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Phil Lilley

Mdc Meeting On Trout Habitat

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MDC asks a few of us to attend a idea session at the hatchery tonight to get some feedback and ideas on adding habitat below the dam.

There were about 15 of us and a few from MDC - Shane Bush and Mike Allen from fisheries, Clint Hale from the hatchery and Andy Austin from Springfield. Quentin Fronterhouse from enforcement was also there.

Basically, MDC has money from the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation and Bass Pro to add fish habitat in Table Rock and it's watershed as well as Taneycomo. The are in the third year of five of the project.

In a nutshell, they are open to all ideas at this point, as long as the Corp doesn't object and it doesn't cause any problems with access to the river or problems with boating.

They have looked at the projects below Bull Shoals and Beaver Dams. They noticed that the wood structures below BS Dam didn't stay there very long after they were put there - washed away. Rocks didn't though. They have held up below Beaver Dam also.

MDC wants to create fish holding areas as well as havens for fish food. There is also a good possibility of placing rock structures to redirect water flow to create deeper pools and runs where only shallow, flat areas are presently.

It was agreed, there will be no dredging. Taking rock out only complicates other areas.

An initial sturdy has already been drafted and the final study could be done by the first of the year.

Brett Rader offered some ideas about placing rocks above outlet #2. Bill Babler had some comments about boating in the area and shared concerns about boats hitting newly placed rocks. But MDC said they probably would not place large boulders in the channel. Kent Campbell expressed concern about using sharp edged rocks that would damage drift boats. Also placing some rocks in eddy waters along the banks above the boat ramp would force drift boats to have to row out in the faster water to get above the rocks.

Kent Turner asked about the present scud population in which Bush said he thought it was in very good shape from the constant flow of water for the last 18 months. He referenced my scud video. He also asked about trout growth in the lake in which Hale guessed he thought trout were growing about a half-inch per month. He indicated the warmer water helps trout growth but the high temps last fall plus the low DO hurt the overall population.

Shane also said there is a study in progress for a liquid oxygen diffuser system for Table Rock Dam to improve the DO levels in the late summer and fall months.

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OK

Now's your chance.

Here's a map. Mark it up with spots where you'd put what and tell why. Be as specific as possible.

I am not against placing "wood" pieces either... just have to make sure they don't move. Wood attracts more insects, bugs. It will hold more green life - also attracting bugs. But they have to be in areas where they won't wash and/or secured in place.

Have at it, armchair fisheries biologists/hydrologists!

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One thing I forgot to mention. MDC guys talked about using big rocks so that they won't be washed away. I pointed out that there are relatively small rocks on the north side of the lake above outlet #2 that have been in the same place for years and years. These small, 12-20 inch rocks, some placed, don't move and do attract fish. These are some of the examples we can look at when deciding where to put rocks and other structures to improve habitat.

One other question MDC had - what shape of rocks? I'll add: what kind of rocks?

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I wish I could have made it to the meeting.

I would love to see a bunch of limestone boulders put in between outlet 1-2 , if the Corp will go down and move some gravel around from the rebar down to the big hole not taking it out just redistribution and deepen.

Down by outlet three down to the wall of fame on the north side would be an awesome spot for some structure and boulders added. These three areas already hold fish and the structure would only make it better.

One thing that they might consider to do is to build a diversion down by the boat ramp to slow the water to make it easier for inexperienced people to load and unload boats in the current. Just like they have down below the Dam on the both sides of the river on White.

As for navigation with boats drift or motor I have seen no problem down on the White below the dam, but I guess it only take one person for it to be a problem you should know the river system be for you put your boat in and navigate up or down stream. I do also understand thats how you can learn a river system is to just get out and do it

With the structure they have added below the dam you can already see how it holds, This a great idea.

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I'd like to see the channel that is opening up (cutting across) the gravel bar below outlet 3 rocked in at the top and stablize the bar from erosion. Doesn't have to be big rocks that boats have to worry about, just something to help stablize the bar so it doesn't erode and load more gravel into the channel.

In general I'm against stream dredging but something should be done to take the gravel that was stripped from the banks last year and deposited into the stream back to the banks or bars that it came from. It was at least a once in 50 years event that helped messed up the stream, plus around 50 years of "wear and tear". Even though there was a historic flood last year, the majority of water came from the spillway not the river channel. So near the dam, the dymanics of a river flood just weren't natural.

So manual intervention to help reverse the negative effects of those changes to the stream is welcome.

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There will be no dredging. That is clear via MDC.

But placing rocks at the right place will make holes, even a channel if it's done right.

Placing rocks to the place below outlet 3 may stop the erosion or it may speed it up. Not sure. But I know what you're talking about.

We are going to walk the area in a week or so and see what looks best. They do have a hydrologist on staff which will help immensely.

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Here's my idea - off the top of my head. Now this is without walking thru and really looking at the deal so don't hold me to this being final or correct.

Red - attempt to deepen the flat area towards the middle or south side of the lake with placed boulders or piles of boulders. IF we can secure logs or cedar binds, then use wood in addition to rocks.

Blue - attempt to deepen at least a side half thru rebar on into the bend. Try to deepen the hole at the end of rebar so that big fish will hold there again.

Green - Try to establish a hole at Big Hole again. Create pockets in the flat area.

Yellow - shore up this bank.

Not marked - shoudl shore up the bank just below outlet #1 also but would have to make sure any riprap placed would not create another problem above or below the improvement. Also would have to consider access to the water.

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Rader want those rocks for some easier shuffling for his guide service? Maybe make it easier for C/W to bull their way into a spot already being fished. Oh, wait, surely they WOULD NEVER do that??? :rolleyes:

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