What do you suppose happens during a flood?

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by KansasKatter, Jul 2, 2007.

  1. KansasKatter

    KansasKatter New Member

    Messages:
    807
    State:
    Wichita Kansas
    When you have crazy weather like we have had this spring and now summer here in Kansas, what do you suppose happens to the fish on the nest?

    I am not talking about generalized flooding, some of the rivers in the area are 18 to 20 feet ABOVE FLOOD STAGE. So I ask myself, do the nests get ruined, do the fish come off the nests, what do you all think?:confused2:
     
  2. dinkbuster1

    dinkbuster1 New Member

    Messages:
    2,272
    State:
    Ohio
    i have always wondered that myself. you would think that the fish would get washed out of the nest and the eggs would be washed out as well. if thats the case then we should have a great hatch this year in these parts, we are almost in a drought.
     

  3. river scum

    river scum New Member

    Messages:
    3,474
    State:
    hooterville indiana
    this is a great question jeff! i guess the only way to know would be from tracking studies during these conditions. they mite just be ok since thier nests are in protected areas anyhow? will be watching this thread for some nolagable input,if there even is any on this subject.
     
  4. LittleRiverBigFish

    LittleRiverBigFish New Member

    Messages:
    35
    State:
    Iowa
    We had our fair share of high water in May, the big reservoir by my house was within a few feet of the record levels of 1993. The water is still about 10' above normal pool but down about 20' from what it was. Apparently the cats took full advantage of the timing of the flooding and utilized the newly flooded areas to spawn. Now that the water is down you can see many holes in the banks where the cats made nests. I usually relate high water in our flood control reservoirs with great spawning conditions and good fishing in the years following. The normal pool in these reservoirs doesn't have much for cover so when vegetation gets flooded, the fish seem to flock to it and have a much more successful spawn. One of those 'every cloud has a silver lining' things.:wink:
     
  5. KansasKatter

    KansasKatter New Member

    Messages:
    807
    State:
    Wichita Kansas
    I bet you are right about the spawning in resevoirs. I am thinking more along the line of rivers though. The amount of current, swirling waters, not to mention the debris coming down the river. I would be willing to bet that there are a lot of nests that get washed out during one of these events.:confused2:
     
  6. catfishjohn

    catfishjohn New Member

    Messages:
    10,217
    State:
    Greenup Co. KY
    Indeed that is a great question. I'd love to know the answer myself since I primarily fish the Ohio River. We are in drought conditions here pretty bad but have some rain heading this way in a cpl days. I think we are 6-7+ inches below normal now.:confused2:
     
  7. pk_powell

    pk_powell New Member

    Messages:
    3,485
    State:
    Missouri
    But I always kept in touch with my family back in Missouri,they in turn sent us local newspapers so we could see the devastation. It was my understanding,that people found huge Dead catfish upon the bank of the Grand River near Stanberry Missouri.Alot of towns were totally ruined,people had to go back to their homes for cleaning purposes and wear cloths tied around their faces cause the smell was just overpowering:bad_smelly::bad_smelly:.Also heard reports from the Kansas City area that people came in and found dead fish lying on the counters in theirsinks and toilets.I would imagine but have no real knowlegge,that the spawn couldn't have been real good,but then again I don't know!!:confused2:
     
  8. Fishgeek

    Fishgeek Active Member

    Messages:
    1,149
    State:
    Indiana
    I'm sure that some flattie nests are affected by severe flooding, but I would be willing to bet that the prime spawning sites held by the biggest & best cats in the river are relatively protected from floods. Flatheads are cavity spawners & therefore most likely protected from the the current even in flood conditions. Flood waters certainly wouldn't affect flathead nests like they would smallmouth bass nests.
     
  9. Cat Hunter

    Cat Hunter New Member

    Messages:
    80
    State:
    texas
    From my experience in the fisheries field, yes the nests do sustain damage during large flooding times. The pure power of water at those levels nothing really can stay intact especially a nest. It will also depennd on the depth of thw water column and location of the nest. For small rivers or creeks facing a flash flood situation the nest will have a higher chance of being damaged. Compared to a large river like the mississippi dealing with the same stage of a flash flood there is more surface area for the water to spread out to thus not allowing the damage to be as severe. Another question from this is do we think the catfish are intellegent enough to learn form same past experience and either build the nest in another location, or do they build the nest in the same spot every year just b/c thats all they know.
     
  10. Redd

    Redd New Member

    Messages:
    790
    State:
    Southeast Kansas
    I'd have to agree with this guy. Some nests I'm sure were washed away, but I doubt the underwater current is as strong as it is on the surface. And where is it they spawn? In holes and log jams. Somewhere with cover. And if it's dense enough, the nests should be fine. This is just my thoughts on the subject, so I could be completely wrong. There ought to be some kinda statistics somewhere out there...

    -Red
     
  11. WylieCat

    WylieCat Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,168
    State:
    NC
    Great question, and something I ALWAYS wonder everytime I see flooding on TV. I am sure part of the reason fish move shallow to spawn is to minimize this impact, but a 50 or 100 year flood will impact them no matter how shallow they go.

    I bet it is safe to say that an entire year class of fish can be wiped out by floods like this.
     
  12. 8898dan

    8898dan New Member

    Messages:
    74
    State:
    Arkansas
    Jeff
    I am going to assume youre talking about the Arkansas River up there in Wichita right? I live in central Arkansas and fish the same river down here a lot. What I've found is most of the flatheads move into feeder streams to spawn down here and since the river is up about 20 ft, these rivers and creeks are all back up with NO current at all, so I'm not worried about the nests.
     
  13. neal

    neal New Member

    Messages:
    75
    State:
    ky.
    My opinion of a river in flood stage is ,that the bottom terrain changes greatly from debris, silt and the increased speed of the water. Once the water gets above the rivers banks,the speed of the water levels off or even slows,because the water is now flowing in more than one direction. Now in the case that was mentioned above were the river is backed up and no current. Backed up water builds pressure against what ever is blocking it's path of flow,log jam or other type of debis. Enough pressure and the blockage gets forced out of the way of the backed up water. now you have real high speed water rushing down river moving everything in it's path!!! I do not think that the bottom terrain would be the same for some time.Catfish nests and everything on the bottom of the river would be distrubed.:0a17: