Minutes of the Southern Division Reservoir Committee meeting
held on February 28, 2008 (Wheeling, West Virginia)

  1. Chair Vic Dicenzo opened the meeting at 9:15am. Attendees present are listed below:

    Mike Wood, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
    Mark Oliver, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission
    Colton Dennis, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission
    Mike Sipeker, Missouri Department of Conservation
    Neal Jackson, Kentucky Department of Fisheries and Wildlife
    Lawrence Dorsey, North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission
    Brent Hess, Georgia Department of Natural Resources
    Damon Abernethy, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
    Chad Holbrook, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources
    Craig Bonds, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
    Jim Walker, West Virginia Department of Natural Resources
    Kevin Yokum, West Virginia Department of Natural Resources
    Greg Summers, Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation
    Bobby Wilson, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency
    Chris Horton, BASS
    Scott Robinson, Georgia Department of Natural Resources
    Tony Dodd, Georgia Power
    Kurt Kuklinski, Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation
    Michael Abney, Duke Energy
    Fred Janssen, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
    Vic Dicenzo, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries

  2. Approval of 2007 SDAFS Spring Meeting Minutes

    A motion was made by Michael Abney to approve the minutes of the 2007 Reservoir Committee (RC) meeting in Memphis.  Neal Jackson seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

  3. Financial Report

Vic gave an update on the financial status of the RC. Currently the RC has $26,303.65 in the Merrill Lynch account.  This is down about $3200 from 2006.  Our Bank of America account has approximately $2000 left over from the 2007 Reservoir Symposium.  Symposium details were discussed later in the meeting.

  1. Scholarship Report

Vic recognized the current members of the Scholarship Subcommittee.  These include Gene Gilliand, Kevin Yokum, Scott Hendricks, and Dave Coughlan.  Vic announced this year’s winners: Casey Bergthold, Tennessee Tech, and Corey Lee, University of Oklahoma.  Vic also mentioned that an oversight had been made in relation to Kris Bodine who won the award last year.  Gene thought that since Kris had recently been employed by the ODWC, he would not be requesting his second year of support.  However, Kris has maintained his status as a full-time student and the RC agreed to provide a second year of funding.  Kevin Yokum mentioned that the subcommittee had a tough time selecting this year’s recipients due to the quality of the applications received.

Vic indicated that all four members of the Scholarship Subcommittee had asked to be replaced.  After some discussion, the following appointments were made: Kurt Kuklinski, chair, and members include Mike Wood, Neal Jackson, Brent Hess, and Steve Sammons.

  1. Old Business

Reservoir Symposium

Vic had spoken with Mike Allen and there will be 46 publications from the 2007 Reservoir Symposium and 18 of those are already in Bethesda waiting for the others to be completed.  Vic mentioned that the original figure of $30,000 for the RC to publish the symposium was not as set in stone as once thought.  He indicated that after speaking with Mike Allen, it might be possible for the RC to turn the entire publication over to AFS and they would incur the bulk, if not all, of the publication costs.  A discussion ensued about which direction the RC should take: find the $30,000 and pay for the publication which would generate maximum royalties from book sales or turn the publication over to AFS entirely with no investment from the RC which would generate no royalties from the book.  Greg Summers mentioned that book sales were the mainstay of RC income over the years. Michael Abney asked about the EPA grant and if it might come through to provide publication funding.  Vic was not optimistic this grant would ever come to fruition.  Lawrence Dorsey mentioned that Greg Summers was correct but the financial situation of this meeting was different than with other symposia. In this case, we would break even on the meeting with available funds while other meetings had generated enough income to pay for publication costs.  After much discussion, the RC agreed that we should allow AFS to publish the book with little or no cost to the RC and forgo any royalties from the sale of the book.

Vic mentioned the budget/financial situation of the 2007 Reservoir Symposium.  As a result of missing our projected registrants, we did not meet our room block at the hotel and we incurred a penalty as a result. Once our room block was not met, we were also obligated to pay for meeting space.  On the positive side, we generated $50,000 in fundraising which helped defray a significant portion of our costs.   Vic thanked all RC members who participated and declared that there would not be any talk of a 6th Reservoir Symposium until he had retired.

  1. New Business

Vic reported that he had received a funding request from the Instream Flow Council (IFC) for a meeting they would be holding in San Antonio in October of 2008.  The request had come from VDGIF biologist John Kaufman, a member of the IFC. Vic mentioned it was hard to say no given that we had solicited many funds for the Reservoir Symposium.   Fred Janssen made a motion that the RC donate $1000 to the IFC, Mark Oliver seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.

