Rising river water levels good for fishing Though the Missouri River basin has suffered from drought for the past eight years, recent rains have increased reservoir levels throughout the Missouri River system. While the higher water is good news, itâ�?�?s also cause for caution. The rising water levels are floating logs that were left on shore when the water level dropped. Anglers and boaters should be aware of the safety hazards of rising reservoirs.�? The swift currents of swollen tributary streams and rivers are not safe and should be avoided. These tributaries also contribute large amounts of floating debris that can inhibit safe boating practices. Turbid waters can keep boaters from seeing large logs and other debris floating under the surface. â�?�?Large cottonwood trees floating throughout much of Lake Oahe have been reported recently,â�? said Jim Riis, Missouri River program administrator for the Game, Fish and Parks Department. â�?�?Decreasing your speed while boating on all reservoirs will help anglers remain safe during high water conditions.â�? Access issues stemming from drought conditions have occurred on Lake Oahe in recent years. Previous efforts with boat ramp extensions and the building of low-water ramps have been a priority for the department. With water levels at their highest since 2002, many primary boat ramps are back in service and low-water boat ramps on Lake Oahe have become submerged. More than 20 boat ramps will be available for use and boating access should be good for all areas of the reservoir. Even with drought conditions leading into the large rain events and water level increases this spring, initial reports indicate anglers have been successful on Missouri River reservoirs so far this year. Many anglers targeted mid sections of Lake Sharpe in May and early June while Lake Oahe has experienced increases in fishing pressure recently. â�?�?There was a great bite on Lake Sharpe in May with many anglers launching from West Bend. That bite has since slowed, but the Oahe bite has definitely picked up,â�? said Geno Adams, senior fisheries biologist for GFP. â�?�?Many anglers targeting walleye from Bushâ�?�?s Landing northward have been met with success recently.â�? Fish populations from all Missouri River reservoirs will likely be affected positively by recent rains. â�?�?Increasing water levels greatly benefit fish populations in reservoirs,â�? said Jason Sorensen, fisheries biologist for GFP. â�?�?Steady to rising water levels are known to help reproduction of many fish species that spawn in the spring.â�? Flooded vegetation provides nutrients the reservoir needs to aid in food chain development. Young fish also utilize flooded vegetation to avoid predation by larger fish. The rising waterâ�?�?s effect on early life stages of many sport fish species will benefit anglers throughout the Missouri River reservoirs for future years.�?