Early Spring 2015 Update on GA\Lake Lanier Stripers
GA DNR/WRD fisheries biologists and technicians are in the middle of their busy season in terms of the morone program used to stock GA reservoirs with striped and hybrid bass. Earlier in March female white bass were collected on the Coosa River basin while male striped bass were collected from Lake Lanier. These two species will be used to create hybrid striped bass. These fish have been “squeezed” and the eggs have hatched and the fry have been distributed to 3 of the states warm water hatcheries. All hybrid and striped bass fry are hatched at the Richmond Hill hatchery. From there the fry are distributed to numerous “grow out” ponds located at these hatcheries. All Atlantic strain striper (those stocked in all North GA lakes) are grown out at either the Richmond Hill, Bowen Mill or McDuffie hatcheries. If I am not mistaken the Walton hatchery has been used to grow a small number of Atlantic strain, while the Cordele and Dawson (Steve Cocke) hatcheries are used to produce the Gulf strain of striped bass. The Gulf are stocked on the Chattahoochee River impoundments starting somewhere below Lake Harding, while all other GA impoundments get the Atlantic strain.
The Lanier Striped Bass Coalition, Oakwood Striper Club and Lanier Striped Club recognized the local fisheries office for their outstanding work over the years and for having an open ear when it comes to our concerns on the Lanier striped fishery. The partnership between WRD and the LSBC has been excellent. Both organizations are very pleased with the results.
So far in 2015 The LSBC has completed donations of the following equipment to the Bowen Mill Hatchery: A seine net to harvest striper fingerings from the grow out ponds, 4 ultra-fine pore diffusers used in the haul tank and a Honda 1.5HP water pump used to temper the water in the hauling tank carrying the fingerlings to the various lakes around the state.
The LSBC is in the process of donating 3 Hauling Box Vertical Aerators for the 900 Gallon stocking tank that many organizations pooled resources together for to purchase in 2012. The new tank was using older aerators that were at the end of their useful life.
The process of producing stripers is GA is as follows: Collect brood stock and transported to Richmond Hill for spawning. Fry are hatched at Richmond and transported to growing ponds at one of the 3 previously mentioned warm water hatcheries. Fingerlings are then harvested from the ponds and transported to the local hatchery house to be counted and become acclimated to conditions outside of the ponds they were reared in. The fingerlings are then loaded up again for final transport to the various lakes and the process is complete. Most striper fry/fingerling get transported 3 times, this is why good transport equipment is so important to the success of the program. A strong healthy stocked fish is essential to get good survival or high recruitment. This is what ultimately gives us anglers more striped bass to catch.
The hybrid’s currently growing in the ponds will be done soon and male and females striped will be bought to Richmond Hill to be spawned into fry and distributed to the various growing ponds. We should start seeing these fish stocked in Lanier sometime during the middle of May.
Richmond Hill is in the process of getting a new Hatchery House constructed that is expected to be completed by spring of 2017 and now that the states morone transport system has been improved, the LSBC will be looking to get some upgrades for the existing hatchery house that can also easily be move to the new hatchery house in 2017 to help ensure the strongest fry/fingerlings possible.