Beaver Lake

Ozark stripers

Posted by Scott Bice on March 12th, 2012
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All too often I hear from anglers how bad the stripers are in a lake on other fish specifically Bass anglers. I have read numerous studies related to this myth and suggest anyone who believes they are impacting the bass in the lake read the findings. You will quickly learn not only are they not having a negative impact on bass but a positive impact.

Here is some literature you will want to read if you do not believe me.

Bailey, W. M., 1976. An Evaluation of Striped Bass Introductions in the Southeastern United States. Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Administrative Report. 21p
Cheek, T. E., M. J. Van Den Avyle and C. C. Coutant. 1985. Influence of water quality on distribution of striped bass in a Tennessee River impoundment. Trans. Am. Fish. Soc. 114:76-76.
Clawson, P. A., J. E. Derwort, W. F. Foris, T. J. Leonard and R. E. Lewis. 1989. Lake Norman maintenance monitoring program: 1988 summary (draft report). Duke Power Co., Huntsville, N. C. 156 pp.
Duda, M. D., V. L. Wise, W. Testerman, S. J. Bissell, A. Lanier, T. Norford. 2000. Responsive Management – Arkansas Resident Anglers and Non-Resident Anglers Awareness of and Attitudes Toward Fishing in Arkansas. Responsive Management National Office, 130 Franklin Street, Harrisonburg, Virginia 22801 153pp.
Fielder, Carolyn and Ron Moore 1995-1999. Arkansas Tournament Information Program – Annual Reports from Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. No. 2 Natural Resources Drive, Little Rock, AR 72205
Filipek, Steven P. (1985). Size and age structure of a single school of striped bass in Lake Greeson, Arkansas. Proc. Annu. Conf. Southeast. Assoc. Fish and Wildlife Agencies 39: 13-18.
Gustaveson, Wayne A., B.L. Bonebrake, S.J. Scott, and J.E. Johnson 1985. Lake Powell Fisheries Investigations. Publication No. 86-8.Utah Dept. of Nat. Res. 1596 West North Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84116.
Harper, Jack L. and H.E. Namminga (1986) Oklahoma Dept. of Wildlife Cons. P.O. Box 53465 Oklahoma City, OK 73152. Pages 156-165 in G.E. Hall and M.J. Van Den Avyle, editors. Reservoir Management Strategies for the 80’s. Reservoir Committee, Southern Division American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, Maryland 1986.
Jenkins 1979. Pages 123-134 in Henry Clipper, editor. Predator-Prey Systems in Fisheries Management. Sport Fishing Institute, Washington, D.C.
Messinger, Gary C. 1970. Observations on the Striped Bass in Keystone Reservoir, Oklahoma. Proc. Annu. Conf. Southeast. Assoc. fish and Wildl. Agencies 24:447-463.
Persons, William R., and Richard Dreyer. (1987). Relationship between striped bass (morone saxatilits) and Threadfin shad (dorosoma petenense) in Lake Mead. Arizona Game and Fish Department, 2222 West Greenway Road, Phoenix, Arizona 85023
Silver, J.R. 1986. Comparison of Rotenone and Trawling Methodology for Estimating Threadfin Shad Populations. Pages 73-78 in G.E. Hall and M.J. Van Den Avyle editors. Reservoir Fisheries Management Strategies for the 80’s. Reservoir Committee, Southern Division American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, Maryland 1986.
Stevens, R. E. 1984. Historical overview of striped bass culture and management. Pages 1-15 in J. P. McCraren, ed. The aquaculture of striped bass: a proceedings. Md. Sea Grant Publ. UM-SGMAP- Univ. of Md.,College Park.

You will quickly learn that they have no negative impact on the bass but in fact are having a positive impact by controlling the population of Gizzard shad which in turn promotes the health of the Threadfin shad population that bass feed on.

Stripers prefer soft finned fish as a forage base vs a stiff fin species. This fact has actually created a byproduct in some game and fish commissions recently to start stocking Striper in lakes with high populations of carp in order to help control the population.

The benefits of stripers go even deeper then the benefits to a lakes ecology but also on the nearby communities. In one report by the AGFC it was shown stripers bring in 16 Million dollars in revenue to the state and communities surrounding those lakes.

Unfortunately the hatred of Bass Anglers based on an unproven and in fact debunked Myth of them damaging bass populations has lead to them killing the Stripers at every chance. Also by spreading this myth it has created a hatred of a true sport fish and one that for many would be the fish of a lifetime.

Part of the myth is generated from lakes with a constant influence of striped bass which does in time affect the quality of bass fishing in a lake, as stripers will when overpopulated eat out their natural prey the threadfin and gizzard shad. But this is not the case in most lakes. This fact actually originated from California lakes that are very small in size yet receive water from the Aqueduct system and the Colorado River. Both the two supply systems for those lakes have large striper population and in turn feed them into those lakes which then leave the stripers nowhere to go.

A Two to Five thousand acre lake constantly being fed stripers will quickly find itself with predator fish needing to eat to live and they will then turn to eating whatever food source is available as anyone could determine on their own without need of five hundred studies.
Not only is the Striped bass beneficial to the lakes they are in but also to the economy, they provide the opportunity for many to catch a fish of a lifetime.

Luckily in the Ozarks our lakes stripers have yet to be proven to be breeding in the lakes, combined with careful management practices, very large lakes and healthy populations of shad we do not have this problem. Fact is we have the benefit of Stripers helping to keep our lakes healthy. So in closing when and if you hear this myth discussed point the people to the facts.

Follow the conversation on OzarkAnglers Forum HERE.

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