Jump to content

Recommended Posts

23 hours ago, jfrith said:

That’s a shame to hear. Is there any way to eradicate a species of fish from a stream? Doesn’t seem likely other than just killing all that are caught and even then I would imagine they would come back up from the Mississippi. I know it’s been talked about to death on here before but why are the spots just now (relatively recently) establishing themselves in the Meramec and other Missouri streams?

Human error, both intentional and unintentional.  Some say that bad land use practices have degraded the rivers to the point where they are better spotted bass habitat than they once were, but I don't think that's the reason.  Actually there are major portions of the streams of the Meramec river system that are just as good smallmouth habitat as they were pre-spotted bass, but the spots are now all over them.

The fact is that spots weren't native to the north-flowing streams of the Missouri Ozarks (Osage, Gasconade, and Meramec river systems).  Nor were they native to the direct tributaries to the Mississippi between St. Louis and Cape Girardeau.  They were native to all the south-flowing streams, but had no easy connection to get to the north-flowing streams from their native range--they would have had to come a long way up the Mississippi and into the Missouri to get from all the south-flowing streams, which run into the Mississippi far down in Arkansas, to any of the north-flowing streams.  But there are three ways they eventually got there.  1st, somebody at some point soon after Lake of the Ozarks was built must have stocked them in that lake, because they were in it by the 1940s, and from there they probably spread throughout the Osage system, and also into the Moreau system, since it is nearly connected to the lower Osage.  2nd, MDC actually stocked them into a number of central and northern MO streams, including the Loutre River, which flows into the Missouri River from the north pretty close to where the Gasconade runs into it from the south.  So Gasconade fish could have come from there.  But Meramec fish definitely got there by coming up the Mississippi.  So why didn't they do it a long, long time ago?  Here's my theory:

The Mississippi south of the St. Louis was once a very turbid river, because it's below the mouth of the Missouri, which was one of the most turbid rivers in the country and maybe the world.  So it wouldn't have furnished much of a travel route for spots to go up, and also it was such a long way to come up the Mississippi.  The Castor River, where spots are native, flowed far down into Arkansas before reaching the Mississippi, and that would have been their closest connection.  But around 1900 the Diversion Channel was built, diverting the Castor into the Mississippi just south of Cape Girardeau, and suddenly the spotted bass had a MUCH shorter route to get to the Meramec.  But there was still that problem of very muddy water to get through...AND by that time the Mississippi was one of the most polluted rivers in the country, thanks not only to St. Louis but to Chicago diverting all their sewage and waste to the Illinois River, which runs into the Mississippi above St. Louis.  But then two other things happened.  The big reservoirs were built on the upper Missouri in the Dakotas and Montana, short-stopping a lot of the silt in that river.  And the Clean Water Act cleaned up the Mississippi enough to make it survivable for bass.  And the spotted bass took advantage.  They were in Apple Creek, farthest south direct tributary to the Mississippi above Cape, by the early 1970s.  In Saline Creek and River Aux Vases, farther north, by the late 1970s.  Establishment Creek was next to the north, around 1980.  Not sure when they got to Joachim and Plattin, which were next, since I didn't fish those two creeks back then.  But they got to the lower Meramec by the mid-1980s, and from there they moved steadily upstream on the Meramec, Big, and Bourbeuse.  And the rest is history.  They found habitat to their liking, and the native smallmouth had not evolved to compete well with them...as long as the spotted bass weren't there, the smallmouth thrived, but once the spotted bass moved in, the smallmouth drastically declined.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Members
On 6/13/2020 at 3:54 PM, Gavin said:

Dont go often, but 10 minutes from the house. Maybe once a year Almost all spotted bass, sometimes a walleye, sometimes hybrid white bass.

Anything that walleye seem to like?

This spot is close to home so I may try a few timea, not having much luck at the moment. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, ThisFish said:

Anything that walleye seem to like?

This spot is close to home so I may try a few timea, not having much luck at the moment. 

A flicker shad seems to work well. 

"Honor is a man's gift to himself" Rob Roy McGregor

Link to post
Share on other sites

Not to hijack the thread but met up with a fishing buddy and we kayaked around George Winter last Friday. I got skunked but he hooked into a real nice Longnose gar with a chatterbait I believe. Probably a 4 footer. I tried to unhook it without getting cut by it as it thrashed around, but just as I got some actual leverage with the pliers, it thrashed around one more time and I guess the pliers gave him enough leverage to break off the line and take off, unfortunately with the chatterbait still attached. Hate to have them swim off like that but it was a hard fish to calm down enough to not get cut up bad, even though by that time it had to have been pretty tired. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.