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  1. #1
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    ++++++++++ attention lake hartwell striper fishers!!!! ++++++++++

    I was just made aware of this!!! Everyone who can PLEASE SHOW UP!!!!

    The GA DNR, SC DNR and the Corps are having a striped bass meeting next Monday night (6/24/19) at 6:30 p.m. at the Anderson Civic Center to discuss the status of the Hartwell striped bass fishery and to listen to angler concerns.
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  2. #2
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    It will be interesting to hear from other striper anglers next Monday night at the Anderson Civic Center. Does the meeting give the impression something is going to change on Hartwell? Oxygen lines? Limit reduction? Partial season closing? I would bet on limit reductions and partial season closing before the three parties will shell out for O2 lines. Running O2 is expensive. Almost 20 years ago I was doing water quality work on the Saluda river watershed and had a station on the dam of Lake Greenwood. The dam operators told me at the time how costly the annual budget was just for O2. I can't remember exactly, but it was in the 10s of thousands, and could have been well over 100K. And If I recall, they had about 2 miles worth of lines. If anyone has accurate figures on Lake Greenwood, that would be good info to bring to the meeting.

    As someone mentioned on this site before, stripers don't have o2 sensors, but can sense temperature. So even if O2 lines were installed, if the stripers go to areas in the lake that are deep enough to have the right temps, they will still die if they didn't seek temperature refuge in the area where the O2 lines were installed.

  3. #3
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    Here is the link to the meeting announcement.


    Public invited to meeting on Lake Hartwell striped bass management programs


    The meeting and presentations will cover topics such as a telemetry study of striped bass, summer habitat use and population monitoring programs that have been launched recently in response to angler concerns about the lake’s popular striped bass fishery, according to SCDNR Regional Fisheries Coordinator Dan Rankin.

  4. #4
    Catching on every cast, Legend wkelly's Avatar
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    Did anyone go to this and was there anything discussed worth passing along? thanks.

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    DRN presented annual shocking surveys for the last maybe 10 years. Striper counts are as high as they have ever been since beginning shocking surveys. By almost double 2017 values. However, size class has shifted to smaller fish. Electro shocking surveys indicate a 60% decrease in stripers over 6 lbs. They estimate the fish kill took 60% of stripers over 6lbs. Fisheries management has not had any affect on this loss of large fish. Angling fish mortality is estimated to be 17%. however, results from the first three months of tagging data suggest fishing mortality is higher than 17%. More time is needed to determine actual fishing mortality on Lake Hartwell. But the limit is 10 now and the total fish population is as high now as it has been in the last 10 years. Some folks believe the guide industry is responsible for loss of the larger fish. The data does not support this belief. There are more striper in the lake now than the last 10 years according to electro shocking surveys. Unfortunately, I don't think there was a single guide at the meeting. If there was, they did not identify themselves or stand up for their fellow guides. The issue is critical summer habitat. Their is a refuge zone in the lake for these large stripers. We all know it is water temps in the 55-65F with DO above 2 ppm. This critical habitat come August is roughly between 100 and 120 FOW. Unfortunately, the intake for the hydro turbines are positioned slap dag in the middle of this critical zone. Data was presented that clearly showed this critical zone decrease week by week starting in August and by September the zone was completely void of oxygen. This results in a fish kill. Stripers only have temperature sensors and seek the cold water. They do not have O2 sensors and as the 02 depletes with water withdraw for hydro electric generation, they do not move and suffocate.

    Two major fish kills have happened in the last 10 years. 2013 and 2018. Both heavy rainfall years. The presenters say this is because all the warm water is displacing the cold water and fish kills will continue in heavy summer rainfall years. This however is not true. Warm water can not displace cold water. They have different densities. Warm water is less dense and will stay on the surface. Cold water is denser and will stay on the bottom of the lake. That is why water temperature is always colder the deeper you go in the water column.

    The problem and the only problem for the hartwell striper fishery is the intake for the turbines is, well they could not exactly say where the intake was. The CORE lake manage was at the meeting and would not verify exactly where the intake is. It is somewhere between 100 and 125 FOW. He didn't have much to say because it is this withdraw that sucks all the cold oxygenated water out of the lake leaving cold oxygenated depleted water. The bottom of the lake will always be absent of O2 due to the biological or sediment oxygen demand. This oxygen depleted benthic zone is only replenished with water when and if the lake completely turns over. However, the O2 at the bottom of the lake will shortly return to zero as the BOD or SOD will continue to consume this O2.

