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About Notropis

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    Bigmouth Quillback
  • Birthday 08/16/1954

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  1. Notropis

    Dam area - July 3

    This discussion takes me way back to my childhood, camping out with extended family group on the Saline River in lower Arkansas. We would camp for several days while fishing with limb lines as well as rods and reels in an attempt to have a fresh fish fry on the banks of the river. We would always catch a few drums along with catfish and other species and I remember how we kids were usually served the drum while the adults ate the other fish. They seemed pretty good to me especially if served while hot. Later as an adult I would fish the back waters of the Arkansas River for bass in the summer. When the bass weren't biting, we would motor out to the main river and troll crankbaits around the wing dams and catch drum until our wrists were sore. Some were fairly big, up to 15 pounds. It was great fun even though we rarely kept any.
  2. Notropis

    Fish care

    I couldn't agree more with Champs statement. I had the privilege of working with Jeremy for several years. He's intelligent, hard working and a darn good angler!
  3. Notropis

    Not a double digit bass but close....

    May not be double-digit but still the fish of a lifetime. Good luck at the Championship!
  4. Notropis

    Indian Creek, May 10

    Good points rps! Table Rock is certainly different than Beaver, especially when comparing the nutrient loads coming from the White River tributaries. Above Beaver, the White River is all watershed (falling as rain over the ground then into the lake) where it picks up a lot of nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) whereas the water from the White River going into Table Rock has had a large percentage of the nutrients removed and utilized in Beaver. I'm not sure it's the of the distance of the flow below the dam that hinders the walleye spawning success as much as the cold water temperatures coming from below the dam. Walleye eggs are adhesive and stick to the gravel in the shoals where the females release them, they don't float downstream like striped bass eggs and don't require long stretches of current to hatch. Either way, I don't doubt that the spawn is not very successful in the Beaver Tailwaters most years. There are good conditions for successful walleye spawns in the Kings River and to a lesser extent Long Creek but natural predation on the walleye fry take their toll. Survival of most fish species from fry to adulthood is very low, many times less than 1%. Stocked fingerlings have a much higher chance of surviving than fry. Knowing this we periodically stocked walleye fingerlings in both the White River below the dam and the Kings River (in addition to the walleye stocked by Missouri) to insure good numbers of walleye in Table Rock and a continued place where we could get good broodstock for our needs in Arkansas.
  5. Notropis

    Indian Creek, May 10

    I believe I can shed some light on this discussion with a little background information, Stump is partially correct regarding the utilization of the Beaver Lake Nursery Pond for walleye stocking. We tried a couple of years to put walleye fry in the pond and grow them to fingerling size for direct stocking into the lake but we weren't very successful. Because of the shallow nature of the pond, water temperatures would cool rapidly in the early spring during cold fronts, causing zooplankton die-offs and subsequent fry die-offs. The pond had been very useful in producing sunfish species, smallmouth, crappie etc. but didn't work too well for walleye. Since the pond was sketchy for producing walleye, we changed tactics by utilizing the Charlie Craig Hatchery in Centerton. We collected broodstock from the Kings River and the White River below the dam, took the fish to the hatchery where they were spawned by hand. The eggs were hatched in specialized jars with constant water flow. The fry that hatched were grown to fingerling size on the hatchery before stocking in Beaver Lake and other lakes in Arkansas. The hatchery crew became so efficient at walleye fingerling production that they were responsible for almost all walleye stocking in Arkansas Lakes! After seeing the survival and growth rates of the walleye fingerlings in Beaver Lake I decided to make a commitment to establish a good walleye population in the lake with routine annual stockings. We did see some natural reproduction after a few years documented by a study that included marking all the stocked fingerlings with a chemical that identified them as stocked fish when captured in later studies. Jon Stein, current District Biologist, tells me natural reproduction was very significant some years. Hopefully it will reach a point where the walleye population is self sustaining. Hope this was helpful.
  6. Notropis

