Effects of drought

Discussion in 'LOCAL NORTH CAROLINA TALK' started by Mac-b, Oct 19, 2007.

  1. Mac-b

    Mac-b Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    19,811
    State:
    North Caro
    Name:
    Mac
    It is becoming quite evident to those observing the current drought that it is having an adverse effect on the clams, mussels, crayfish and other small fish that need and require shallow habit. Their beds are now being baked by the sun and packed by four wheelers sight seeking. The under water rock cover needed by crayfish is gone in a lot of areas and the under water grass cover needed by small fish is gone or almost gone.

    On the economic side, marinas and other business that feed off fishermen are begining to feel the loss of income. Tournaments and other water events are being cancelled due to the low water and unsafe conditions that it has presented. A large sail boat event has been moved from LKN to one of the northern states. Lake Wylie is closed to most events and is Lake James.

    It is becoming quite apparent that Lake James and Wylie will suffer the most from the drought. Mtn. Island and Norman will suffer, but not as much as other lakes (feeder lakes and end water lakes).

    If the mussel beds are destroyed by 50% this will have an adverse affect on the Ark. blue population all up and down the Catawba chain. I assume that it will aversely affect the Yadkin chain to some degree.

    But, if we will remember back to several years ago, High Rock Lake reached the point that it was just a stream and everyone was concerned about the issues I have raised in the foregoing paragraphs. It is now a productive fishery, producing plenty of crappie, large flatheads, bass, etc. But, it is richer in nutrients than the lakes in the Catawba chain, except for Wylie.
    High Rock Lake is not noted for having a good Ark. Blue fishery, but, maybe we in the Catawba chain will get lucky as did those on High Rock. Mac
     
  2. catrod

    catrod New Member

    Messages:
    157
    State:
    North Carolina
    Mac all I fish is the Yadkin chain and I have noticed a large decline in the amount of fish I have caght this year compared to years past. This is for all species, part of the problem is lack of rain and the water coming in to the lakes to lower water temps. Right now all the water is at minimum flow and water etmp remain high caompared to years past. Right now is the hardest on fish because of this, (lower o2 levels, lower feeding areas, and food populations, and so on). I just hop this dry spell will pass soon and water levels return to as close to normal asap. I have seen two homes in my neighborhood have new wells dug or have existing one tapped lower in just the last two weeks.
     

  3. Tomahawk

    Tomahawk New Member

    Messages:
    1,015
    State:
    NC
    Mac you did bring up a good point with the clam beds. I hope it don't hurt them too bad. From what I seen the other day on badin, the bait population isn't hurting from drought. I don't think any fish on badin will ever starve. All those big blues have to do is open thier mouths and swim. Just like whales feeding on krill.
     
  4. Rookie12

    Rookie12 New Member

    Messages:
    1,324
    State:
    Kannapolis, NC
    yup, I agree with Tomahawk. Blues eat clams, but I don't think they will go hungry. I assume they will adapt and eat what they have to. The yadkin lakes have tons of baitifhs and maybe too much really, so I don't think they'll have a problem. lots of small shad this time of year though on top all over the lake. kind of cool to see, and I wonder why the stripers aren't just tearing it up on them shad. who knows?
     
  5. fish-n-pitch

    fish-n-pitch New Member

    Messages:
    99
    State:
    North Carolina
    On badin where is the most likly places to go and catch medium to large size shad?
     
  6. Mac-b

    Mac-b Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    19,811
    State:
    North Caro
    Name:
    Mac
    The 2007 drought is now one of the worst droughts to hit the Catawba River basin since records have been kept. It is an emerging ecological disaster for the river and for the 14 counties that are located in the Catawba River basin.

    Ecological Disaster: Fragile aquatic habitat has been decimated by record low water levels. The death of water dependent aquatic life (fish, clams, mussels, crawfish) occurred in the streams and creeks that were drained dry as a result of the drought. Other animals are dependent on these streams and creeks for food, like the great blue herons, racoons, bald eagles and kingfishers. As the creeks and streams dry up, these animals will also see their food sources diminish. Rapidly receding lake levels stranded thousands of mussels and clams on lake shorelines where they baked to death in the sun. For lakes that are more than six feet below full pond, much of the normal shoreline habitat that smaller fish use to feed and take cover from predators is no longer covered with water. They have been forced to deeper water where bigger fish live.

    Economic Disaster: Public water commissions thruout the basin are begining to imposed restriction on water use, both public and private. Lake based businesses are begining to feel the impact of the drought, especially Lake James and Wylie.

    Recreation and Tourism: Low lake levels have caused the loss of major fishing and sailing championships.

    Water Dependent Businesses: Marinas on Catawbas River lakes (especially Lake Jame and Lake Wylie) are suffering daily economic losses from low lake levels. Also affected are resturants, bait shops, boat dealers, etc.

    What can fishermen do during this drought: It is being encouraged by the Wildlife Federation and the Riverkeeper that fishermen build fish habitats while the lakes are down and remove litter (fishing line, plastic bags, etc) when you discover such items.

    Lake levels as of Oct. 26, 2007: Lake James (-9.3'), Lake Rhodhiss (-8.4'), Lake Hickory (-5.5'), Lake Lookout (-9.3'), Lake Norman (-6.7'), Mtn. Island (-4.8'), Lake Wylie (-7.2') and Lake Wateree (-5.4').

    Contact the islander@carolina.rr.com for more details about the drought along the Catawba River basin. Mac
     
  7. catfishrus

    catfishrus New Member

    Messages:
    1,569
    State:
    north carolina
    mac i dont know for sure if the low water levels even hurt the crawfish. heck i got them in my driveway and the only time there is even water in the ditches is when it rains. i even have them in my yard. i dont never see them but i do see the holes they dig. must be a spring under ground here somewhere. so it looks to me like they would move out with the water line. i dont know anything for sure on this though. maybe you can give me some insight on what im seing in my driveway and yard. i have found dead crawfish laying in the holes before. i too have seen tons of clam shells laying on the banks on the yadkin chain too at badin esp. and i feel sure there has been a die off. i walked out on highrock when it was low a few years ago and found clams all the way to the main channel areas. are the clams limited to shallow water life? or do they expand into the main channel areas in deep water?
     
  8. Mac-b

    Mac-b Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    19,811
    State:
    North Caro
    Name:
    Mac
    Catfishrus, Bro., I was only reporting what the Wildlife Federation, The Catawba Riverkeeper and the NCDNC reported about the drought in my lastest post. Also, for you to have crawfish in your yard it appears that you have a wet enviroment on your property. Are their shell fish in deeper water, could be, but most of their habitat is in shallow water where they can get the warmth of the sun.