During this time, SDAFS President and RC member Fred Heitman stopped by the committee meeting.  Fred asked what items the RC would like for him to take to the EXCOM and business meetings.  Vic mentioned the hard work of the committee to pull of the symposium and other committee activities.  Fred agreed with Vic and indicated he would pass these items along to the SDAFS leadership.

SARP Discussion

Scott Robinson was given the floor to update the RC on the structure and function of the Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership (SARP).  SARP is a multi-state, multi-agency, parternship focused on aquatic habitat issues in the Southeast United States.  It is not focused on specific habitats or species.  Instead, it is focused on six objectives that are detailed in the SARP Plan.  SARP is one of the partnerships for the National Fish Habitat Action Plan (NFHAP).  Scott mentioned that an original proposal to fund habitat work in SE reservoirs had fallen through but SARP had tried to secure money for reservoir habitat work.  Vic asked why reservoirs had not been included in SARP.  Scott reiterated that SARP was not focused on specific systems or habitat types.  Chris Horton asked how SARP will prioritize its funding of projects?  Scott responded that SARP has a steering committee to handle funding priorities.  Scott then stated that to date SARP had received about $3,000,000 in funding with most of that coming from the NFHAP implementation and congressional appropriations but that other sources had contributed as well.  Partners are the key to SARP and SARP funds are used as seed money to complete projects.

Vic asked Scott what effect on the funding priority for reservoirs had to do with the fact that reservoirs are not natural systems.  Scott replied that it is not an insignificant problem but members of SARP recognize that reservoirs are not going anywhere and their issues must be considered as well.  Mike Wood mentioned that we cannot ignore reservoirs.  Mark Oliver reviewed an earlier list of comments sent to Scott Robinson in regards to SARP objectives.  Mark and other RC members who provided input suggested an additional objective for SARP that focused on reservoirs. Scott replied that a subcommittee of SARP made up of several fish chiefs had asked the RC to provide targets which would fall under the currently defined objectives of SARP in lieu of an additional objective.

Chris Horton then mentioned the National Reservoir Partnership (NRP) which had been created to meet the needs of issues related directly to reservoirs.  Chris Horton, Phil Durocher, and Doug Nygren are the leaders of this initiative.  Chris mentioned the overall goal of the NRP was determine the problems associated with reservoirs and to identify reservoirs in need of “fixing” and to ultimately find a way to “fix” these problems.  He also reiterated that the NRP should not be viewed as a competitor to SARP. Greg Summers asked if fishing is a component of the NRP; Chris indicated that it is.

After continuing discussion, Fred Janssen indicated that the RC needs to identify habitat variables that affect reservoirs.  Several members mentioned that Steve Miranda was conducting an email survey that might address some of the issues being discussed.  John Taylor contacted Steve and he indicated the survey was for a class he was teaching but that he would happy to share the results with the RC.  After discussion of this survey and specific targets that needed to be addressed, Greg Summers suggested a subcommittee be formed to develop targets needed for the objectives of SARP.  Vic agreed and asked for volunteers.   subcommittee members are: Neal Jackson, Steve Sammons (Chair), Colton Dennis, Steve Miranda, Lawrence Dorsey, and John Taylor.  The charge of the subcommittee is as follows: “Consult with Dr. Steve Miranda regarding the results of his survey and to identify common themes from the survey that may be used to develop targets for the SARP plan objectives.”  Vic asked that the subcommittee work to identify common issues to reservoirs by the summer meeting.  Eventually, quantifiable metrics will need to be developed but this will not occur prior to the summer meeting.  There is a SARP meeting in November and the RC would like to have something to contribute to that meeting.

Several additional items were discussed.  Greg Summers mentioned that he was working with Mike Van Den Ayvle to archive old SDAFS materials.  With the committee’s blessing, Greg stated that he would contact Steve Miranda to gather any old RC items for inclusion in the archives. 

Michael Abney mentioned that he would like to see another RC officer appointed to assist the Chair and to fill-in whenever the Chair did not attend a meeting.  After examining the SDAFS Procedures Manual, it was determined that we had slots for a Secretary-Auditor position and a Chair-elect.  Some discussion ensued about whether those slots fit the needs of the RC.  Greg Summers mentioned that the RC could change the Procedures Manual by contacting SDAFS EXCOM.  Michael Abney agreed to serve as Secretary-Auditor and was appointed by acclamation.  Fred, Vic, and Michael agreed to examine the Procedures Manual and determine if the current procedures are the best fit for the committee.

  1. Roundtable Discussion

In attempt to get done before 5:00pm, Lawrence Dorsey asked that the roundtable discussion be limited to one or two items.  Fred Janssen asked why no one had thought of that before and again asked for items to be submitted for inclusion on the RC Project Updates page. 