    Sunday, 1-7-18

    Nice catch, especially considering the cold spell we experienced the last few weeks! Looks like you guys have found a pretty good bite on the lower end of the lake. I have to confess, few things give me greater pleasure than seeing a picture of an angler with a nice smallmouth bass caught from Beaver Lake. When I first stated working for the AGFC as a fish management biologist in 1986, my supervisor, Ralph Fourt, made it clear that one of his main goals was to reestablish smallmouth bass in Beaver by utilizing the Beaver Lake nursery pond (which we were in the process of constructing). Smallmouth were present in the rivers when the lake was impounded but were outcompeted by the largemouth and spotted that proliferated in the new lake environment (lots of flooded brush and timber) and were almost non-existent in the fish population in 1986. Ralphs' plan was too utilize heavy stockings of smallmouth fingerlings out of the nursery pond for several years to try to get the brownies going again. We did this by going to Bull Shoals lake in the early Spring and catch a few hundred adult brood stock via electrofishing and transport them to the nursery pond to spawn and produce as many fingerlings as possible, then open the pond gate and stock both the adults and fingerlings into Beaver. We weren't very popular with the some of the Bull Shoals crowd. We were branded by some as "fish stealers" because in their mind we were taking some of their fish. Some years it was tough to get enough brood stock because of bad weather and lake level conditions, so we worked with some of the tournament organizers to collect smallmouth brought in by contestants. We made it clear that it was strictly voluntary and it was up to the angler to decide if they wanted to donate them to our cause or release them back into Bull Shoals. Almost all were glad to contribute because what we were trying to accomplish. For several years it seemed like we were pouring the stocked fingerlings into a hole to disappear, predation by other fish took a heavy toll on the fingerlings. Scuba divers from the UofA monitored the outflow from the nursery pond during the stockings and reported hundreds of white, spotted and largemouth bass that would eat so many of the fingerlings that they would end up laying on the bottom of the lake barely moving for hours. In order to give the fingerlings a better chance to survive, we spent several years sinking brush, trees and pallet structures around the pond and outlet to give the fingerlings safe havens to avoid predation. For the first few years we observed minimal results during our electrofishing samples, only a few adult smallmouth in the vicinity of the nursery pond which were probably some of the brood stock that were released with the fingerlings. After a few years we started seeing them further and further down lake where the best smallmouth habitat is. At first we would only see a couple per night but in later years the numbers started increasing to a point where we were seeing 40 or 50 adults each night out of a couple hundred fish. Can't tell you how great that felt! Being a fish management biologist was a great job but many of the rewards and goals were abstract, reflected In charts and graphs showing improvements in fish populations after a regulation change. But numbers reflected on a spreadsheet or chart aren't nearly as satisfying as seeing the visual evidence of a happy angler holding up a picture of a good fish! Sorry about the long winded post but I figured some of the OAF anglers would enjoy hearing the story behind the smallmouth population in Beaver Lake. Way to Go Ralph, goal achieved!
  7. No worries Champ, a 10 degree difference leaves room for a lot of healthy skepticism and in many ways seems contrary to common sense. I studied and helped manage large reservoirs for decades and I'm still amazed how dynamic these large systems are.
  8. Not too unusual for water temps to be different in the river arms compared to main lake, especially close to the dam. That's why the turnover starts much earlier in the upper lake, sometimes as much as a month and a half earlier. TrophyFishR and Ozark Flyer are correct regarding the difference in volume being a main reason for the difference. The difference in average depth is also another factor as well as the inflow of cold river water. It won't be long before we see the threadfins starting to stress and die if we continue to see frigid weather. The worst years for severe winter shad kills happen when large areas of the lake become ice covered. Those conditions really kick their butts. I've walked stretches of the shoreline during those types of winters and seen large wind rows of dead threadfin in most areas of the lake. Hopefully it won't be that severe this winter but the next few days look pretty bad temperature wise. PS, Kudos to you Lance34 for your success in finding and catching crappie. I always enjoy your posts and pictures!
  9. Notropis

    Polar Bear

    Did you notice the sex of those two stripers when you were cleaning them? Just curious. Could be the plump one was female, they start growing their egg mass this time of year.
  10. Notropis

    Polar Bear

    I've caught a few skinny stripers this Fall, mostly in the 25-30 inch, but a few of other lengths. I think it takes the stripers and walleye a little longer to get the benefits of a high water year since their habitat gets squeezed (water quality wise) during the warm water temperatures of summer. The young threadfin shad groups were plentiful this Fall but most that I saw were very small about 1.5 inches. It's hard for the larger stripers to do well on such small forage, especially when the water is warm enough for the shad to swim fast. I think the stripers (and hopefully the walleye too) will do better this winter when they take advantage of the slow moving threadfin shad as the water temps get into the 40's. PS. Be careful what you wish for regarding shad kill, a little is ok but bad ones can really hurt the lake. Some of the worst years, fish population wise, I ever saw on Beaver Lake were after severe winter shad kills. The fishing can be real good for a little while, but you pay a price down the road.
  11. Notropis

    11/21 report

    The grin on your boy's face says it all! I enjoyed meeting and visiting with you and your sons last week. You're a good Dad to introduce your boys to fishing and the great outdoors.
  12. Notropis

