Still more NC shad [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Still more NC shad

03-30-2002, 03:03 PM
Sorry to hear that the weather got so nasty up there for so many guys. We had a great time floating the raft for shad this past week. Still using the 4 wt and floating line. Small bright streamers. I am going to scan the fly that I have been using. Not that it matters. They hit anything.

Couldn't get the carp that were slurping midges to eat a fly. One or two casts and the fish got nervous, a couple more and they all balled up on the bottom, next cast they blew out. They sure are spooky.

A couple stripers are being caught in the lower parts of the Roanoke and one or two just below where I have been fishing. It seems that we are going to get some more rain and that should allow us to have a nice spawn this year. We were worried that we would have no water and that the salt water would come up and kill all the eggs. How many people that haven't ever been on the Roanoke River, have ever seen spawning striped bass? It is a pretty remarkable sight!!

03-31-2002, 09:43 AM
Gordon -

Tell me more about the spawning habits of stripers... do they dig redds like salmon? What are the factors (other than salinity) that conrtol survival of hatchlings? What are we doing to ensure their success during this important life phase?


03-31-2002, 10:03 AM
What happens is this:
When the female is ready to release her eggs all the males know about it. They gather around here by the hundreds and "fight" to be the ones that are the closest to here when she releases, the males then release their contribution and the eggs are fertilized floating free in the water. It usually occurs right at the surface and it is quite a sight to see the males climging all over each other to get in there. They will often be swimming on top of each other right out of the water. You can look into the water sometimes and see the female in the middle and it is pretty impressive to see the size of her as compared to the males.

The eggs then float free in the current until they hatch ( I think it's about 48 hours) then the fry are on their own. The eggs have to be floating free in the current in fresh water. If salt water comes up they will die or if the current is too fast and sweeps them too far too fast they will die or if they fall to the bottom they will die. Lots of variables.

River flows need to be closely watched so the current is about right at that time of the year every year. We are having a problem with the drought conditions and the reservoir that regulates the flow (Kerr/Buggs Island Lake) is very low right now. What is funny is that another reseroir downstream of that one is at full pool. It's funny how that lake (Gaston), has big fancy houses on it right down to the water but on Kerr Lake you don't have that. The real estate and development folks are really the ones who run the show, even though the Corps of Engineers wouldn't want to hear me say that.

03-31-2002, 10:12 AM
It does not look good for the striper spawn this year:
"Anticipate an Extended Drought"

March 27, 2002 -- The Corps of Engineers today told Roanoke River Basin stakeholders to anticipate extended drought conditions, and not to be fooled into thinking that recent rains should ease any drought concerns. The comments came at today's monthly meeting of the Corps' Drought Management Committee at Kerr Lake's Satterwhite Point. The Corps' Terry Brown noted that while reservoir levels are rising, it will take an extended period of above-average rainfall for depleted groundwater tables to recover enough to sustain normal streamflows in the basin.

Tom Fransen of the NC Division of Water Resources reiterated this theme, noting that it will take an "extended wet spell" to bring streamflows back to normal levels.

Other highlights of the meeting:

* Under current forecasts, Kerr Lake will not reach a sufficient, sustainable water level to release striped bass spawning flows this year. Those forecasts are revised frequently. Frank McBride of the NC Wildlife Resources Commission said it was uncertain how much spawning would take place at the current releases from Roanoke Rapids Dam (currently 1900 cubic feet per second (cfs)).

I am not too happy about this. This was updated four days ago. :mad: