1999 Annual Meeting Minutes

Minutes of the Reservoir Committee Meeting
1999 SDAFS Mid-year Meeting
Chattanooga, TN
February 25, 1999

The Reservoir Committee (RC) was called to order by Chair Mike Allen at 9:05 AM. A quorum was determined with 28 members attending.

Minutes of the previous meeting were approved.

Financial Report

Total Mutual Funds: $50,052
Checking Account: $ 3,507
Total: $53,559

Old Business

Special Session on FERC relicensing

Mike Duval announced that the RC and the Warmwater Streams Committee were co-sponsoring a Special Session on FERC relicensing of hydropower projects. Presenters would represent federal and state resource agencies, FERC, utilities, and consulting firms.

New Business

Update on Habitat Enhancement Survey and Manual – Abiotic Structures

Mike Allen stated he had received survey responses from 31 states and passed around a package including some of the responses. Allen stated that only a few projects included evaluation of structures. Allen asked for volunteers to contact remaining states. Mike Colvin, Fred Heitman, Wes Porak, Mike Duval, Gene Gilliland, and Jay Haffner were each assigned a few remaining states to contact. Fred Heitman suggested RC members complete the form over phone if possible. Allen stated he needs the completed forms by April 1, 1999.

Update on Habitat Enhancement Survey and Manual – Aquatic Vegetation

Mike Alexander stated that he received little response from RC members, although several provided comments on a draft vegetation enhancement survey form. Several members replied that contacts had indicated they were doing nothing with aquatic vegetation enhancement. Alexander stated that it was important to know how many organizations had responded "Not working with plants." Alexander also stated that he needed names of individuals working with plants and passed out vegetative survey forms to RC members.

Alexander realized a need to get information from other groups like the Aquatic Plant Management Society. Mike Smart will be attending the July 1999 APMS meeting in Asheville, NC, and agreed to approach that group. Other useful groups may include the wildlife divisions of state agencies, Ducks Unlimited, Wildlife Society, Society of Wetland Scientists, Aquascaping firms, etc. Mark Webb suggested posting survey forms on SDAFS web page, and Mike Smart suggested getting the survey form on other organizations’ web pages.

There was much discussion regarding the appropriate target audience for the habitat enhancement manual. The RC generally agreed that the initial manual should be directed at management biologists, and should be cross-referenced by topic, material, etc. This manual could then be tailored to other groups if necessary. Mike Colvin was interested in possible trends within habitat enhancement work being conducted in different regions.

Gene Gilliland suggested that after all survey information was received, a small committee be appointed by the RC Chair to determine the exact format of the manual. Mike Allen agreed to summarize survey responses for the RC summer meeting, and would pursue that suggestion at that time.

Other Habitat Work Business

Gene Gilliland announced that the Fish America Foundation had grant money available for habitat enhancement projects. Tom Marshall of the Fish America Foundation is interested in working with the RC to provide this information to persons involved in habitat enhancement work. Update on Habitat Enhancement Survey and Manual.

Gilliland also announced that B.A.S.S. was organizing an aquatic vegetation management symposium, and suggested the RC could contribute to this symposium from the habitat enhancement survey.

Bob Jenkins Scholarship Update

Gene Gilliland reported that Ron Small of VA Tech, last year’s Jenkins scholarship recipient, was scheduled to present his work at the 1999 mid-year. This work involved competition between shad, alewife, and sunfish. The RC also paid some travel expenses for him to get to 1999 meeting. Ron has finished his degree and taken a job with NC.

Jim Long of Oklahoma State, also a recipient of the Jenkins scholarship last year, was also scheduled to present at the 1999 mid-year. His work involves resource utilization among black bass in an OK reservoir. Gilliland received a strong recommendation letter from major professor Bill Fisher re Jim Long and the current study. Gilliland motioned that the RC award Jim Long a second year scholarship. Heitman second, motion passed unanimously.

