Current (Mid April) Lake Ouachita Surface Water Temp
74 - 76 degrees
Stained to muddy water over shallow graveled lake bottoms and little to no shade or plant growth will warm quicker.
In the cooler months with cool to cold nights shallower pockets can be 4-6
degrees cooler than the open deeper areas.
Lake Ouachita water
temperature varies from mid 40s to low 90s over the year.
When you talk water temperature variants you are discussing principles in
Lake Ouachita Surface Temperature can vary about 4 degrees or more a day depending on condition effecting the lake. Time of day, weather (clouds, rain, wind speed and direction ) clarity of the water,
depth, sun exposure including the angle and duration of exposure, flow of water, whether warmer or cooler into lake, mixing of water column layers through wave or boat action, substrates they are in contact with (bottom, shoreline, plant growth), evaporation rate and location on lake all play a part in surface temperature.
Temperature exerts a major influence on biological activity and growth.
To a point, the higher the water temperature, the greater the biological activity. Temperature also governs the kinds of organisms that can live in a lake. Fish, insects, zooplankton, phytoplankton, and other aquatic species
all have a preferred temperature range. As temperatures get too far above or below this preferred range, the number of individuals of the species decreases until finally there are none.
An important example of the effects of temperature on water chemistry is its impact on
Hot / Warmer water holds less oxygen.
When the upper water layers warm in the summer months, they become
separated from deep water by a transition zone known as a thermocline. In a
thermocline, the temperature decreases rapidly with small increases
in depth. This phenomenon linking temperature change with depth is
called temperature stratification
The thermocline is a cooler oxygen rich layer of water usually in the 15-35 ft. depths on Lake Ouachita.
In the Summer months, once you go through the thermocline you'll change from a surface temp to
around 70° and then cooler the deeper you go to
Also If there is a steady wind - it will stack up the warmer water on the wind blown bank. Most people do not realize that even a mild constant wind can actually push the water in Lake Ouachita to the windblown side of the lake to the point of creating 1-2 ft. differences in depth. The effect is so gradual and over such a large area
it is nearly impossible to notice.
In the winter the northeast side of coves that are relatively undisturbed on the north and east side of the lake that have the north shoreline protected by hills or trees will warm the fastest.
Cold Water Refuge -
In deeper lakes during summer, the water separates into
layers of distinctly different temperature.
This process is called thermal
The surface water is warmed by the sun, but the bottom of
the lake remains cold.
You may have experienced this difference when diving into
Once the stratification develops, it tends to persist
until the air temperature cools again in fall.
Because the layers don’t mix, they develop different
physical and chemical characteristics.
For example, dissolved oxygen concentration, pH, nutrient
concentrations, and species of aquatic life in the upper layer can be quite
different from those in the lower layer.
It is almost like having two separate lakes.
When the surface water cools again in the fall to about
the same temperature as the lower water, the stratification is lost and the
This process is called fall turnover.
A simple process also may occur during the spring as
colder surface waters warm to the temperature of bottom waters and the lake
This is called spring turnover.
The lake mixing associated with a turnover often
corresponds with a increase in turbidity.
Examples of Past surface temperature of Lake Ouachita.
50° to 55° Jan. 1st -15th - Mild Winter so far.
48° to 52 Jan 16th - 31st
47° to 51° Feb. 1st - 15th - Water temp holding steady.
to 57° March 1st - 10th ( 8° to 10° degrees warmer than last year
at this time)
62° to 67° March 11th - March 18th high Temperature in
back of coves.
55° to 59° March 19th - March 31st - Cold front with 20+ mph
wind for over 2 days came in night of 18th stirred lake up drastically dropping
59° to 63° April 1st to April 15th
64° to 68° April
16th to April 30th
69° to 74° May 1st to May 15th
74 -79° May 15th
76 - 83° Jun. 16th - June 30th
84 - 92° July
1st - 31st
90 - 92° Aug. 1st -
44 - 49 degrees Jan. 1st - 15th
44 - 49° Jan. 16th - 31st
45 - 51° Feb. 1st
- 15th - Major cold front entering state on 14th
43 - 45° Feb. 16th -
44 - 47° March 1st - 15th
53 - 58° March 16th - 31st
58 - 64° April 1st - 15th
68° April 16th - 30th
68 -72° May 1st - 10th
72 -76° May 11th. - 31st
76 - 82° Jun. 1st - June 5th
82 - 86° June
6th - June 18th - 23rd
87 - 89° June 24th - 30th
89 - 92° July
93 - 88° Aug. 1st - 15th
88 - 83° Aug. 15th - 31st
82° Sept 1st - Sept 15th
82 - 78° Sept 16th - Sept 30th
77 - 74°
Oct 1st - 15th
69 - 72° Oct 16th - 31st
69 - 64° Nov 1st - 15th
64 - 59° Nov 15th - 30th
59 - 56° Dec 1st - Dec 15th
56 - 60° Dec 16th
- Dec 31st
45 -50 ° January 3rd - 2014
41-45 ° January 25th , 2014.
38 - 42 ° on February 14 - Lake stayed below 42 degrees for
several days - Large
thred-fin die-off occurred.
41 - 45 ° February 20, 2014
42 - 47 °
Some 50 degree reading during recent warm afternoons reported - February 22, 2014.
42 - 46 ° March 7, 2014
48 to 52 ° . March 11, 2014
March 24 thru 28, 2014 - 52 to 56 ° .
April 9th -12th 56 - 60 °
April 15th thru 27th water temp 63 to 68 ° .
May 1st thru May 15th 65 to 70 °
May 25th water temp 68 - 72 ° .
June 1st thru 7th, high 70s with some low 80s being reported.
June 23rd thru 28th, the water temperature is staying in the low to mid 80s
July 1st thru July 15 low to mid 80s.
July 15th thru July 31st 84 to 86 °
August 1st thru 31st 86 to 88 °
Sept 1st thru Sept 15th
88 to 82 °
Oct 1st thru Oct 15th 82 to 75 °
Oct 17th - 31 - 69 - 72 °
Nov 1st - 15th - 59 - 65 ° Nov 11th Cold
fronts moving in.
Nov 15th - 30th - 50 - 59 °
Dec 1st - 15th
49 - 54 °
49 - 54 ° Month of March
52 - 61 ° April
61 - 65
72 - 75 ° June 11th
81 - 83 ° July
81 - 84 ° August 17th - Unusually cool for August
84 - 88 ° September 8th -
High pressure heat over area lake for 10 days raised Lake temperature.
- 80 ° September 24th - Shorter days and cooler nights in the 50s are
dropping water temperatures.
70 - 74 ° October 18th. Cold fronts
66 - 70 ° October 28th
59 - 64 ° November 16th
48 - 55 ° November 28th.
46 - 52
° December 19th
mixing of lakes
what is the
ecological significance of thermal stratification in summer
how deep does
a lake have to be to stratify
lake layers diagram
why does warm
surface water and cold deep water not mix
stratified water column