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Keiththom

Gasconade Run

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It's been years (about 13)  since I've gotten up to the Gasconade. It was easily my favorite bass fishing river. I had an opportunity to get out on it a little yesterday for some light fishing and site seeing. What I saw was disheartening.  In the years since I've been there, the river has degraded considerably.  One of the ways I judge a river's viability is by Seining. You can really see a river's diversity by running seines.  (I make a habit of seining river systems a lot.)  Although I didn't have a lot of time, I was generally disappointed in our seining results.  But what concerned and disappointed me most was the algae bloom prevalent everywhere I went.  Just walking in the water, you had to pull off the strands of algae that clung to your legs before getting back in the boat.  My nets pulled in a lot more algae than fish.  Seining is always difficult and predictably bad when the river is filled with an over-abundance of algae. The algae covers the bottom and smothers out the ability of minnows and other life to reproduce. When minnow numbers plummet, the bigger fish soon follow.  And great globs of algae were everywhere here at Bell Chute and up river.  I've watched the same progression occur during 50 years running the lower big river.  It went from a clean stream teaming with fish to what it is today - algae choked and devoid of diversity. Pull a net through the lower Big river and all you'll catch is algae.  I really hate to see the Gasconade follow the same progression.  I considered it the best bass fishing stream in the state.  The Gasconade is the longest river in Missouri and it meanders through so much farmland.  These farms produce a great deal of fertilizer runoff which probably contributes to the majority of over-fertilization of this river.  There are still bass to be caught here for sure, but the future looks pretty bleak for this river and fishing.  I haven't been on the upper stretches around Falcon for even longer.  I suspect the river is in much better shape up that way.  So - I have to cross off the Gasconade as my favorite bass stream, at least in this stretch,  from here on out even though I did pull in  few nice fish.

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All of the rivers in the area are suffering the same simply because they are low and haven't had a good rise in awhile to flush out the yuck.  It's merely temporary and doesn't effect the overall life in the stream much.  They have survived way worse droughts than this in the past.

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5 minutes ago, fishinwrench said:

All of the rivers in the area are suffering the same simply because they are low and haven't had a good rise in awhile to flush out the yuck.  It's merely temporary and doesn't effect the overall life in the stream much.  They have survived way worse droughts than this in the past.

I wish that were true, but like I said, I watched the same progression in the lower big river.  The algae bloom here is now permanent.  I've also fished / been on the upper meremac, Big piney, and Current river systems in the last few weeks.  They have went through the same low water periods but do not suffer from an over abundance of algae.  It's true that a flood will do some flushing, but what you see at low water tells you a lot more than what you see after a good flushing.  A healthy river system is largely devoid of algae bloom. The bloom that you see on the Gasconade is showing that the river is stressed and getting too many nutrients usually in the form of fertilizers, livestock runoff and / or raw sewage.

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46 minutes ago, fishinwrench said:

Time for all these biologists and environmental engineers to get busy then, hu?   Are any of them even discussing it?

What are they waiting for?

It's a national issue and one that at the moment is probably unsolvable. If anything, we are moving in the opposite direction in this country with protective agencies under attack.  How can you tell a farmer to reduce fertilizers? And as populations grow, and they will, there will be an increase in nutrients / pollutants/ sewage for algae to thrive on, reaching the river systems.  All of this will mean more pollution, less diversity, and fewer fish.

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Guess it's time for population reduction. 

Refer to the Georgia guidestones.  People need to quit the incessant breeding, religious organizations need to stop with their anti-abortion propaganda, and the government needs to stop supporting the warts of society for a lifetime just so they can keep having babies who will follow the same path as they grow.

Animals become overpopulated from time to time, but their numbers don't damage the earth because nature is allowed to take its course.  We've become to smart and too kind for our own good.     Harsh but true.  And nobody has the balls to face it.

 

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