Reservoir Committee Summer Meeting
Buckhannon, West Virginia July 30, 2002

  • Members present:
      Mark Oliver John Taylor Mike Wood
      Mike Colvin Vic DiCenzo Scott Hendricks
      Mike Alexander Fred Heitman Wade Bales
      Fred Janssen Chris Horton Gene Gilliland
      Kevin Yokum    

  • Call to Order
  • OK Rep. appointed Secretary (Gene Gilliland).
  • Minutes of February 2002 meeting approved. (Mark Oliver/Kevin Yokum)
  • Financial Report (Oliver): Stock market declines have hurt returns and balance.
    • $49,700 as of June, 2001
    • $40,700 as of January, 2002
    • $41,087 as of May, 2002
    • $39,035 as of July, 2002
  • Old Business
    • Discussion on providing plaques for past RC Chairs (Fred Janssen). Motion (Oliver) for plaques to be presented to all past Chairs. Amended (Mike Alexander) and seconded to begin with Oliver rather than go all the way back …approved. Chair will order plaques.
    • Questions about Reservoir Committee income sources? (Mike Wood). Sales of previous Reservoir Symposium books through AFS (income in 2001 was $800). Symposia funded through grants means greater profits for committee.
    • Website updates (Janssen). Members are requested to send info for updates to Janssen. Need new info for state reports – including digital photographs if available.
    • On-line Aquatic Habitat Enhancement Manual (Janssen). Send information (short descriptive paragraph) and photos (digital images in .jpg format) about the following to Janssen for inclusion in the Abiotic portion of the manual: Louisiana sand/gravel beds made by washing off pontoon boat with 3" pump; Pennsylvania’s “Bubba” rock/gravel dump boat; Missouri & Arkansas working with Tracker boats on lift bed being designed on pontoon boats for tree sinking; gravel additions during lake drawdowns in Oklahoma; using Sweetgum and Pin Oak trees in Texas and Arkansas (they sink without anchors.)In the Aquatic Plant Introduction manual, Wade Bales suggested adding a disclaimer about different state laws pertaining to the introduction of noxious aquatic plants. Mark Webb added that the abstracts from the Baltimore AFS Aquatic Plant Introduction symposium may serve as introduction pages for vegetation survey. Symposium travel support approved for Gilliland, Sammons, Sipocz (approximately $1000). Discussed ideas for publication of module in NAJFM.Alexander made PowerPoint presentation of plant introductions from Richard B. Russell Reservoir in SC. Wave action (mechanical destruction) was significant problem with colonization.Subcommittee (Fred Heitman, Gilliland, Chris Horton, Oliver) is to develop a plan to market and advertise the habitat manual(s).
    • White Bass Symposium Proceedings (Mike Colvin): Printed module cost less than expected ($561). Copies mailed to AFS Fish Management Section members that don’t get NAJFM. Postage is still due (estimated at $300). Extra copies were distributed to RC members.
    • Reservoir Committee Scholarship (Gilliland): Travel for Steve Sammons = $500. Two scholarships will be available for 2003. Members were encouraged to tell professors and students – deadline is January 31, 2003 with application forms on the RC website. E-mail Gilliland a list of university professors from each SE state so a master contact list can be developed. The Scholarship sub-committee will try to develop more objective criteria for evaluation.
    • Largemouth Bass Virus/Tournament Data (Gilliland): Need more info from SE states. Send copies of latest tournament results reports to Gilliland to determine standards. Should the Reservoir Committee help facilitate standardization? Misinformation on Internet discussion boards about LMBV – use to your advantage – post message with links to facts.
    • Reservoir Committee History Poster (Oliver)
    • Catch & Release Project (Scott Hendricks): Georgia B.A.S.S. Federation Top-6 anglers participated in a test survey (thanks for help from Janssen and Smith). Hendricks discussed results (averages and top three responses). Half of the anglers said they kept fish in the last three months.Questions? Tournament vs. non-tournament differences? Income influence? Conservation ethics are there. The ‘whys’ are the real question. Other questions and issues were discussed by all.The Committee feels the need for more random selection of survey participants – target LMB in SE. Twelve to fifteen states expressed interest. They will be responsible for own printing; mailing (3X); database sorting; and recipient selection (1200-1500 names), follow up mailings and calls; then Reservoir Committee pays analysis and travel. Design standardization.Solicit mailing list from B.A.S.S. Determine costs for 3 mailings and data fee. Use Internet-based survey to supplement data. Get info on which states can participate (Greg Summers & T.O Smith). Janssen will send proposal and info to all for review.
    • Catch & Release Symposium (Alexander): Little interest in presenting data. There is a lot out there, but few have come forward to present case histories. Alexander will contact SD-AFS Small Impoundments Committee for contributions. Dredge data from states….GA, TX, MO, NE, AR, OK have agreed to participate. Abstracts need to go to Alexander with info on creel surveys showing harvest, or lack of, and impacts of harvest. Possible panel discussion on the issue to help fill time if necessary.
  • New Business:
    • Texas is working on a program of quality control for otolith reading. They propose to distribute a videotape with instructions and a test to anyone interested. Can the Reservoir Committee funds production and distribution? Need known-age fish otoliths for old fish. Janssen will check on costs and report back to Committee.
