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Smallmouth Issues

Started by Onslow, June 05, 2021, 10:49:15 AM

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Onslow

June 05, 2021, 10:49:15 AM Last Edit: June 05, 2021, 10:51:20 AM by Onslow

There've been rumblings of populations declines on the James, and lower New. Anecdotal evidence points to widespread issues in the New & Yadkin watershed.

I had the opportunity to speak with a couple fisheries guys in Elkin today.  There hasn't been much in the way of local smallmouth surveying. The last area check was the SF New in 2018. The findings were troubling. There was very very low recruitment in 2012, and zero in the 2013 year class found. The fisheries dude went on to say that when the flows average higher than 300 cfs (SF @ Jefferson) during the month of July, recruitment suffers tremendously on the SF New.

I urged them to make it a priority to investigate the area watersheds to assess the long term damage done by recent wet years.

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Woolly Bugger

I was thinking about checking the New out soon.... (on a weekday)

last time i was up at Farmers Fish Camp a spin guy had a pretty good day.., i just caught a couple of punes...

ex - I'm not going to live with you through one more fishing season!

me -There's a season?

Pastor explains icons to my son: you know like the fish symbol on the back of cars.

My son: My dad has two fish on his car and they're both trout!

Ronbo

For the last 8-10 years all of my biggest smallmouth have come from the Yadkin.  I have definitely seen a decline in numbers over the last 3-4 seasons.  I have both on the Yadkin and the New this year seen an abundance of fry.  Hopefully this will be a rebound for both waters.


Onslow

Quote from: Ronbo on June 07, 2021, 11:50:16 AM

For the last 8-10 years all of my biggest smallmouth have come from the Yadkin.  I have definitely seen a decline in numbers over the last 3-4 seasons.  I have both on the Yadkin and the New this year seen an abundance of fry.  Hopefully this will be a rebound for both waters.

Same for the tribs?


Ronbo

Quote from: Onslow on June 07, 2021, 12:30:54 PM

tribs?

Maybe more so on the smaller waters. Just my opinion


Phil

Last time I talked to Jesse T., he said the smallie population on the New from South Fork to confluence and the North Fork and entire area around there (W. Jefferson to Mouth of Wilson) had been hit very hard from the flood water levels for the last couple years, and it would take years to recover. I dunno, just passing on what he said. He said that if PFF was planning our annual Smallie Show at Zaloo's Outpost -- we might as well just sit around the camp and drink instead of wasting our time fishing.  :o


Onslow

Quote from: Phil on June 07, 2021, 14:51:27 PM

Last time I talked to Jesse T., he said the smallie population on the New from South Fork to confluence and the North Fork and entire area around there (W. Jefferson to Mouth of Wilson) had been hit very hard from the flood water levels for the last couple years, and it would take years to recover. I dunno, just passing on what he said. He said that if PFF was planning our annual Smallie Show at Zaloo's Outpost -- we might as well just sit around the camp and drink instead of wasting our time fishing.  :o

That area sucks on a good day, lol.


Phil

Quote from: Onslow on June 07, 2021, 15:49:01 PM

Quote from: Phil on June 07, 2021, 14:51:27 PM

Last time I talked to Jesse T., he said the smallie population on the New from South Fork to confluence and the North Fork and entire area around there (W. Jefferson to Mouth of Wilson) had been hit very hard from the flood water levels for the last couple years, and it would take years to recover. I dunno, just passing on what he said. He said that if PFF was planning our annual Smallie Show at Zaloo's Outpost -- we might as well just sit around the camp and drink instead of wasting our time fishing.  :o

That area sucks on a good day, lol.

Well, it's the only area of the New i've ever fished. Ain got no bote or yak.  :embarassed:


Onslow

Intersex fish issues were discussed with the fisheries biologists as well, but I don't think this is a major issue on the Yadkin.  That being said, I don't think many paying attention to this either.

I'm just glad the rains have been more gentle this year.  Today is the first day since early April the Yadkin in Elkin is turbid.  Turbid as in cloudy, but not carrot soup.


Ronbo

June 08, 2021, 09:03:24 AM #9 Last Edit: June 08, 2021, 09:06:26 AM by Ronbo
Quote from: Onslow on June 07, 2021, 20:24:05 PM

Intersex fish issues were discussed with the fisheries biologists as well, but I don't think this is a major issue on the Yadkin.  That being said, I don't think many paying attention to this either.

I'm just glad the rains have been more gentle this year.  Today is the first day since early April the Yadkin in Elkin is turbid.  Turbid as in cloudy, but not carrot soup.

I certainly think local flooding has had a huge impact on spawning; but I would be curious how much impact the introduction of the flathead catfish has on bass population.  I know they blamed the flathead for the removal of the bullheads, would make sense to me they would be hard on young bass as well.  Flatheads are a pretty voracious predator.  It just seems like the smaller fish are missing in the Yadkin.  Not all of the Yadkin is prime habitat for smallies, so they have always in my opinion been caught best by "spot fishing."  I wonder if the flathead uses alot of the same water especially in the spring.


troutrus

"Anglers concerned about the fisheries generally regarded as Virginia's two best waterways for bronzebacks should be heartened by the fact that the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) realizes that a problem exists".

https://dwr.virginia.gov/blog/whats-going-on-in-the-james-and-new-river-smallmouth-fisheries/?utm_source=mailchimp&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=nftf&utm_content=nftf_fishing_july2021


Dougfish

"Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here? Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change? " -Oddball, 1970

"I don't wanna go to hell,
But if I do,
It'll be 'cause of you..."
Strange Desire, The Black Keys, 2006


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