Gilliland and Dick Christie evaluated this year’s scholarship applications. Gilliland motioned to award a Jenkins scholarship to Daniel Isermann of TN Tech, as his research with crappie may have wide applicability. Alexander second, motioned passed unanimously.

Christie suggested printing abstracts from each scholarship applicant’s research on the RC web page, and also posting information to better inform potential applicants of the application review criteria. Gilliland stated that he would send a letter to 1999 applicants informing them of strong and weak points of their application, and would encourage re-application in 2000.

History of the RC Poster

Mike Allen discussed producing a History of the RC Poster for display at the SDAFS 2000 mid-year meeting. Allen volunteered to put the poster together at the Univ. of Florida, but needed help with gathering historical info, photographs, etc. Some of the RC projects mentioned for the poster were Douglas, Barkley, Shadathon, 3 reservoir symposiums, and striped bass stocking study.

The possibility of having a continuous running slide show and/or video with the poster presentation was also mentioned. Jeff Boxrucker has copies of the Shadathon video and Larry Olmstead has Barkley rotenone slides, which will be provided to Allen. Greg Summers indicated Steve Miranda may have good photos in his big box of RC stuff. Mike Alexander suggested Allen speak with Gordon Hall. Gary Hickman, Jeff Boxrucker, Wade Bales, and Mark Oliver volunteered to provide other information or contacts to Allen.

Black Bass Symposium at the 2000 AFS Meeting

Mike Allen announced that a Black Bass Symposium was being organized for the 2000 AFS meeting. Allen was concerned about the current lack of southern representation and urged RC members to submit papers. Allen indicated anyone working with black bass ecology, management, or conservation should contact him ASAP. Jeff Boxrucker was also concerned with the heavy influence from the northern states because of potentially conflicting management styles and solutions between the northern and southern ranges of black bass.

Reservoir Committee Web Page

Fred Janssen demonstrated recent additions to the web page, including Contacts, Discussion Area, Scholarship, News Releases, Habitat Manual, and other Projects. The homepage includes minutes, presentations, etc. Janssen discussed additional links and other items that could be added to the page. Janssen also indicated he had received positive response to the Discussion Area, and demonstrated its use to the RC.

Reservoir Committee Newsletter

Mike Allen stated that there was interest in having a continuously updated newsletter on the web page. An electronic newsletter would save the RC significant postage dollars. Mark Webb indicated he liked the idea of an electronic newsletter, but suggested keeping the newsletter structured and dated. Fred Janssen said that there was plenty of space on the current server. He also stated the newsletters could be archived according to date, and could be made searchable for key words and phrases.

Allen thanked Frank Massie for a good job of maintaining the newsletter for his contribution to the RC during the last several years. Janssen volunteered to continue maintaining the web site. (Mike Allen- is this the end of Frank’s job, or will there still be stuff for him to do in the new format?) Allen motioned that an electronic newsletter be published twice per year. Fred Heitman second, motion passed unanimously.

Janssen also announced that the TP&W Inland Fisheries uses the server for reports and other internal communications. Janssen thought this may be useful to the RC and said he would put together a summary of this process for report at the 2000 mid-year meeting.

1999 SDAFS Technical Committee Review

Mike Allen asked if anyone had problems justifying their meeting attendance. A few attendees mentioned travel restrictions, etc. Allen asked the RC for ideas that would help members justify attendance to employers. Wes Porak suggested sending updates to state fish chiefs regarding SDAFS / RC business. Gene Gilliland suggested the RC Chair send a letter to employers thanking them for the participation of their employees. Allen indicated he would send all RC members an email message asking if a support letter to a supervisor would help justify attendance at a meeting. Responses would then determine the necessity and direction of such letters.

Round Table Discussion

(Items requesting RC assistance or information are highlighted)

Fred Janssen, TX Parks and Wildlife
  • reported that he is now the Chair of the SDAFS Communications Committee.

