Lake Hartwell Fish Kill

Thread starter #1
I read some articles today that describe a gruesome picture: over 500 floating Striped Bass on Lake Hartwell. Of course, no one knows how many dead fish are on the bottom. Folks who live on the Lake are reporting that the Stripers are dying by the hundreds every day.

Both the federal government and Striped Bass Fishermen are reporting water temperature of 80 degrees at a depth of 100 feet!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Christine Scarpellie, a reporter, interviewed a noted and long-time Hartwell fisherman who questioned why the Corps released "good" water through the dam when it could have run the excess water over the dam thus insuring the integrity of the water needed by the Stripers.

Excellent question deserving an answer.
 
#2
I read some articles today that describe a gruesome picture: over 500 floating Striped Bass on Lake Hartwell. Of course, no one knows how many dead fish are on the bottom. Folks who live on the Lake are reporting that the Stripers are dying by the hundreds every day.

Both the federal government and Striped Bass Fishermen are reporting water temperature of 80 degrees at a depth of 100 feet!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Christine Scarpellie, a reporter, interviewed a noted and long-time Hartwell fisherman who questioned why the Corps released "good" water through the dam when it could have run the excess water over the dam thus insuring the integrity of the water needed by the Stripers.

Excellent question deserving an answer.
Is there a distinct size die off?
 

brett30030

Senior Member
#3
If they spilled the dam, they would have just been dumping all that warm water right into Russell.
 
#5
I hate to see and hear about these things....I recall hearing about a horrible one @ Nottley 25 or so years ago......but, stripers aren't naturally a year round freshwater fish....and, when the water heats up like that, there's no escape for them....

so, until someone ponies up the $$ for some sort of oxygen generators or something, i'm afraid we're going to see more of this....especially since things seem to be warming up....
 
#8
We just haven't had the column of thermocline that would normally set up this time of year on our southern lakes. I believe it is because of full lake levels and moving water through the lake for extended periods of time. I was a guest speaker for the Tennessee Striped Bass Association 2 weeks ago and they are seeing the same problem up in the Tn. lakes also. Two common denominators are full lakes and moving water. I've caught plenty of stressed fish this summer on Lanier and I've seen more floaters this year than in the last 3-4 years during the summer. These fish find pockets of decent oxygenated water and then it dissipates, stressing and stranding the fish in dead water to die.

Warren Turner, president of the Striped Bass Conservation Coalition was one of 2 guys riding with the news reporter on Hartwell. Warren said that this was more than likely an isolated incident and most of the fish had bloated and sun bleached which means they had been dead for a few days. He saw very few fresh dead fish. Warren stated that this could of been a case of trapped fish that ran out of good water. There were no hybrids visable in the mix, as hybrids are much more resilient to warm water and low oxygen stress. I witnessed a fish kill from lack of o2 a few years back up on Lake Cherokee in Tn. and small stripers below 5lbs and hybrids were not affected.

I don't believe we'll see anything on Lanier like what happened over on Hartwell but it just goes to show you how fragile our striper population can be. This is one of the reasons I believe we should think about hybrids on Lanier. If we suffer a striper kill here, well all be perch jerkin and targeting those massive schools of Lanier Walleye.
 
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Chris S.

Senior Member
#12
This should help explain what has happened although it is based on Cumberland,very informative for me.


 
#14
Wow that was great, you can really apply it to any of our lakes. That's why its more important to let the hot water go over the top of the dam and not release the cold water storage.
 
#17
That's right. It would kill the trout in the tail waters. It would also dump lots of wrm water into lake russel possibly doing damage to that fishery.
Well I guess it depends on whose team you are on.

Specifically to Lanier I wish they would dump it over the top. Can Brown Trout sustain higher temperatures? Also how much water would it take to significantly raise the temperature in the river?
 
#19
Todd - Lanier averages 6-8 hours daily for generation during the week in the summertime. Within that period generation averages 40-140 megawatts and outside of that window they only pull 5-10 megawatts on average....http://water.sam.usace.army.mil/todaysched.htm
There is usually zero generation on the weekends except for an occasional Saturday.
They can top spill whenever they feel froggy and generate at the same time.
 
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