    There are a few solutions, and (they) did not want to hear about the solutions. They had an excuse for every solution. Oxygen lines is one solution. But DNR rebuttal was too expensive, or O2 lines are causing other problems in the other southern lakes that have o2 lines. This was not supported by science or data, only by fisherman opinion. Another solution is change the withdrawl point from the critical striper zone to higher in the water column where the water is warmer. This was shot down because their is a so called cold water fisher below the dam. Well, trout don't need 55F water. They can live just fine in 75 degree water as long as o2 remains above 5ppm. The turbines have O2 generating baffles to support the needed O2 levels for this so called cold water fisher. Moving the intake was shot down as "we can't move the intake". Well we put a man on the moon 60 years ago. This would be a one time expense to add hydraulic risers to the intake. Move them up the water column to protect the 100-125 FOW striper zone. Put it at 60 FOW. or wherever it needs to be for the cold water fisher. The cold water fisher does not need 55F water. It can survive with much higher temps. Before the dam, I don't think the river ran 55 in the summer and fall. Summer river temps are generally a few degrees warmer than average summer time night time low temps. So the water leaving the dam does not need to be 55. Historically this was not the case. Another solution which was not raised at the meeting is to install large pumps that pump up cold water from the depths of the lake, and this can be O2 starved water and mix it at the surface with warm oxygenated water. This creates a critical habitat zone in the upper parts of the lake and they can keep the intake where it is. Electric is free to the CORE, you can not store electric, it must be used. Use it to run the pumps. This is a one time expense of pump installation with minimal annual maintenance.

    Lake Murry O2 lines were installed at a cost of 13 million with an annual operational budget of 500K. This is small change compared to the revenue generated from the hydro plant. Investigate cost of hydraulic risers, investigate cost of mixing pumps, investigate cost of O2 lines. All (they) wanted to do was discount any remediation action.

    Bottom line is, we will have a fish kill every year we have average or above rainfall during the summer and early fall. The only years we can expect not to have a fish kill is summer drought years and nobody wants that to be the solution.

    They were between 100 and 125 people at the meeting. Might have been about 15 DNR biologist, techs, and lake managers at the meeting.

    the CORE manager did not have much to say as he knows darn well the entire fish kill revolves around where the hydrolic intake is for the electric turbines. If the intake was moved up in the water column, it wouldn't matter how much rain we got in the summer or fall. Warm water can not displace cold water.

    YOU ALL SHOULD HAVE ATTENDED THE MEETING. MAKE IT A PRIORITY TO ATTEND THE NEXT (WE ARE CONCERNED BUT THEIR IS NOTHING WE CAN DO ABOUT IT) MEETING. It is not a fisheries management issue, its a MONEY MAKING ELECTRIC GENERATION issue.

  6. #6
    Catching on every cast, Legend wkelly's Avatar
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    KW-- thanks for the report. I'll make one point about the summer rains-- while it's true that warm water will not replace cold water, the problem is that while the rain water will carry more oxygen into the system since it's warm in the summer it will not mix with the cold and the O2 it carries will dissipate quickly at the surface..... so more warm coming in adds nothing to the dissolved O2 at the depth where the temps are low, and only increases the need to open the outflow...which occurs as you say at the very temps/depths where the stripers need it. The dam outflow is what is replacing the cold water, not the rain.

    The COE does not have it as their mission to worry about the fishery, so we will live with summer fish kills until congress adds that to their mission. On the GA side I don't see that happening-- for some reason the GA side doesn't seem to understand the lake can be an income-generating resource (other than property taxes-- Hart county certainly understands that!); i.e., I don't see them using it as a recreational resource as much as the SC side seems to. The only tackle shop on the GA side is Walmart, other than what the new Bait store carries. I honestly don't understand it, but until both sides of the pond get together as a political force, nothing will change with the COE. They have a chain of command and at the top is Congress.

  7. #7
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    Since Stripers are not "natural" to Hartwell, maybe we should get them declared as "illegal immigrants". The way Congress seems to love the illegals they would then take action to protect them
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  8. #8
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    wkelly, you are absolutely correct about warm water not being able to displace the cold water. Which is what to DNR kept saying. DNR kept saying the warm water coming in from the summer rain events is displacing the cold water.... IMPOSSIBLE because of the density gradient. Cold water is always denser than warm water until it reaches 4 degree C. At that point cold water becomes less dense than warm water which is the reason ICE forms on the top of the lake and not the bottom of the lake. Any biologist, especially one that manages a lake fishery should understand this. Don't jam mistruths down are throat. It's all about where the intake is in the lake.

    Saturday fishing report. We caught three stripers in the 7-8 lb class, all the rest were under 5. All returned to the lake alive and healthy.

    That's funny Bubba!
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