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Wondering if we can make a correlation between extreme flows (large or small) and the subsequent white bass fishing up river and down river on Livingston.

Last year, very low sustained flows and white bass fishing was slow by some measures below the dam during the late winter/spring. Went with SS on "perfect storm" conditions and caught only one white at one time during the prime time last season below the dam. Contrast that with this year below the dam.

If you accept that thousands of fish (whites, stripers, and hybrids) get flushed through the dam on these large flushing flows like we had this year, it would seem that would have to effect the numbers of fish available for upstream spawning....as well as the numbers of fish below the dam available to be caught. If this is true, we would expect to see a relatively poor year at L&D and in the up river, but outstanding fishing below the dam this season. There's already some evidence of that.

In a 10 day period like we have just recently experienced below the dam, one could easily compute that 5000 to 10000 white bass are removed....and probably more. Over the next few weeks the total numbers of white bass removed below the dam could be staggering. IMO a lot of those fish have a Lake Livingston zip code as Sunbeam says.

Let's say 10 boats below the dam on any given day (a very conservative estimate) with 2 people per boat average (again conservative estimate)...that's 500 white bass a day and 5000 over a 10 day period. Very few white bass are released when caught. The actual numbers are probably much higher, much closer to 10000 over a given 10 day period....and so on. Potentially, it would seem that the upstream numbers could be reduced easily by over 100,000 fish as a result of the big flush. Seems like that would be noticeable...but maybe not.

It will be interesting to see what develops up in the river above Riverside this year and at L&D. Hoping I'm wrong about the correlation. Interested in your thoughts.
 

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MD I am guesing that with the rains we had it got the whites to head north early and we should still have a good spawn. I would assume a lot of them that stayed in the last were washed into the river. Not all of the whites head north and a good population stays in the lake.
There is a lot of harvesting going on below the dam. I took the day off and let someone else catch some.

Matt
 

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Meadowlark, Something I was wondering about is the slash marks or cuts on all these fish. A good number of the fish including the Crappie had these slash marks. I can't belive the garfish are causing this but maybe tumbling thru the dam and over the rocks. Maybe Sunbeam has an opinion?
 

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Wondering if we can make a correlation between extreme flows (large or small) and the subsequent white bass fishing up river and down river on Livingston.

Last year, very low sustained flows and white bass fishing was slow by some measures below the dam during the late winter/spring. Went with SS on "perfect storm" conditions and caught only one white at one time during the prime time last season below the dam. Contrast that with this year below the dam.

If you accept that thousands of fish (whites, stripers, and hybrids) get flushed through the dam on these large flushing flows like we had this year, it would seem that would have to effect the numbers of fish available for upstream spawning....as well as the numbers of fish below the dam available to be caught. If this is true, we would expect to see a relatively poor year at L&D and in the up river, but outstanding fishing below the dam this season. There's already some evidence of that.

In a 10 day period like we have just recently experienced below the dam, one could easily compute that 5000 to 10000 white bass are removed....and probably more. Over the next few weeks the total numbers of white bass removed below the dam could be staggering. IMO a lot of those fish have a Lake Livingston zip code as Sunbeam says.

Let's say 10 boats below the dam on any given day (a very conservative estimate) with 2 people per boat average (again conservative estimate)...that's 500 white bass a day and 5000 over a 10 day period. Very few white bass are released when caught. The actual numbers are probably much higher, much closer to 10000 over a given 10 day period....and so on. Potentially, it would seem that the upstream numbers could be reduced easily by over 100,000 fish as a result of the big flush. Seems like that would be noticeable...but maybe not.

It will be interesting to see what develops up in the river above Riverside this year and at L&D. Hoping I'm wrong about the correlation. Interested in your thoughts.
My wife's grandparent live in Riverside on the lake. I'll have to ask their neighbors.
 

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Most of the fish I caught had the scars and marks too. I think it is from them flushing through he dam also. Most make it and some don't.... The ones that makeit end up on a hook.

The fish in the river that are now stuck in the river do they spawn normally from now on?
 

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Just a thought,I think when a lake gets muddy the fish try to find fresher water moving away from the main channel. Maybe heading up feeder creeks or up stream.I don't think the fish are lined up in the river channel waiting to go through the gates. I know fish do go through but how many ? I noticed when the lake was high that the shad were stacked in the creeks.
Also when 12 gates are open what is the point of no return where a fish can no longer escape the current ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Meadowlark, Something I was wondering about is the slash marks or cuts on all these fish. A good number of the fish including the Crappie had these slash marks. I can't belive the garfish are causing this but maybe tumbling thru the dam and over the rocks. Maybe Sunbeam has an opinion?
Sunbeam and I talked about this today and he also believes those are Lake Livingston fish caught up in the big flush. The whites I caught below the dam clearly had been through some trama. I wasn't fortunate(yet) to catch the crappie there but if they had marks also it almost has to be the result of dam turbulence.