    • Proposed new SD-AFS Catfish Technical Committee: RC Committee input – AR has Species plans (stocking rates, sizes), LA & MO have catfish tournaments, TN has new regulations for trophy fishery; NC is getting pressure to regulate catfish more; LA has significant commercial vs. sport fish issues; TX Urban fisheries rely heavily on catfish stocking.
  • Roundtable Discussion:
    • AR (Horton): 1) Tournament weights down; large bass are down in Ark. River. Corps navigation study opened door. Notched dikes to clean sediment in backwaters. Largemouth bass stocking (2" OTC marked) 500K in 10 pools. 2) Four-levee lake stocking. Tilapia stocked as forage and sport fish in NE Arkansas lake. 3) 21-acre Nursery pond on Bull Shoals; 1135 project with AGFC commits $100K for walleye and blacknose crappie production. 4) Bull Shoals aquatic plant introductions….success with Valisneria (3 forms); diving to plant (6-12′). Growing own plants at Hot Springs Hatchery in 4′X10′X30" above-ground lined pools.
    • Corps of Engineers (Alexander): 1) Auto-venting turbines being installed in Thurman Dam as rehab instead of hub baffles in increase dissolved oxygen. 2) O2 injection system and Russell pumpback is cleared for operation. 3) O2 injection is being designed and installed in Thurman Reservoir for fish habitat. This brings project into compliance with state water quality standards (mitigation). $4 million to install, $500K/year to run.
    • GA (Hendricks): 1) Fourteen reservoirs under GA/AL Power control. Shoreline permitting – GA power strongly suggests adding riprap toe to seawalls to enhance fish habitat. Publicize good projects. Brochures to permitees (like Duke does in NC). 2) New hydroacoustic system acquired.
    • LA (Wood): 1) Artificial structures being added. Feed pallets and pvc pipe, ten foot stem, self-righting (see pictures). Use bass groups to help. Gravel/sand application around piers and shoreline areas. Wash off deck of boat. 2) Crappie sampling gear – Hoop nets with lead in between. Working with LSU; 7-12′ off points. Each net has one mesh size, set a complement of nets with mesh sizes of ½, 1, 1½, 2". Drawdown/renovation draining for 2 years; 2500 acres – rat problem! 3) Hatchery problems with liners….70% of 77 liners are bad. 4) Stocking criteria: new or reclaimed or for FLMB genetics. 5) Built 1.6 acre nursery pond with all the bells and whistles. $180K.
    • MO (Colvin): 1) Northern Missouri study on shad dynamics in reference to slow crappie growth includes watershed issues. Poor growth with no forage. Fish show up in the diet at 7". There has been 20 years of poor crappie fishing at Longbranch Lake: experimental stocking of striped bass hybrids to utilize shad and perhaps alter shad dynamics to help crappie. 2) Catfish study being done at Ozark and Truman Lakes where large blue catfish have been depleted by jug fishing. New project will find out more about populations using electrofishing on flats, gillnets & hoop nets. 3) Trophy catfish management? Survey of catfish anglers show over 50% don’t want restrictions; consumption more important than trophy fish.
    • OK (Gilliland): 1) Thunderbird plant introductions in 2nd year, plant sources continue to be a limiting factor; 2) white perch invasion in Kaw Reservoir (Arkansas River) from Kansas – research project just starting.
    • SC (Bales): 1) Political Stockings at Santee Cooper; Fishing declined; 100/acre marked largemouth bass. Little success. 2) Lake Murray – FERC relicensing, 2 year drawdown of 15 ft.; 30% reduction with little access.
    • TX (Janssen): 1) Evaluating hatchery production of catchable-size channel catfish (12-14") for urban fishing. Investigate net pens in a reservoir like Arkansas. 2) Golden algae monitoring in lakes; ammonium sulfate kills algae in hatchery (suppressed hybrid production though). 3) Lakes getting refilled with recent floods (south Texas). Restocking of all hatchery production into algae-killed lakes. 4) Changed Age & Growth techniques to use sectioned otoliths. Testing with catfish now. 5) Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation – pilot study in Hispanic community (Houston); offered one month of free fishing with literature on where to go; 30K mailouts = 400 responses. The sample was drawn from general population on Hispanic community, they will look at license sales through point-of-sale system next year. 6) Kids fishing events data vs. license sales…did outreach drive sales? Increased awareness of agency but no increase in sales. 7) Proposed new hatchery at Jasper on Toledo Bend (Sabine River Authority) to replace old FLMB production facility.
    • WV (Yokum): 1) White Branch smallmouth bass river….winter fish kills (all species) except largemouth bass(?). 2) Abiotic habitat enhancement (Christmas trees) using tubes welded to hold trees upright; built on ground during drawdowns. 3) Bret Preston is new chief. 4) continuing largemouth bass study on five best lakes using otoliths. 5) smallmouth bass & musky….1 musky/17 min. electrofishing; P.I.T. tags to determine movement. 6) agency purchased three Smith-Root electrofishing boats in 2001.