Spring Lake Turn Over: I’m waiting for this phenomenon to happen.

We have three fishable reservoirs up here in South Park (Spinney, Eleven Mile, and Tarryall – Antero is closed). We usually start float fishing Spinney as soon as the gates open, mid- to late-April. We either put the Bayliner in or row around in the dory. We don’t much use our inflatable boats yet because it is still pretty cold until about June. As it is, Spring turn-over usually happens right after we start fishing.

What exactly is turn-over and how long will it last?

Over the course of seasonal changes in a year, lakes develop a stratification in temperature. Think layers like oil and vinegar in a bottle. When you have wind, the layering of water gets mixed up a bit more so there is not such a contrast of temperatures during the summer. However, when cold air begins to arrive for longer periods of time (like in the fall) and there is less sun light (moving into winter) the stratification is enhanced. Eventually in the fall, the surface water will become more cool and dense, than the lower water and that upper layer will flip with the lower layer of warmer, less dense water.

Now, you have just shaken up the bottle of oil and vinegar. What does that liquid look like? It is murky because all the dead stuff that was settled to the bottom of t