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  • Results 1 to 10 of 10
    1. Back To Top    #1
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      tikkalover's Avatar
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      High water creating challenges for fisheries on the Missouri River System

      GARRISON, N.D. - 2019 will go down in history as another extremely wet year in the Missouri River System. In this week's segment of North Dakota Outdoors Mike Anderson explains the fish management challenges associated with the high water.

      The releases out of the Garrison Dam from Lake Sakakawea have never been this high this late in the year, and generally high water is good for fish.

      "High water there actually can be some issues with the fisheries and we're seeing a little bit up in Sakakawea that there's maybe too much water. And in particular this year, we have entrainment and that's fish being lost through the dams, over the dam or through the dam. And because they've had the spillway cracked on Sakakawea or Garrison Dam most of the summer and including today, we're seeing a lot of fish going over that spillway and surviving, that's the good news," said Greg.

      Last summer fisheries biologists tagged around three thousand walleyes in Lake Sakakawea. And a portion of those fish are being caught by anglers below the Garrison Dam.

      "We had started a tagging study on Sakakawea this year and to-date, which is again towards the latter part of October here we already have 3 percent of what we tagged in Sakakawea showed up caught by anglers below Garrison Dam. So we know there's a fair number of fish going, of walleye going over, again, over the spillway in all likelihood," said Greg.

      Power says salmon fishing was slow this year, and in October when biologists collect salmon during spawning they were found below the Garrison Dam. Typically, they show up in bays on Lake Sakakawea in big numbers.

      "This year, they did not show up, they just were not in the lake. So we had, I believe, 98 percent of all the salmon we collected this year were actually below Garrison Dam, not above," said Greg.

      The last few years biologists have been tagging trophy northern pike on Lake Sakakawea, too.
      "And one of them that was tagged, I believe up in the Little Missouri Arm, which is, you know, 80, 90 miles upstream of the dam, was caught by an angler below the dam. So it's not just small fish, you know, of course, we've got a lot of smelt being entrained that's pretty typical with these high water years but larger fish like big pike and paddlefish," said Greg.


      Power says fish entrainment is concerning, but in the big picture fish populations are strong in Lake Sakakawea and will be for years to come. Another positive with high water is that boat ramps are in good shape, too.

      Power says the concern with releases at Lake Oahe Dam is forage fish like smelt being entrained through the dam.

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    2. Back To Top    #2
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      That sucks for the fish population on Sak. I worry in particular about the salmon.....next year's crop might already be down river. Thankfully the releases are scheduled to drop considerably starting Wednesday. Presumably the spillway will be closed within a few days.

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    3. Back To Top    #3
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      Trip McNeely's Avatar
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      Seems like a good chunk of money flushed downstream in salmon this year.... might be a good time to launch a supplemental lake-trout/ steelhead effort to offset the potential crappy salmon season next fall..... #stocksomedamnlakersalready.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Trip McNeely View Post
      Seems like a good chunk of money flushed downstream in salmon this year.... might be a good time to launch a supplemental lake-trout/ steelhead effort to offset the potential crappy salmon season next fall..... #stocksomedamnlakersalready.
      Is the Ft. Peck dam in the same situation of opening their diversion/gates? Any chance to get some Lakers into Sak that way?

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      I can explain it for you, but I can’t understand it for you.

    5. Back To Top    #5
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      Some get through every year but not enough to notice. A handful of incidental catches you hear of every year. Cant imagine even if peck got flushed it would translate into targetable populations......I believe peck has a different intake setup than sak but that would be a question dean or allen would be better suited to answer.

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    6. Back To Top    #6
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      Yeah, Fort Peck and Garrison dams are quite different in design. I am not sure which avenue of discharge they have primarily used at Fort Peck either. At Garrison they've had some scheduled maintenance that has resulted in them bouncing back and forth between the emergency spillway, the regulation outlet, and power house. It's really only the emergency spillway that fish can survive as far as I know. The turbines in the power house don't let many survivors through, nor does the rapid pressure change in the outlet works.

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      "Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself." Mark Twain, speaking on Congress.

    7. Back To Top    #7
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      Reading the posted article gives me a headache.

      Anyhow, the salmon fishing on the lake this past fall was tough, per Sluggo. It's hard to believe next year could be worse. May have to start targeting them below the dam, eh?

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      Is the emergency spillway path an opportunity for ice fishing when the stop letting water out?

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      I'm here to chew bubble gum and kick ass.... and I'm all out of bubble gum. RIP Rowdy

    9. Back To Top    #9
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      Quote Originally Posted by WormWiggler View Post
      Is the emergency spillway path an opportunity for ice fishing when the stop letting water out?
      mid it’s anything like down here it’s a path to the morgue if they find the body

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      Killing with the 6.5 creedmoor before you even new what it was.

    10. Back To Top    #10
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      Thanks Obama!

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