Wes Porak, Florida G&FWFC
  • Habitat enhancement work is popular. Trying for a bill that would supply $4.5 million for lake restoration across FL
  •   24" min size limit on LMB during drawdowns to reduce over-exploitation

  •   recently standardized length limit regs for black bass

Fred Heitman, American Aquatics
  • cost-sharing project quantifying use of man-made vs. natural habitats by YOY LMB. Shipping pallets seem to get good use
  •   American Aquatics is looking at hiring biologist types in the near future

Donny Lowery, TVA
  • TVA recently finished another reorganization, lost appropriated funds. Fisheries program may not change very much, but is really a bare bones staff.
  •   TVA doing catch-depletion work on 19 reservoirs, good PR w/ anglers.

  •   Guntersville aquatic plant controversy is hot again. Low spring inflow and water levels contributed to much plant growth. Largely a property owner vs. angler battle. TVA no longer using herbicides, but is contracting with local applicators to provide access

Mike Duval, VA DG&IF
  • Trying voluntary catch-and-release program with striped bass on Smith Mt. Lake. Does anyone on the RC have any experience with voluntary regulations? (see RC discussion page at http://www.sdafs.org/dweb/ for more info)
  •   Evaluating unplanned striped bass stocking, occurred when flood wiped out hatchery and washed fish into a downstream reservoir.

  •   conducting walleye tagging and genetics study on Crater Lake. Maybe looks like genetic differences in river and reservoir stocks, maybe unique river resident stocks
  •   conducting roving creel on Smith Mt., heavy on economic impacts of the striped bass fishery. Management plans incorporating angler diaries and creel surveys.
Dave Coughlan, Duke Power
  • long-term Fish Health Assessment project on Catawba River, reservoir forage fish estimates, shoreline electrofishing to estimate biomass
  •   helped TVA evaluate Reservoir Fish Assemblage Index

  •   Lake Norman striper controversy brewing
Mark Oliver, Arkansas G&FC
  • introduced Chris Horton, new reservoir biologist in Arkansas.
  •   asked if anyone had any experience with spearfishing for gamefish in other states?
  •   saugeye stocking not controlling yellow bass numbers
  •   Atlanta office of USFWS asking for 2 states to conduct Environmental Assessment of fish stocking program(s).
Gene Gilliland, OK DWC
  • Grand River Dam Authority trying to get away from fishery based water level mgmt plan (high in spring summer, low in fall). High water levels in plan may be outside project boundary (can’t flood land you don’t own or have the flood rights)
  •   Gene announced that Jimmy Pigg died on the way to the mid-year meeting. He was the driving force behind many monitoring programs. His death represents a big loss to the fisheries community in OK, as well as the Southern Division.

Jeff Boxrucker, OK DWC
  • USACOE to maybe raise summer water level 4.5 feet on Lake Hugo
  •   Trawling for shad, trapnetting for crappie, other intensive efforts to evaluate water level mgmt. Summer water levels did not appear to affect crappie, but were positive for LMB. Large winterkill of shad masking effects and confounding analysis.

  •   some calling for AFS policy regarding electrofishing. AU and MSU conducting electrofishing injury studies on warmwater species

Dick Christie, SCDNR
  • LMB virus found in South Carolina 5 years ago, now found in 5 other SE states. Affects larger LMB in late summer-early fall. LMB generally found floating on surface, may look healthy or have slight bloating
  •   Most hydrilla eliminated from Santee Cooper by grass carp. Test exclosures filled rapidly with hydrilla, so tubers viable, hydrilla ready to bounce back if allowed. Many large (about 5 lb.) redear sunfish caught from this system in recent years. LMB anglers complaining, SCDNR actually stocked LMB for PR reasons. There is some evidence that LMB growth improved with hydrilla reduction.
C. Wade Bales, SCDNR
  • does anyone have any contacts or experience with the Black Bass Foundation?
  •   thanked Donny Lowery for agreeing to provide entertainment at the 2000 mid-year
Mike Colvin, MO DOC
  • white bass symposium to be held at the AFS 2000 meeting in St. Louis.
  •   MO involved with white bass projects, electrofishing, gillnets, and creel surveys. Electro effective, but may not be most representative. Gillnets may be best for size structure and recruitment data. White bass not highly exploited in MO, think exploitation may be inversely related to shad abundance. DJ report available soon.
  •   How to make crappie fishing better in new (10-15 yr.) reservoirs. Is problem high density crappie with slow growth, or prey production problem? Have also seen good growth from dominate year classes.
Frank Massie, VA Power
  • Shad interactions studies, have seen decrease in BGS in years with much shad, have seen BGS numbers rebound after large TFShad winterkill.
  •   Walleye tagging and tracking on Lake Anna w/ VA G&F.