Many years ago, a friend and I built a computer model of Galveston/Trinity bayS. We used the inflows from the river and projected saltwater content at various locations across the bays and then used that information to forcast the best fishing spots. It was amazingly accurate...which leads me to believe a similar situation exists here at Livingston...the flows are a very big determinate of fish location, numbers, etc. both above and below the dam.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Most of the fish I caught had the scars and marks too. I think it is from them flushing through he dam also. Most make it and some don't.... The ones that makeit end up on a hook.

The fish in the river that are now stuck in the river do they spawn normally from now on?
My guess is that yes they do...that is, the ones that aren't caught and removed. I would also venture that many, perhaps most of those flushed down will be caught and removed before ever spawning. It is a relatively very small area below the dam with huge concentrations of fish that have been flushed down. The fish don't stand much of a chance...most will be caught, but that's just my opinion.
 

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Im with you MD. I think that below the dam will be basically fished out in one more month if it last that long. But then again maybe more fish will keep moving upstream. Seems like there are more females right now and they usually move up river first by my experiences. The males may start showing up and the size of whites will go down. It will be interesting to see how long this great action will last.
 

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I disagree, in my experience the white bass move up from downstream to spawn and can go no further than the dam and that recruitment keeps the tailrace stocked with them as long as there is enough flow to trigger the spawning urge.
The amount of fish taken in the last couple of weeks has had an affect on the number being caught now, but it will pick back up when the downstream white bass arrive to spawn.
Last year with the low flow they short stopped about a mile or more downstream from the dam, and took a lot longer to get to the gates than usual. I know some folks who fish the river downstream from the dam and they caught white bass long before they were being caught at the dam during last years spawn.
White bass spawn in waves, usually the first wave of spawning females are made up of the very biggest strongest fish, then the smaller ones come in the next waves.
Today the action for white bass was slower, but a wave would arrive and you could see all most every boat catch a few, then it would slow down until the next wave arrived.
Meadowlark I admire you for putting the stats together and finding patterns to the fishing, to add to it I wanted to say that this year i think I figured out why the area I call Browder's would for no reason turn on for the white bass after i could not find them at the usual places i like to fish. It seems to correlate with a high discharge. I think there is an eddy in that area the shad will hang out in during high discharge periods.
This year there were more white bass in the lake than tics on a hound, I hope no one is tired of my story about a school of white bass at the hump early this summer that was 600 yards long and 300 yards wide.
One school.
In a school that size I can't even imagine the # of fish. There had to be hundreds of schools in the lake, so even if a several thousand washed down through the gates, it still left plenty to go spawn!
IMHO
 

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The debate goes on...both SS and MD opinions have merit its hard to say which one is correct, in my opinion its probably a combination of both. I really dont think the great fishing below the dam will affect the fishing in the lake this spring and summer just to many white bass in the watershed....
 

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I know one thing for sure. I just got finished cleaning fish and most went 9 rounds with mike Tyson. The crappie were even more sliced up than the white bass. Either these fish bounched off rocks, being hit by gar, or a toxic spill caused this.

Which is it?
 

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Funny thing, last year Whitebassfisher took me to the lock and dam and we had a great day, about 75 white bass. Many had slashes on them, just like those below the dam, we both figured it was gar hitting them, now I'm not so sure. It maybe the white bass themselves fighting over choice spots to spawn.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
... I hope no one is tired of my story about a school of white bass at the hump early this summer that was 600 yards long and 300 yards wide.
One school.
Not me....stories like that stir the soul...and make me want to experience them also.

Its a complex subject...and probably has no simple answer...but the more we talk about fish behaviors, the more we all understand and become better anglers. I know I do...reference our discussions last spring about stripers and the results produced thereafter.
 

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Not me....stories like that stir the soul...and make me want to experience them also.

Its a complex subject...and probably has no simple answer...but the more we talk about fish behaviors, the more we all understand and become better anglers. I know I do...reference our discussions last spring about stripers and the results produced thereafter.
Last summer, I experienced a school like that during the evening, only it was composed of large Stripers..... If that doesn't get your heart racing, I don't know what will!
 

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Ain't fishing great? If I didn't have fishing to talk about, participate in, dream about, and eat fish, I would be lonely, bored, and... hungry!
 

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Ain't fishing great? If I didn't have fishing to talk about, participate in, dream about, and eat fish, I would be lonely, bored, and... hungry!
Naw, SS you would just find some other money draining habit to partake in. The grocery store has food.....:)

Fish-Just when you think you got em' figured out they make a liar outta ya.
 
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