Blewes Creek Catfish

Discussion in 'NORTH CAROLINA LAKES / RESERVOIRS' started by Cat<*(((><Brown, Apr 28, 2007.

  1. Cat<*(((><Brown

    Cat<*(((><Brown New Member

    Messages:
    25
    State:
    nc
    I have a buddy who wants to start fishing Blewes Creek for cats. He is convinced it has big cats in it. It's ok with me since it is close to home. Have any of you guys ever had much luck there? I have caught cats there B4 but nothing over 10lbs. Hard to imagine there would not be big ones in there. Don't think I would eat them though. What do ya'll think? <*(((><
     
  2. riddleofsteel

    riddleofsteel New Member

    Messages:
    353
    State:
    NC
    Catfish in Belews lake have selenium in them. It comes from the fly ash from the settling pond behind the power plant. Many years ago when Belews lake came on line for fishing it was one of the premier in Piedmont NC for fishing. Then Duke Power dumped a bunch of water in the lake and ruined fishing there. It is only in recent years that the fishing has returned to near normal for crappie and bass. In the middle 1970's I lived less than 5 miles from the lake and when the fish disappeared it broke my heart.
    Today the shad population has rebounded and it is not unusual to net a dozen or more hand sized shad from near a lighted dock just at daylight or at dusk. Decent sized channel cats can be caught in the upper reaches of the lake on cut shad, beef heart, or shrimp but the real big cats that should have been growing since 1973 and would be near 40 lbs now got killed off in 1978. I heard last year that a monster cat was caught just above Pine Bluff boat landing. A wildlife officer said he saw the fish but strangely it was never officially weighed or recorded. The weight I was quoted would have been a record at that time.
    HUMMM......

    I do fish Belews Lake for cats and have taken 10 to 12 lb pounders regularly at night. that would correspond to cats that were spawned in around 1995 or 1996 around the time the lake began to clear up. However, I do not think it is a mistake that the best catfish areas of the lake have more creek water in them than lake water. Perhaps in the future we will see larger cats from this lovely lake. Until then it is the domain of the jet ski and the wake board.


    Selenium - An Insidious and Persistent Toxin

    Selenium, an essential nutrient for humans and animals, occurs as a trace element in most soils. Selenium can move into water systems when soil is disturbed by various types of development, or as a byproduct of fossil fuel combustion. When it occurs in higher than normal levels in water, selenium has been shown to cause malformations in fish and other aquatic wildlife.
    In an article in the April issue of Aquatic Toxicology, a USDA Forest Service researcher warns that the impacts of selenium on freshwater fish populations may become more widespread as human disturbance increases -- and that long-term effects may be underestimated.
    Dennis Lemly, Forest Service research biologist at the Southern Research Station, has spent the last two decades studying the fish in Belews Lake, North Carolina. Created in 1973 to provide cooling water for a large coal-fired power plant, the lake was contaminated by selenium in discharged wastewater.
    "Belews Lake represents one of the most extensive and prolonged cases of selenium poisoning of freshwater fish in the United States," said Lemly. "It provides an excellent case study of the insidious and persistent toxicity of selenium to aquatic ecosystems."
    As selenium accumulated in Belews Lake, the 20 resident species of fish started showing deformities to the spine, head, fins, and eyes. In 1986, the power plant stopped discharging wastewater into the lake. Natural recovery began, but long-term studies by Lemly and other researchers show that ill effects persist long after the source of pollution is gone.
    "Selenium poisoning in fish can be invisible for a time," said Lemly, "because the primary impact is on the egg, which receives the toxin from the mother's diet. When the eggs are hatched, the developing fish metabolize the selenium. Some fish are visibly deformed, but others grow into adult fish that appear healthy yet fail to reproduce. Because there is no apparent fish kill, species can disappear before you can do anything about it."
    Belews Lake was the first site to provide conclusive evidence that exposure to elevated levels of selenium -- in this case only 10 to 20 times those in nearby uncontaminated reservoirs -- causes deformities in natural populations of freshwater fish. Nineteen out of the 20 species of fish in Belews Lake disappeared over the course of four years: by 1978, only the selenium-tolerant mosquito fish remained.
    Lemly conducted a follow-up study of Belews Lake in 1996, a decade after the plant quit discharging selenium-laden wastewater into the lake. He found selenium still present at a moderate risk level in the sediment of the lake. The element continued to gradually move from the sediment through the food chain, accumulating to toxic levels in fish eggs.
    "Bioaccumulation in food chains causes otherwise harmless concentrations of selenium to reach toxic levels," said Lemly. "Selenium in contaminated sediments can be cycled into food chains for decades. Lessons from Belews Lake provide the foundation for protecting aquatic ecosystems as new selenium issues emerge."
    At the time Belews Lake was contaminated, the irrigation of selenium-rich soils in arid regions of the American West was the other major source of selenium poisoning. New sources of selenium pollution include phosphate mining, animal feedlot waste, landfill disposal of ash from coal-fired plants, and the use of constructed wetlands to treat wastewater.
    More information about the effects of selenium on the aquatic environment, as well as methods to evaluate and control it, can be found in Lemly's new book, "Selenium Assessment in Aquatic Ecosystems: A Guide for Hazard Evaluation and Water Quality Criteria," published in April 2002 by Springer-Verlag.
     

  3. CKT

    CKT New Member

    Messages:
    138
    State:
    Winston-Salem,NC
    i have fished blewes several times for cats and never caught anything over 10lb and not many cats at that ! there should be some good cats in there ! good luck !
     
  4. Cat<*(((><Brown

    Cat<*(((><Brown New Member

    Messages:
    25
    State:
    nc
    I may fish up behind pine bluff soon just for the heck of it. Does not sound like I will be bringing any fish home even if I catch some. I'll get my eating fish from Badin or Tillery. Thanks for the info. <*(((><
     
  5. riddleofsteel

    riddleofsteel New Member

    Messages:
    353
    State:
    NC
    You may see us up there some weekend nights in a green 1648 Alumacraft with a 25 HP Honda outboard on the back.

    Once you put in at Pine Bluff, go to the left, through the embankment from the old railroad trestle. You come into a 5 or six acre area of water about 6 to 10 ft deep where the boat channel makes a big S turn. On the right hand side a small creek comes in. There are several boat docks there. One has a retainer wall along the shore. Last time I was there there were hand sized shad in that cove right at dusk.

    Good Luck