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  • B dam h2o release effect?

    Hey all, sorry for the total newb question and seriously apologetic if this question has been asked and answered a million times. I searched the hooch forum and the main forum, but couldn't see anything too specific about this topic.

    I am curious if there are any resources that describe (in relatively good detail, I'm a scientist) the effects of Buford Dam water release on fishing at locations down stream in the upper hooch areas? I am particularly interested in how it effects Settles Bridge, because that's close to me, but also McGinnis, Jones, etc.

    I know that the "waters will rise and are a danger to people on the river" - I now know the number to call and all that, but I am more curious about the effects on the actual fish, fishing, fish behavior, etc? If that data is available can anyone share please?

    Thanks,
    SP

  • #2
    Generally we do extremely well just after a release.

    My personal crackpot theory is that the increased levels of dissolved oxygen, especially during turnover, get them fired up.

    I don't have any data to back that up though.
    I like em big fat and sloppy.

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    • #3
      http://www.georgia-outdoors.com/foru...couring+effect

      I found this when I used the term "scouring effect" as my search criteria.
      Gene

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      • #4
        Good post Gbram, thanks for that reference.
        I ran into this lady one time in Wisconsin who worked with the "Hydropower Reform Coalition", and she was surprised to hear about the way the dam is utilized here in georgia (i.e. with the heavy releases followed by long non-activity). She would suggest some changes to that but I'm in no way qualified to discuss those really.
        I too would be interested to hear more and know more about all this.
        I'm not sure all the reasoning behind why we use the dam in the way we do, nor on the effects it has on the wildlife, but that scouring effect is interesting.

        Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
        _yero on instagram

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        • #5
          Thanks guys. Just read a bit about the scouring effect... interesting stuff.
          I was thinking about heading over this afternoon, but looks like life is going to get in the way of that...

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by browniez View Post
            Generally we do extremely well just after a release.

            My personal crackpot theory is that the increased levels of dissolved oxygen, especially during turnover, get them fired up.

            I don't have any data to back that up though.
            Good to know. So how much time after do you think based on the amount of time it takes for the water to reach the different parts of the river? For example, it takes 4 hours for the water to reach Abbotts bridge. Should I start fishing there (or near there) 6 hours after the water reaches AB or several hours after? What's worked for you?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by joshM View Post
              Good to know. So how much time after do you think based on the amount of time it takes for the water to reach the different parts of the river? For example, it takes 4 hours for the water to reach Abbotts bridge. Should I start fishing there (or near there) 6 hours after the water reaches AB or several hours after? What's worked for you?
              http://www.georgia-outdoors.com/foru...ad.php?t=63741

              See post #2 in the attached thread and you'll have what you need, I believe.
              Gene

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              • #8
                I dont think he is asking about release times or safety advice, from what I read he is asking about how fish feeding acitivity is affected by the high fast water
                "Fly Fishing Is Not A Team Sport"----Tom McGuane

                The fisherman now is one who defies society, who rips lips, who drains the pool, who takes no prisoners, who is not to be confused with the sissy with the creel and bamboo rod. Granted, he releases what he catches, but in some cases, he strips the quarry of its perilous soul before tossing it back in the water. What was once a trout – cold, hard, spotted and beautiful – becomes “number seven.”
                Tom McGuane

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by zug buggin View Post
                  I dont think he is asking about release times or safety advice, from what I read he is asking about how fish feeding acitivity is affected by the high fast water
                  Thanks Zug, yes, that's right. I wasn't as clear as I could have been in my previous post (and based on the times in the linked forum post I was off by about 30 minutes give or take on when the water arrives at Abbots Bridge!)

                  Someone further up the thread said that the fish are more active after the water is released and I was trying to determine how much longer after the water from the release reaches the various points on the river it would be need for the fish to become more active.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by joshM View Post
                    Thanks Zug, yes, that's right. I wasn't as clear as I could have been in my previous post (and based on the times in the linked forum post I was off by about 30 minutes give or take on when the water arrives at Abbots Bridge!)

                    Someone further up the thread said that the fish are more active after the water is released and I was trying to determine how much longer after the water from the release reaches the various points on the river it would be need for the fish to become more active.
                    I have always wondered about this but due to safety reasons have never fished high water, as a guess I would
                    think as the river rises up the bank a lot of food would be washed in the river, if this is true the fish will know this and react to it. I would love to know what the higher stronger current does to the fish, I would think they would have to adjust their lies to get out of the heavier current for a starter but do they bite during high strong generation flows and if one could manage not getting swept into the strainer trees lining the river would one catch fish. Also Browiez is a local expert on the Hooch tailwater
                    Last edited by zug buggin; 12-13-16, 07:44 PM.
                    "Fly Fishing Is Not A Team Sport"----Tom McGuane

                    The fisherman now is one who defies society, who rips lips, who drains the pool, who takes no prisoners, who is not to be confused with the sissy with the creel and bamboo rod. Granted, he releases what he catches, but in some cases, he strips the quarry of its perilous soul before tossing it back in the water. What was once a trout – cold, hard, spotted and beautiful – becomes “number seven.”
                    Tom McGuane

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Yeah, I was asking more about what it does to fish: I would guess, from what I am learning about these species, that they would likely move - due to soot, high currents, low edibles, but then given their lazy nature might move back to the territory that produced. I am still learning about the fishes and whether they are territorial or not. I would bet my A** that they wild natives are...but that's just the biologist in me talking.

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                      • #12
                        There is much rock structure in the riverbed, with many shelves across the current, so the fish have good holding structure available during high water.

                        High water is generally muddy. And I mean Yahoo soda muddy! Heavy rain causes the same thing.

