The temps last week as reported to me were 70 degrees at River Point and probably close to that at the dam.
Let's talk for a minute about the water temps in Cherokee Lake and why they are possibly higher than some of the other reservoirs at this time of the year. Also I'll mention what starts to happen right now as we are speaking on the Holston River.
From the time the South Holston and Watauga Rivers leave Ft. Patrick Henry Reservoir, they have to pass the generating plant at Tennessee Eastman and then they are met by the North Fork of the Holston River. I'm not sure of what order that falls in but the river warms enough to become Smallmouth water from that point to the John Sevier Steamplant. Part of the river is diverted here to cool coal fired and now natural gas generators. I think the coal fired generators have been placed in an emergency situation as of now. This causes the water which flows into Cherokee Lake to be warmer than it would if it flowed freely. It is also the biggest reason that Cherokee Lake heats up too high in the summer after all the held over cold water has been sent downstream. This is further aggravated by the heavy drawdown that takes place every year to put the reservoir lakes back to a "winter level". All this being said we find ourselves every year wanting to get back to water that usually takes until at least Mid November to cool down enough to support trout. That can also vary some each year. Another little factor is that the very opposite takes place as the air temperatures begin to cool the water in the late Fall and early winter. The water that warmed up the quickest in the later summer is the water that cools off the quickest because of exposure to the air. All in all, the river has managed to hold trout over at least to the mid sections of the river for several years and to have really good fishing in the winter and early spring it is best to let the trout have the time they need for things to get back to normal. The first stocking usually take place at this time as well. Everyone have a great time on the river during this coming year.