Vic Dicenzo- VDGIF is currently working on three FERC relicensing projects.  There has been a high level of manpower commitment from fisheries division personnel.  American Electric Power has agreed to fund a creel survey every five years on one of their lakes in return for VDGIF performing the data analysis.

Mike Wood- LDWF is still having problems with invasive aquatic plants.  Their division reorganized in an effort to address these issues.  There is a tremendous problem with Giant salvinia on Lake Bistineau.  LDWF contracts applicators to spray weeds and is now paying them based on actual herbicides delivered to affected areas.

Mark Oliver- Mark is stepping down as the AGFC rep to the RC.  Colton Dennis will officially take Mark’s place.  Mark mentioned the new AGFC standardized EF procedures.  These procedures used random sites and are based on 10 min runs along 600m transects that are conducted during the spring.  Mark also mentioned the continued work of AGFC to establish vegetation in reservoirs.

Mike Siepker- He and Paul Michaeletz of MDOC are working on compiling and analyzing 300 reservoir-years of data.  These data will be further analyzed in attempt to tease out variability in black bass and crappie recruitment.

Neal Jackson- KDFWR is working on an aquatic habitat plan. Neal mentioned that conventional wisdom was to install brush piles for aquatic habitat in KY.  However, he is hoping the new plan will include a wide array of techniques for maintaining and supplementing habitat.

Lawrence Dorsey- Duke Energy has developed a Catawba-Wateree Habitat Enhancement Fund (HEP) which contains seed money from Duke Energy and future income from applications for pier along Duke Energy reservoirs.  The NCWRC applied for and received $10,000 to install “porcupine” fish attractors in several upper Catawba reservoirs in 2007.

Brent Hess- GDNR is currently ramping up their Go Fish Georgia campaign.  One major component of the campaign is the Go Fish Center in Perry, Ga.  Another project ongoing is the identification of 10 suitable sites around GA for construction of mega ramps (large boat ramps) to accommodate large numbers of boats during fishing tournaments. 

Damon Abernethy- ACDNR recently completed a seeding project at Lake Logan Martin.  They were unsuccessful in their attempt to establish vegetation as a result of Canada geese predation on the seeds and what little growth appeared.  Other RC members commented they had experienced similar predation from geese on their projects.

Chad Holbrook- SCDNR is currently evaluating striped bass stockings in the Santee-Cooper system.  They have been looking at uplake vs. downlake stocking sites and also the use of Phase II fingerlings.  Recently they have refined their handling techniques to reduce stress.  Chemical marking and microsatellite analysis are being used to distinguish stocking cohorts. 

Craig Bonds- TPWD has been experimenting with tandem floating trapnets in reservoirs where traditional trapnetting has been ineffective. Tandem nets have been shown to be much more effective than traditional trapnetting.  A final report is available from the TPWD website.

Fred Janssen-  Fred added that he has been working on some habitat evaluations on the Colorado River system which use water level data models to predict habitat.

Jim Walker/Kevin Yokum- WVDNR is working on crappie sampling as well.  They have also aggressively been establishing vegetation and their best results have come with emergent plants.

Tony Dodd- Georgia Power has many issues they are working on at this time.  The drought has affected power plant operations negatively.  They are working on relicensing the Bartlett’s Ferry project and cleaning up some relicensing article issues on north Georgia lakes they own.   A recent outbreak last year of blue-green algae in Lake Jackson posed challenges to recreational use of the lake during the Labor Day holiday.  Lake Oconee is the site of a current and expanding SARP project.

Kurt Kuklinski-  ODWC is working on blue catfish management issues.  Projects have included telemetry, sampling efficiency, and a statewide creel.  Kurt reported that in the creel survey it was determined that <2% of all anglers catch their daily creel limit of catfish (15 blue catfish and channel catfish in aggregate).  Most blue catfish take 12-16 years to reach 30 inches.  Kurt also mentioned his hybrid striped bass site fidelity study.  Traditional cross HSB were compared to reciprocal crosses and it was determined there is no difference in site fidelity between the two crosses.

Michael Abney- Duke Energy recently purchased a DIDSON system to evaluate alewife entrainment in power plant intakes. Michael mentioned that one intended use of the DIDSON is to determine whether alewives are alive when entering the intakes or if they are dead and being drawn in through normal operations. 

After all roundtable reports were made, Vic entertained a motion to adjourn.  Michael Abney made this motion and Chris Horton seconded the motion; the motion passed unanimously and the meeting was adjourned at 4:30pm.