Anglers find hidden benefit in high rivers - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Anglers find hidden benefit in high rivers

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Cook County - The Little River at Reed Bingham State Park is bursting out of its banks. "Right now the water level's about 10 feet above normal stage," said Paul Bradshaw, Park Ranger.

This time of year, the river level would typically be about five feet, but Tuesday, it reached 15 and a half. That's bad news for those who may want to enjoy a beautiful day of boating. "It makes it real bad for navigation," said Bradshaw.

Instead of smooth sailing, they'd have to endure a bumpy ride. "When the water gets up this high there's a lot of debris, I mean we've got whole trees that will float down the river from the high water, it will uproot them," said Bradshaw.

But there is an advantage to the high river level, its perfect for fishing. What the park may have lacked in boaters Tuesday, it made up for with fishermen. "When the water's up like this, the fish come up stream from all the holes down stream," said Tony Doyon.

Tony Doyon has been reeling in the benefits of the high water all week long. "There's been a lot of nice bream caught, got some speckled perch and we're having good luck with the bass up stream," said Doyon.

The rising river also helps get rid of unwelcome weeds. "Especially now that everything's starting to grow, it will dislodge it from its root system and float down the river and that saves us from having to do a lot of chemical spraying," said Bradshaw.

If the water climbs any higher, it could pose a threat of flooding. But Park Rangers say the level it reached today is necessary for a healthy river.

posted by ashley.harper@walb.com