FISHING — The jury's still out on how much the lowest maintenance drawdown in Banks Lake's history will impact the reservoir's popular sport fisheries.
But opportunistic bass, walleye, whitefish and panfish anglers are making photos and detailed notes of exposed structure they'll want to explore with hook and line when the water levels begin returning to normal levels this winter.
And agencies are taking advantage of the drawdown to make some recreational improvements to boat launches, docks and other facilities, including Coulee City Marina.
The Bureau of Reclamation is giving anglers a boost by releasing a series of aerial photos taken on Nov. 15 with the 27-mile long lake's level down 31 feet from full pool.
The aerial photos, plus others snapped from the ground to show boat launching improvements, were snagged and posted along with updates by Andy Walgamott on his Northwest Sportsman magazine website.
The Banks Lake level was 1,538 feet last week, covering only 19,600 surface acres — about a third less than at the 27,694 acres it covers at full pool with the level 31 feet higher.