    10/31/17 report

    Report pos Iā€™m going by what Beaver water district and 40/29 news. When they did a report in the first part of September about it turning. Mention up about the big algae bloom as well that happen this year. Plus how the water quality was rated at some unclean level or something like that. ??? Yes, they say that every year Lance and it's confusing when they refer to it as "turnover" but it's typically when the blue-green algae starts dying off as Stump bumper indicated, that causes the bad taste and odor in the drinking water. The blue-green algae is dominate in the summer months especially in the river arms which are more fertile than the middle and lower lake. When the high water temperatures of summer start to drop into the 70's, they usually begin to die off. The problem is compounded because of the location of the water intake in the fertile upper lake. The other intakes (Madison County and Eureka Springs) located further down the lake are less effected by the algae taste especially the one adjacent to the dam. Of course, for us fishermen, it's a good thing that the upper lake is more fertile. The lake's highest biomass of fish per acre is in the upper reaches, including the crappie population, which you well know, judging by your reports!
  13. Notropis

    10/31/17 report

    Not trying to sound contrary but I doubt the lake turned over in September. Fall turnover begins when the surface temp becomes colder or equally cold to the bottom layer of water. Water becomes denser as it gets colder and when the surface temperature becomes the same density as the water on bottom, it sinks and pushes the bottom water up to mix with the surface water. During most years the lake starts turning over on the upper end, which is the shallowest, around late October to early November (depending on how cold the air temperatures are) then continues down the lake to the deeper ends (which cool down slower due to the greater volume of water) until the lake is totally mixed, usually in mid to late December. When you consider that the water temperature coming out of the dam (from the bottom of the lake) during power generation in the summer is in the high 40's. it's makes sense that the surface temps must be much cooler than they are typically in September to cause fall turnover. I don't doubt the bottom temps in the upper lake are warmer than the bottom water close to the dam but still much colder than the typical mid 70's surface temps in September. During the years I worked on the lake, there were a couple minor fish kills, mostly involving gizzard shad, that were associated with the turnover and subsequent mixing of low oxygen bottom water with the surface water. These kills happened in late October on the upper end of the lake in both cases.
  14. Notropis


    You guys are asking a lot of good questions some of which I can't answer since I haven't studied Table Rock or done much population sampling on it. I think I can help with understanding how electrofishing samples are conducted to estimate total fish populations as accurately as possible. In Arkansas, we went through an extensive evolution in our electrofishing (EF) techniques. When the first EF samples were conducted in the late 80's we relied on capturing a set number of bass to estimate the population . On lakes the size of Beaver, we were required to capture 250 for each species of bass, weigh and measure each one, then release them. We used the catch rates (number of fish caught per hour) to estimate abundance and the lengths and weights to determine population structure (percentage of different sized fish). As we progressed with our methods and began to apply statistical analysis to our numbers, it became apparent that this method was inadequate for several reasons. Many biologists were picking out the best areas and habitat to sample to capture the minimal number of fish required in the shortest time since many of them had large numbers of lakes to sample each Spring during a set water temperature window. This "selective area" sampling was biased in that it would paint too rosy of a picture in catch rates and to a lesser extent population structure. Realizing this we looked at what other states were doing and utilized techniques of statistical analysis to adapt our EF techniques to better reflect and estimate total fish populations. We did this by dividing the large lakes into different zones and used multiple randomly generated sample sites in each zone utilizing GPS and computers to randomly select sample sites. We also increased the number of total sample sites dramatically from 6-10 per lake, to 40-50 per lake. We did reduce the sample time from 30 minutes to 10 minutes per site but still increased our total time sampling. Since the sites were randomly chosen, they were a more accurate representation of all types of habitat (the good and the bad). We put in a lot of long nights accomplishing this but it was worth it to have information that was far more accurate and more valid statistically. Our catch rates went down since we were no longer going to the best areas *honey holes" but they were a lot closer to the reality of what the population was. It's a complicated process and certainly not perfect but I believe, a lot more accurate than the other methods we were using. I'm not sure what the protocol for EF samples are in Missouri and you would need to check with them to find out. Hope this was helpful!
  15. Notropis


    I think the answer to that depends on how clear the water is. I remember reading a study done by a professor in Missouri who found a correlation between water visibility and depth of spawning nest. It indicated that the species he was studying (crappie) were cueing in on sunlight penetration to determine how deep they would spawn. In extreme muddy water the fish would spawn in just a few feet of water, in clear water the depth would be much deeper. My guess is that the fish instinctively choose a depth that will favor the right water temperature for hatching success after the eggs are deposited. As I've mentioned before, the fish are adaptable to changing water conditions and will abandon poor spawning depths for shallower or deeper levels to spawn in depending on conditions. I agree with you regarding the drop in water temperatures delaying the spawn until conditions are more favorable, I've seen spotted bass on the nest in late May and even early June during unusually cold Springs.

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