                        We rely on USGS gauges for water status planning. This one is for the DH section, below Morgan Falls Dam in Roswell.
                        http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ga/nwis/uv...te_no=02336000

                        The Turbidity portion (near the bottom of the page) shows the effect of rain on Sunday, with a turbidity spike higher than the last major release from Morgan Falls LAST Wednesday.

                        For me, a Turbidity figure of 10 or less is fine. At 12-15, I have to hit them on the nose to get a bite.

                        Want to Help Ease DNR's Budget Woes? Buy a TU license Plate!

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                        • #13
                          Lazy nature...

                          Originally posted by splatek16 View Post
                          Yeah, I was asking more about what it does to fish: I would guess, from what I am learning about these species, that they would likely move - due to soot, high currents, low edibles, but then given their lazy nature might move back to the territory that produced. I am still learning about the fishes and whether they are territorial or not. I would bet my A** that they wild natives are...but that's just the biologist in me talking.
                          Regarding the Hooch specifically, the scouring effect talked about above probably only affects/ effects the river channel the strongest directly below the dam and tailing off noticeably below Mcginnis Ferry. Proof in that would be the lengthing stretches of deep water the further you go below Mcginnis. Geology plays a part in this also as the direction of the stratification of the rock around and within the river.
                          The Hooch runs along the Brevard Fault of which in Georgia the majority of the rock type is a granitic gneiss. You all have seen these rocks with the dark grey bands of rock that look compressed and squiggly with bands of white quartz usually in between. Depending on which direction these compressed squiggly bands face it can erode differently because the different compositions of the rock. It also as it erodes will produce different types of sands and silt. There are a couple of true granite plutons that poke out along the river, one being bout approx. 2/3mi below Hwy.20 but those are pretty rare. A big example of a granite pluton is Stone Mountain btw. Since these also are mainly metamorphic rocks with the occasional igneous rock thrown in, they are high in silica content and low in both calcium and magnesium. Both of which are required to to provide nutrients in the stream bed and 'harden' the water. How does that affect/ effect things? Well as it was stated above, the further you go downstream, the more nutrients get added in through natural processes which means aquatic life can abound the further downstream you go, BUT there is a fine line because of the thermal issues Salmonid species face.
                          So that covers geology in both physical and physiological aspects regarding what lives in the river. But what about when the river rises????
                          Well as is common with other tailwater streams, the fish 'turn on' during releases in the Hooch. This cannot be narrowed down to just one reason, it is a plethora of factors. Lets go back and start with scouring. When a release or 'pulse' of water is released in the river it causes turbulence at varying levels in the water column as well as along the bank. Since we live in the SE, we have a ton of life on the banks of the river! Lots of bugs, small vermin, mammals get swept into the river and the cold will shock them and can leave as a high protein, high fat meal. So scouring can 'loosen up' food items on the river bottom and the shores as it rises and falls.
                          The other aspect to think about is territory. When the water raises, it expands the territory not only in the water column as far as cover available and new flow locations but also the territory of where food comes from. The trout are smart enough to understand that natural aquatic life is minimal and they have to take advantage of every food opportunity that comes along. Which when you are a 12-14" Brown and a couple hundred stunned rainbow trout happen to be dropped near you what are you to do?!? The fish that want to be Apex predators or Alpha fish take that next step of eating bigger prey. Currently, that number of fish is heading up as the stream population continues to mature. Proof in that is the number of large fish I have seen caught and Browniez and others have told me about being caught on the river. The question becomes though when we will hit a point within that population that numbers will start bearing out what our population can sustain both in numbers and sizes. The DNR report from a couple of years ago was a great baseline but unless more data continues to be collected we really will not have enough data to say.
                          Currently, my theory goes like this... Due to the geology and poor nutrient content, we will probably have a high population of fish under 10", a very high population of 11"-14" fish, a somewhat lower population of 15"-20" fish and then the 21"-30+" that are the 1-3% of the population.
                          This could totally be augmented and turn the Hooch into a trophy stream if a Cal-Mag limestone was added along the river at the dam by adding boulders along the wall by the dam right near the rope and distributed through that area to Bowmans, then additional boulders at Hwy20, Settles Bridge, Chattahoochee Point Park, Mcginnis Ferry, Abbott's Bridge, Medlock Bridge and Jones Bridge. It will literally take years to see the effects but it would definitely work. I have been researching stream restorations and this is right in our wheelhouse of possibilities. WOW, this post went from Lazy nature to quite involved. Poke holes in my theories gents. That is why I posted it here.
                          #JBNavy

                          "Everyday is a new life to a wise man."
                          -Chinese Proverb

                          “At sunrise everything is luminous but not clear.”
                          -Norman Maclean

                          "We are what we hunt."
                          -PH

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                          • #14
                            [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLDgQg6bq7o"]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLDgQg6bq7o[/ame]

                            The short version: In general, fly fishing sucks after a release.

                            FM
                            The tug is the drug!

                            "Grow a pear!" - Groundpounder

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                            • #15
                              LMAO!!!

                              Originally posted by fishmonger View Post
                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLDgQg6bq7o

                              The short version: In general, fly fishing sucks after a release.

                              FM
                              I love that video! Perhaps the Hooch does not respond well fly fishing after a release but other rivers it might not be the case. What does not suck is the big browns that get caught after a release. Just caught one sunday in fact.
                              #JBNavy

                              "Everyday is a new life to a wise man."
                              -Chinese Proverb

                              “At sunrise everything is luminous but not clear.”
                              -Norman Maclean

                              "We are what we hunt."
                              -PH

                              Comment

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