(2.5) LARGEMOUTH BASS - Rodman Reservoir: Is This More "Milking" the "Cash Cow"

Rodman Reservoir:  Is This More "MILKING" the "CASH COW?"

 

An Information, Opinion, & Sources Report

Compiled by Ocklawahaman Paul Nosca

Created:  16 October 2014 

Last Revised:  29 May 2015




http://www.alloutdoor.com/2014/04/29/pull-plug-rodman-reservoir/



The famed and highly respected Bob McNally, by voicing support for the retention of Rodman Reservoir (a.k.a. Rodman Pool or Lake Ocklawaha), seems to be speaking for the commercialized big-$$$, largemouth bass LAKE-fishing interests--who conveniently always seem to forget that there were endemic, NATURALLY REPRODUCING, Florida-native, Atlantic-race STRIPED BASS (a great [up to 30 pounds or more] game fish) in the un-dammed St. Johns River system prior to the closure of Rodman (Kirkpatrick) Dam in 1968--but only man-stocked "stripers" ever since.

So Ocklawahaman, who has largemouth bass-fished in Florida since 1965--in both still-water lakes and swift-flowing rivers--shall speak for the cool-water, riverine striped bass!

Largemouth bass exist and naturally reproduce in all of Florida's 67 counties. In almost all of this state (except where maybe it's too salty) you can dig a pond on your own property (if permitted and of suitable depth/size) that stocked largemouth bass will probably be able to successfully spawn and survive in. There is nothing unique about finding native largemouth bass in Florida. Trophy largemouth bass (10-lbs and over) are caught from time to time statewide.

Striped bass, however, have a completely different life history. Back in 1961 fishery biologists determined that only two waterway systems in Florida--the Apalachicola River (the Chipola River is its only long-length, cool-water, spring-fed, swift-flowing tributary stream) and the St. Johns River (the Ocklawaha River is its only long-length, cool-water, spring-fed, swift-flowing tributary stream)--contained naturally reproducing stocks of native striped bass. And the St. Johns/Ocklawaha River system is entirely in the state of Florida while the Apalachicola (which is the combination of the Chattahoochee/Flint/Spring) /Chipola River system is shared with the states of Alabama and Georgia.

The endemic STRIPED BASS of the St. Johns-Ocklawaha River basin, without any doubt, have suffered the most because of the September 30, 1968 completion of RODMAN DAM. STRIPED BASS must have access to approximately 50 free-flowing, uninterrupted miles of large, swift-moving stream (current) during the late winter or early spring of the year in order to naturally reproduce successfully. Replacement stocks of St. Johns River basin STRIPERS have been hatchery produced for some 44 years now and are not stocked into the Ocklawaha upstream of the dam that created Rodman Reservoir. The free-flowing (before Rodman Dam was built) 56-mile Silver-Ocklawaha River system was the only suitable spawning (and hatching) habitat of STRIPED BASS in the entire St. Johns River drainage.

Rodman Dam has made NATURALLY and SUCCESSFULLY REPRODUCING (St. Johns River drainage-bred) Atlantic-race STRIPED BASS EXTINCT in the St. Johns River estuary. Thankfully, there is native, Atlantic-race striper stock available in some coastal SE Georgia rivers for conservation re-stocking of the St. Johns/Ocklawaha whenever Rodman Dam is finally breached. They would only be required in the unlikely event that the South Carolina (Santee-Cooper system) striped bass currently stocked into the St. Johns River system (and present there) have difficulties learning how to spawn again at the Silver-Ocklawaha River historic striper-spawning area some 50 river miles or so above the St. Johns estuary!

Read more at:

https://sites.google.com/site/ocklawahaman/striped-bass-of-the-ocklawaha-river
https://sites.google.com/site/ocklawahamanpaulnoscareports/striped-bass-of-the-ocklawaha-river-florida

The stated mission of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is "Managing fish and wildlife resources for their long-term well-being and the benefit of people." It would seem that attempting to restore a natural breeding population of Atlantic-race striped bass to their historic Ocklawaha River spawning habitat would be a worthy goal for the FWC to actively pursue. Wouldn’t the "long-term well-being" of a desirable Florida-native game-fish species with a very limited range in this state--the Atlantic-race striped bass--be better advanced by making its very existence in the St. Johns River Basin not only completely dependent upon the work of fish hatcheries?

What Mr. Bob McNally has described of as "America's Top Bass Lake" (Rodman Reservoir) has been in existence now for 46 years (Rodman Dam was closed across the Ocklawaha River on September 30, 1968)--and has NEVER produced an All-Time Heaviest World Record (or State of Florida Record) LARGEMOUTH BASS yet!

See the all-time list of Florida's reported biggest/heaviest largemouth bass catches ever at: https://sites.google.com/site/ocklawahaman/all-time-top-25-biggest-fl-largemouth-bass

(NOTE: If you can find a better/more-detailed list of Florida's biggest/heaviest ever reported largemouth bass catches [for free or $$$]--GO FOR IT!).

Just how many more years are we going to wait for this BIG RODMAN LARGEMOUTH BASS to happen?