  •   Installed 100 Berkley Fish Habs w/G&F and local fishing clubs

Tim Churchill, TN WRA
  • Norris striped bass issues hot. User groups to help determine mgmt. plan for Norris
  •   Statewide creel survey, contract with FIMS to help design reservoir specific methods
  •   Separating smallmouth sampling from LMB sampling programs
  •   Intensive monitoring of sauger stocking success
  •   Evaluating crappie stocking in reservoirs
Steve Sammons, TN Tech
  • High water levels related to year class strength of most reservoir species, but varied according to species and season that high water occurred. Produced 2-2.5X more fish in wet years
  •   Walleye interactions with alewives. Walleye abundance appears inversely related to alewife abundance. Great Lakes researchers found that salmonids feeding on alewives may produce less viable eggs because of thiamin deficiency. Will be looking at same type of problems with walleye forage on alewives.
  •   Crappie research – modeling effects of statewide 10" length limit on crappie, evaluation of crappie stocking, evaluation of handling procedures and hauling survival. High mortality appears linked to handling events at start of process, not necessarily hauling time or distance.

Jay Haffner, AL DCNR
  • Weiss Lake "crappie capitol of the world" also has perceived striped bass problem. Significant natural reproduction of STB in Coosa River upstream of Weiss. Anglers fearing STB eating crappie and other game fish, damaging crappie fishery. Recent STB food habits study ‘discovered’ that STB eat shad in Lake Weiss!
  •   Tracking gulf strain STB movements in Lake L. Smith.
  •   Most successful method of capturing STB broodfish in Smith is done with longlines baited with goldfish, run twice each night.
  •   Individual districts evaluating 9" crappie length limit. Varied results related to trophic status of reservoirs.
Scott Hendricks, GA Power
  • Shoreline demonstration project – aquascaping to show developers, homeowners, etc that vegetation and other ‘soft’ structures can reduce shoreline erosion in cove areas, show that seawalls not always necessary. ‘Soft’ methods must be aesthetically appealing to homeowners, cost competitive, and low maintenance. Asked RC for any information regarding studies done to determine effects of seawalls vs. natural habitats on fish populations, recruitment, etc.
  •   Developed successful methods for transplanting eelgrass, pondweeds, and water willow in Lake Oconee, but only done in small areas. No survival of eelgrass or pondweeds without exclosure. Now looking at using methods to conduct large scale project vegetation enhancement project.
Mark Webb, TX P&W
  • Having hard time dealing with excess vegetative growth because anti-herbicide environmental groups have now allied with angler groups.
  •   Now have new problem plant – giant salvinia. Temperate range similar to water hyacinth, found now in TX, LA, and AZ. Leaf doubling time as short as 2.2 days. Has been found in nurseries under name of ‘coi candy,’ among others. Diquat has been somewhat successful in treatments (see SDAFS web site for more info).
  •   Gene Wilde looking at bass tournament mortality
  •   studying natural Hg contamination of waterbodies
  •   Lake Fork and the fishery has very large direct economic impact to TX
Jeff Crosby, KY F&W
  • looking at black bass mortality associated with slot limit
  •   finding it difficult to separate hybrid and white bass by tooth patches

The RC meeting was then adjourned at 4:23 PM

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