Glasgow Daily Times
Anglers realize the effects of water temperature on fish, but there is also another component of water that needs to be considered; water color. Water color – or more properly water clarity – affects the environment and habits of fish, and in turn, the methods and means the successful angler must use to catch them. No lake is perfectly clear. All are colored to some degree; some more than others.
Lakes gain their color from a number of sources. Differences in water clarity are primarily caused by the presence (or lack) of dissolved substances and/or suspended particles in the water. Particles include free-floating algae, called phytoplankton, as well as other solids including sand, clay, or debris from the surrounding land that has either been washed in or brought in by wind or rain. These particles absorb and scatter sunlight as light passes through the water, therefore water clarity decreases as the amount of these particles increase.
Generally speaking, lakes fall under one of three conditions: clear, stained and dark. But how clear is clear? How stained is stained? How dark is dark? These are obviously all relative questions. What one angler sees as stained could be perceived as dark by another. If we are to make accurate determinations of water clarity, we must have some standard with which to work.
For more information, see Thursday's print or e-editions of the Daily Times.