And all the while allow the continued decline of the fish diversity of Florida's world famous Silver Springs caused by Rodman (Kirkpatrick) Dam's blockage of the historic migratory fish travel route between the St. Johns River and Silver Springs! Hasn't Silver Springs generated many more $$$ for the state of Florida for many more years than Rodman Reservoir?

And all the while deny Florida-native, Atlantic-race striped bass their historic free-flowing 56-mile Silver-Ocklawaha River spawning (and successfully hatching) riverine habitat!

And probably all the while keep MILKING the MYTH OF RODMAN--as something like "Mankind's greatest, man-made gift to Florida" (and even to all-America and the World, too [maybe surpassing the Sunshine State's theme parks and beach-front condos]) for the benefit ("CASH COW") of the commercialized largemouth bass fishing interests--while God's natural gifts to Real Florida, the Ocklawaha and Silver Rivers and Silver Springs, remain dying a slow Rodman-dammed death by strangulation.

After all, I reckon that internal combustion, gas-guzzling, run and gun bass boats being used by still-water man-made-lake fishermen are more important economically over the next 50-100 years than the aesthetics of restoring the ONLY 56-mile long, free and swift-flowing, cool-water, spring-fed river capable of supporting naturally reproducing Atlantic-race striped bass--that is ENTIRELY inside the state of Florida. And leaving it to the kids, grandkids, and great grandkids. GO FIGURE!


Ron Littlepage (14 November 2014): "Restore the Ocklawaha!"

http://jacksonville.com/opinion/ron-littlepage/2014-11-14/story/ron-littlepage-restore-ocklawaha

Yes, I agree with Ron Littlepage that the 56-mile Silver River-Ocklawaha River system needs to be restored to free-flowing again.

The 30 September 1968 completion of Rodman Dam caused the loss of 21 river miles of free-flowing riverine ecosystem. Florida's peninsula was blessed by the Creator with thousands of lakes but very few swift-flowing streams of any considerable length. The "pre-Rodman Dam" 56-mile long "Silver-Ocklawaha River" was unique in this state by virtue of having one of the world's greatest-flow 1st magnitude artesian spring groups (73 degree F Silver Springs) as its supreme headwaters with unimpeded access for fish and other aquatic life--located more than 50 miles above tidewater influence.

The Silver-Ocklawaha is quite unique in this state--being the only river system entirely in Florida (cool, swift-flowing, and long enough) that ever supported naturally reproducing stocks of striped bass (Atlantic-race or Gulf-race). Unfortunately, Rodman Dam's closure in September 1968 ended the natural spawning of striped bass.

Rodman Reservoir has been in existence now for 46 years and has NEVER produced an All-Time Heaviest World Record (or State of Florida Record) LARGEMOUTH BASS yet!

Just how many more years are we going to wait for this BIG RODMAN LARGEMOUTH BASS to happen?

And all the while allow the continued decline of the fish diversity of Florida's world famous Silver Springs caused by Rodman (Kirkpatrick) Dam's blockage of the historic migratory fish travel route between the St. Johns River and Silver Springs! Hasn't Silver Springs generated many more $$$ for the state of Florida for many more years than Rodman Reservoir?

And all the while deny Florida-native, Atlantic-race STRIPED BASS their historic free-flowing 56-mile Silver-Ocklawaha River spawning (and successfully hatching) riverine habitat! 

And probably all the while keep MILKING the MYTH OF RODMAN--as something like "Mankind's greatest, man-made gift to Florida" (and even to all-America and the World, too [maybe surpassing the Sunshine State's theme parks and beach-front condos]) for the benefit ("CASH COW") of the commercialized largemouth bass fishing interests--while God's natural gifts to Real Florida, the Ocklawaha and Silver Rivers and Silver Springs, remain dying a slow Rodman-dammed death by strangulation.

Breach Rodman (Kirkpatrick) Dam and restore the 56-mile Silver-Ocklawaha River system to free-flowing again!

Sincerely,

Ocklawahaman Paul Nosca


"The 30 September 1968 completion of Rodman Dam caused the loss of 21 river miles of free-flowing riverine ecosystem. Florida's peninsula was blessed by the Creator with thousands of lakes but very few swift-flowing streams of any considerable length. The 'pre-Rodman Dam' 56-mile long 'Silver-Ocklawaha River' was unique in this state by virtue of having one of the world's greatest-flow 1st magnitude artesian spring groups (73 degree F Silver Springs) as its supreme headwaters with unimpeded access for fish and other aquatic life--located more than 50 miles above tidewater influence." - Ocklawahaman Paul Nosca.


"Let us leave no bit of useful information uncollected, unstudied, or unused in our shared work for the restoration to free-flowing again of Florida's 56-mile Silver and Ocklawaha River system!" - Ocklawahaman Paul Nosca.


"There are lake fishermen, and there are river fishermen, and seldom do the twain agree!" - Original author unknown.



REFERENCE AS:  Nosca, P. 2015. "Rodman Reservoir: Is this more milking the cash cow?" webpage report. "Ocklawahaman Paul Nosca reports" website. Paul Nosca, Eureka, FL.

https://sites.google.com/site/ocklawahamanpaulnoscareports/rodman-reservoir-milking-the-cash-cow 

 


Email: ocklawahaman1@gmail.com

 

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