the generator release water was consistently 48-50 degrees. Maybe a degree up or down from that was possible on rare occasions.

Now, more of the warmer water gets mixed in with the old, cold water during the last, about half, period of the fall draw-down generating.
 

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A friend of my father caught a Musky in Cheoah back in 1959. I was at a party at his house and there was a picture of him with it on the wall. It was a decent sized one. I forget the exact weight but it was over 30 pounds.
 

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I'd bet that Muskies really liked Cheoah Lake before Fontana was built. The deep part near the dam was likely a good resting spot during the heat of summer. After Fontana was built, Cheoah must have become a poor habitat for Muskies. I suspect it became too cold for them to spawn successfully....???
 
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