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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
While out on Oak Hollow, Asartin showed me and explained the cause of large lines of submerged "bubble wands" that stretched out from the dam up the arms in the deepest part of the lake. The best example of what I am talking about is an aquarium bubble wand that is powered by a small air pump. Except these bubble lines were 400 yards long!

We hypothesized that the aerators were designed to break up the thermocline and allow a better mix of oxygen throughout the water column.

Are any other lakes equipped with this machinery? Has anyone else ever seen this sort of thing? Is there another reason for the project besides thermocline destruction/ aeration? Is there a proper name for this technology? Is there a different part of the lake to fish during the hot summer(I highly doubt it)?

I tried doing a normal internet search to find out what is going on, but to no avail. I think I don't know the proper names for the search.
 

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I have seen aerators in ponds at fish farms and on golf courses. They are used primarily to prevent fish kill during stress periods and prevent different types of aquatic plant growth. They may have an aerator in thay particular area to keep the area clean. It must be a great place to catch bait.
 

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I've seen a similar system in the deep water near the dam on Normandy Lake in Tennessee, but don't know anything about them myself. Pretty sure it is to help relieve some of the stress on deep water species (walleye, sauger, striper) from summer time stratification.
 

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I have seen aerators in ponds at fish farms and on golf courses. They are used primarily to prevent fish kill during stress periods and prevent different types of aquatic plant growth. They may have an aerator in thay particular area to keep the area clean. It must be a great place to catch bait.
They'll actually ruin a good bait pond. I've seen 2 small ponds that used to be good to catch bait, go to crap after they installed aerators or a fountain. A couple years after they installed them on both ponds the algae, and moss took over completely. Obviously it accelerates the growth of plant life.
 

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In the 80's and part of the 90's Lake Norman had several large aerators that were positioned at the surface level of the waterways to put extra oxygen into the water. During the time that the aerators were operating, the fishing (bass, white bass and striper's) was at it's best. To my knowledge it had nothing to do with the thermocline but was used to oxygenate the waters. Within a year of their removal there was a marked difference in the numbers of fish caught, plus right after they were removed we went thru several droughts and had thousands of stripers and bait fish to die.

PS, the aerators on LKN were probably 12 t0 15 feet across or maybe larger and several feet thick.
 

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They have a few of them out here at smaller lake's, There used for putting oxegen back in the water during mostly do to the algea bloom. And the fishing is great when ther running those aerators.
 

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I fish the Oak a lot, first of all the bubble is a great place for getting shad, and if you fish the area between the bubbles you will find some monster cats lurking around, What I was told several stories about the bubbles form keeping the city water form tasting bad, to keeping the lake in a good condition for the fish, One thing I was told at one time there was only three air streams in the lake and would hold some great high breed strips, since the installation of the stream of bubbles, the high breed strips has fallen off, some suggest is that the stream holding so many shad make the strips don't need to look for food and just pick off a shad when there hungry, Now for cats, the best way to catch them is to drift fish for them, now where to drift is the question, that my friend you will need to do some of your own research, a hint is look for water around 20' and the wind running parallel to the shore, the lake holds some nice cats. as the water warms up the bigger cats will slack off and the smaller ones in the 5 lb range will become more active and dominate the waters.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Wow, there is some great insight on this topic from you guys that have been in this wonderful state a while.

The lines at oak hollow are secured to the bottom, and they are long and plentiful. If there is a better man made piece of midsummer fishing structure, I have never heard of it or dreamed it up. It is almost beyond my comprehension. The entire water column will be cooler and more oxygenated with more nutrients being brought to the bright water strata to allow more plankton growth. Fat, plentiful shad----> healthy fish.

I can only imagine the difference this sort of system would make on relatively shallow lakes that develop strong thermoclines during the summer months(like Jordan). These lakes develop lethally low concentrations of oxygen in some species' preferred temperature ranges. The fish therefore become stressed and have a better chance of dying before the water cools in the fall. However, if a portion of the lake had the thermocline decimated, fish would have a much better chance to mature to trophy size.

It just seems strange to me that such a large scale project of aeration is underway in a very small reservoir. If the bubbles somehow make the water taste better, I can see how a city could decide to install and run them. On the other hand, it seems to me, the economics could be constrictive to a city if they installed them just for the fish.

If you elect me Governor, I will be installing these systems on all of you favorite fishing holes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Now for cats, the best way to catch them is to drift fish for them, now where to drift is the question, that my friend you will need to do some of your own research,
Isn't that the funnest part of fishing? Cracking the fish catching puzzle is my favorite thing to do. Location, technique, speed, bait, rig, presentation, and arranging them in a way to consistently put fish in the boat. Getting out there and figuring out where the fish are, what they are doing, and how to catch em is one of the biggest reasons I love fishing; the thrill of the hunt. Where are my rods? I'm ready to go right now! :laugh1:
 

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I know that Lake Cherokee in TN has them running in the heat of the summer. TN Wildlife has it clearly marked where the No Fishing Boundries are also. I know when you run across it the your screen will stay black due to all the arches! But is there for a reason and a laws a law so we just putt on through wishing we could drop some Bucktails :drool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I was fishing down at Oak Hollow from shore yesterday and I went into the park office on my way out and asked about the aerators.

The gentleman said that they are placed in the deep water to aid in the purification of the drinking water. The fish are a secondary concern (as was posted earlier). He also said that the little lake down stream from Oak Hollow (called City Lake) has aeration throughout the entire lake because that is where they pull water from. He also said that something about the aeration helps to remove certain "solids" from the water. He was unable to recall more detail from the lecture he sat through on the topic at work some years ago.

He also said that a number of years ago they got a shipment of hybrid stripers that actually werent hybrid at all and last year a guy caught 2 pure stripers in the 20-22 lb class during winter. The division of wildlife resources or whatever it is called in NC originally did not think that stripers could survive in Oak Hollow due to the water quality, but it seems that the aerators are allowing those fish to survive/thrive.
 

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Lake Thom-A-lex has the aerators. They fan out from the dam about half way back towards the boat ramp. I thought that the fact that the lake is relatively shallow and thus gets warmer during the summer (holding less oxygen) was the reason that they had them in there. It makes finding shad in the summer rather easy.
 
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