Zebra Mussels - Lake Sharpe

Discussion in 'South Dakota Flyway Forum' started by Zane, Jul 16, 2019.

  1. Zane

    Zane Senior Refuge Member

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    Zebra Mussels confirmed in lower Sharpe... How long do you think till they are in lower Oahe? Sucks that Sharpe and Lower Oahe are my main fishing grounds, wonder what this is going to do.
     
  2. Dean Nelson

    Dean Nelson Moderator Goose Hunting/North Dakota Moderator

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    The effect of zebra mussels on a Waterway are dramatically overstated at least when it comes to fishing! They're certainly not good for fishing line water intakes and any infrastructure but their effect on fish itself is actually substantially lower than you would believe by the reports you see in the newspapers. Furthermore when you start dealing with water ways with consistently moving water like the Missouri River system their effects are dramatically reduced even more.
     
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  3. Damian Wiening

    Damian Wiening Elite Refuge Member

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    Zebra mussels have a lesser effect on moving water as to fish, on a lake with no water flow it may be a bit different. Wait until you clean or try to eat a duck that has been feeding on them, it will be distasteful and I advise not to eat them. The shell edge is sharp as heck and you will open up whatever skin rubs across that edge.

    They destroyed fishing on southern Lake Michigan and damaged our wintering ducks.
     
  4. Dean Nelson

    Dean Nelson Moderator Goose Hunting/North Dakota Moderator

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    Allot of people like to think that but in the end it's just not true. They get blamed for the actions of their cousins the quagga mussel Which is far more damaging than the zebras. And in fact the zebra mussels have been all but wiped out of Lake Michigan for damn near a decade and were only ever a small portion of the number of quagga that are in there now.

    fig36_lg.jpg
     
  5. Damian Wiening

    Damian Wiening Elite Refuge Member

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    The damage was already done by the year 2000, they were on the Great Lakes in 1988, yellow perch fishing has not been the same, the forage base was hammered, no crayfish, no smelt run, no alewife, no shiners minnows, all started by the zebra mussel, the quagga mussel may be the dominate mussel now, but it all started with the zebra.

    Yellow perch when caught are now on a minnow based feed all year long, they do not taste the same, nowhere as good as the time before the mussel invasion, in the summer the crayfish lined the shoreline rocks and harbor breakwalls, the perch meat was an orange color and the taste was out of this world, I have not seen a Lake Michigan crayfish in ten plus years and I am talking about seeing a single crayfish and not the thousands that could be found on the harbor breakwalls.

    We used to have lots of Bluebill's greater and lesser's wintering on the south end of the lake, that is simply not the case anymore and the decline of those ducks occurred when the zebra mussels started to arrive.

    Simply by cleaning a bird you can tell if they are on a mussel diet or other, migrating ducks are a better tasting duck, late season ducks all feed on whichever mussel is here now.

    This is not a good thing, sadly it is not something anyone can stop anymore.
     
  6. Dean Nelson

    Dean Nelson Moderator Goose Hunting/North Dakota Moderator

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    But once again you're using anecdotal instead of scientific evidence on this. Interesting enough The perch die off both in 88 and even more so back in the sixties when the population was massively bigger was far more triggered by the alewife then by the mussels. And would you look at that now that the Alewife are dying off the perch are starting to rebound here's a little snippet from research done on Southern Lake Michigan perch and why they collapsed. And as far as scaup go of course you have less of them everybody does their damn population went down by 70% and there are a number of things that caused that but zebra mussels were not one of them!


    "We examined the relationship between the abundance of alewives Alosa pseudoharengus and the recruitment of yellow perch Perca flavescens to determine if alewives were potentially responsible for yellow perch recruitment failures in southern Lake Michigan after 1988. We used annual Jun–Aug bottom trawl data from two 5-m-depth index sites near Michigan City, Indiana, during 1984–1998 to index alewife abundance as the catch per unit effort (CPUE) of age-1 and older fish and yellow perch recruitment as the CPUE of age-2 fish. The relationship between alewife abundance and yellow perch recruitment was modeled as logeRt +2 = 11.7 − (2.12) logeAt, where logeRt +2 is the natural log of the CPUE of age-2 yellow perch in year t + 2 and logeAt is the natural log of the CPUE of alewives age 1 and older in year t. The model explained greater than 70% of the variability in recruitment of the 1984–1996 yellow perch year-classes. We conclude that yellow perch year-class failures in Indiana waters of Lake Michigan were largely explained by an increase of mean alewife abundance after 1988 and that the yellow perch fishery is unlikely to fully recover unless mean alewife abundance returns to an extremely low level, similar to the early 1980s"
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2019
  7. tornadochaser

    tornadochaser Elite Refuge Member

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    The lake my cabin is on in MN has had zebs for 7 or 8 years now. It went from 4-5 foot of water clarity to 10-12 foot of water clarity. Weedlines run out deeper now. Fishing changed, but it didn't take long to figure out. The mussel population spiked and peaked around year 3. Now they are just a small nuisance. We barely have a dead shell wash up on shore anymore.
     
  8. Full Force Five

    Full Force Five Elite Refuge Member

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    Tornado, did if impact fishing? Or the ecosystem in your lake? Just curious. If you take algae away from a lake or reduce it does that impact aquatic insects, impacting bait fish, impacting perch etc.
     
  9. tornadochaser

    tornadochaser Elite Refuge Member

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    There's still occasional algae blooms. Weedlines start in 7/8 foot and go out to 18-20 foot whereas they used to start in 5 foot and go to 15/16. Clearer water means warmer water, so the walleyes are now typically deeper during the day, off those deep weedlines. I have seen an actual improvement in the walleyes, they are fatter now than ever before, not unusual to have a 19" eye spitting up bugs and worms in the livewell. There's massive bug hatches throughout summer. I think more now than before the zebs, due to the clearer water and more abundant weed growth. Foraged sized bluegill and perch numbers are still excellent. Many guys still struggle to catch eyes though because they are stuck in their ways, going to slow using live bait, fishing structure when the fish are basin and weed oriented, and not fishing between shore and the inside weedline during sundown/dark.
     
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  10. Dean Nelson

    Dean Nelson Moderator Goose Hunting/North Dakota Moderator

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    You have much trouble with cut and frayed lines from them?
     

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