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Dropping water = less fish in actual lake?

Discussion in 'Central Ohio Fishing Reports' started by ying6, Feb 15, 2005.

  1. After watching, reading and fishing most of the central ohio spillways the last few weeks I can honestly say that there have been a LOT(I know not very specific) of saugeye flushed down into our rivers.
    At this point I am not sure what to think about fishing above the dams this spring and summer. I know from talking to a bunch of guys at Delaware that they very rarely catch saugeye above the dam. Could this start happening at other places such as Alum and Hoover?
    Something to think about, while we wait for the ice to melt.
  2. While a few fish do get flushed through the dam I don't think nearly enough go through to affect the lake fish populations. There are always a certain number of fish that go down through the spillways regardless of the floods. The reason that it may seem like a lot is the nature of the saugeye to move upstream to turbid water when the outflow is strong. This outlfow helps to concentrate the fish that are located in that area of the river. So my guess is that the lake saugeye fishing will be unaffected.

  3. Bassnpro1

    Bassnpro1 OSU outdoorsman

    I have to agree that the fish populations in the lakes will be relatively unaffected. Delaware doesn't have many suageyes caught above the dam because it doesn't get stocked heavily. They don't stock many fish, becuase most of them get flushed down. So the lakes that have typically been good, will be good, and the spillways that are typically good, will be better.
  4. misfit

    misfit MOD SQUAD

    i tend to agree with bkr to an extent.while some lakes may lose more fish during extended periods of flooding,in most cases i don't think it has too much effect on most waters.
    as he said,fish tend to migrate upstream in the rising water.i think especially when at normal(or lower) levels.the water below some dams is shallow,and they concentrate in the deeper water downstream.the extra water released also releases more baitfish,which is also a draw.i think it might also be possible that at this time of year,the spawning urge may be starting to enter their mind causing more fish to start moving upstream.
    but then again,i could be wrong on all counts,cause i ain't never figured them fish out yet :confused: :D ;)
  5. Ying,

    I'm with BKR, too. I think most of the fish that pass thru the dam are juvenile fish in thier first year or so after stocking. Then they become, in effect, river fish. I think that's why a large number of the fish caught below spillways are small. Not saying larger or adult fish couldn't stray near the outflow and get sucked in, but I don't think it's a common occurance.

  6. fshman_165

    fshman_165 CJ Eye Hunter

    I know that this is the central forum, but I wanted to put my .02 in.
    CJ brown loses alot of fish during periods of extended discharge. For the last two weeks we have been getting fish between 3 and 7 lbs consistantly. This has been a pattern for many years. Years of extended discharge/flooding have been followed by great fishing, dominated in turn by larger fish. Now don't get me wrong, there are smaller fish that get sucked out, but you tend to see the smaller ones turning up during standard or slightly higher outflow periods.
  7. Hell yeah, If Alum keeps flooding like it did in Seriously though, the saugeye fishing in the main lake at Delaware never really materialized. I'm surprised the state is still stocking it at all. Although 49,000 fingerlings can hardly be called stocking.

    DELAWARE LAKE, 2004 Fishing Prospects

    Saugeye - fingerlings were first stocked in June 1986. Due to large watershed for its size, lake is prone to major flooding. Saugeye, a highly migratory fish species, are prone to swimming/washing through dams during flooding so population levels and fishing success vary widely from year-to-year. Fish the flats south of Cap Cole Bay. 49,000 fingerlings were stocked in 2003. Best fishing is in the tailwater one week after large volumes of water have been discharged from the dam. OUTLOOK - FAIR.
  8. Tim,

    I tried to go to the WBSA link that you have. I have not signed up for the site. I could do so (I probably will now to check it out) but can you copy the text over to here? It will make it easier to read. Although not doing it may be a good way to increase WBSA membership.:D
  9. Brian,

    My bad-the link worked for me, but Im a member-didn't think about that! :eek:
    See if this works-copy/paste from the WBSA site thread below:



    Joined: 10 May 2004
    Posts: 38
    Location: Utica, OH
    Posted: Wed Feb 16, 2005 9:59 pm Post subject: Question for Travis H.



    This question stems from a message board thread that I read recently. It was about how stocked fish populations can be or are affected by flooding. Can you point me towards any research studying what ages/sizes of walleyes and/or saugeyes that tend to be "flushed" out of impoundments during periods of flooding? ALso any idea on the percentage of stocked fish that leave the system by these means? Thanks.

    Tim Joseph

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    Reel Science

    Joined: 05 May 2004
    Posts: 71
    Location: Catawba Island
    Posted: Thu Feb 17, 2005 10:17 pm Post subject:



    When I was at Ohio State I was involved in numerous saugeye studies. I spent a day with a fellow graduate student following radio tagged saugeye around the tailwaters of an Ohio reservoir. This much is pretty clear- if you tag an adult saugeye below the dam of a reservoir they tend to stay near the dam. Unfortunately very little is known about migraitions of fingerlings post-stocking. I would argue that the highest probability of saugeye or walleye leaving the system is when they are still juveniles. The problem is that they are nearly impossible to track at that size. The best way to look for migrators would be to mark them at the hatchery and then sample adults downstream years later. The problem with tagging adult fish is that if you tag adults in the reservoir chances are that they have decided to stay in the reservoir. The same thing happened in the tailwater, adults from the tailwaters were tagged and they did not move from the tailwater. I believe the ones that decide to make large migrations (to the Ohio River, for example) do so at young ages. If they are predisposed to migrate they will early on, but if they aren't predisposed to migrate they will stay around, like the ones that we followed.

    I have fished below Willow Island dam on the Ohio River and on some spring days caught an even mix of walleye, saugeye and sauger. The walleye and sauger are native, the saugeye most likely migrated out of the Muskingum River. Some of the Muskingum River watershed reservoirs are stocked with saugeye. At this point it has not been documented at what life stage they migrated, but my guess would be within the first year or two.

    Look me up at the April meeting and we can talk more about saugeye.

    Reel Science

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    Joined: 10 May 2004
    Posts: 38
    Location: Utica, OH
    Posted: Fri Feb 18, 2005 10:10 am Post subject: Saugeye/Walleye migrations



    Thanks for the comeback. Your response pretty much confirms my ideas- not that I'm a biologist by any means, but my ideas have been formed through a bit of reading of research and, admittedly, some speculation! Looking foward to kicking this idea around at the next meeting.

  10. Very interesting. Thanks for the great post Tim. I wonder if it matters how long that adult saugeye was in the river prior to being tagged? I mean shouldn't they have captured an adult above the dam and then released it below? I may have to talk to this guy myself.
  11. I'll post a link to this thread and ask Travis to come over here and give some input for us OGF'rs. He is a wealth of info and he's an avid fisherman, too!

  12. That is a good article. It would be interesting to see whether they have ever tried tagging juvenile fish from the hatchery prior to stocking them. It seems that there could be some benefit to such a study.
  13. I guess my question stems from seeing fish floating by or noticing them along the bank.. dead.
    From the report, I guess I am suppose to suspect that these adult fish swim up to the front of the waterflow and get swept backwards, thrown upside down and washed away. I would say in the past month I have seen over a hundred dead or floating saugeye at either hoover or alum. I also never seem to catch saugeye while fishing below these dams during the summer months. -- Just trying to figure things out. (which we all know will never happen)