(6.3) HISTORY: 1976 Cross Florida Barge Canal Restudy Report Fisheries Study

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Ocklawahaman Paul Nosca

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Cross Florida Barge Canal Restudy Report

Fisheries Study

Ocklawaha and St. Johns Rivers

Written by D. G. Bass and V. Guillory

Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission

Prepared for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

An Information Excerpts & Sources Report

Compiled by Ocklawahaman Paul Nosca

With the assistance of Captain Erika Ritter

Created: 02 June 2013

Last Revised: 30 May 2015

NOTE: Click-on individual pages to enlarge them!

Bass, D. G. and V. Guillory. 1976. Cross Florida barge canal restudy report. Fisheries study (Volume I, II, III). Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission, Tallahassee, FL.


Cover of Volume I

Fisheries Study

St. Johns River (Saint Johns River)

"The St. Johns is the largest river in the state of Florida. The watershed encompasses approximately 8,350 square miles. It flows northward along the Atlantic coast for about 200 miles (320 km) from its headwaters to the Atlantic Ocean near Jacksonville, Florida. The St. Johns is a relatively shallow, slow-flowing, low gradient river; its headwaters are less than 25 feet (7.6m) above sea level...Tidal influence is felt as far upstream as Lake George, 115 miles (185 km) from the ocean."

Ocklawaha River (Oklawaha River)

"The Oklawaha River, the largest tributary of the St. Johns, enters the St. Johns River at the town of Welaka, several miles upstream from the entrance of the Rodman canal. The Oklawaha River is about 125 miles in length (202 km) and drains approximately 2,300 square miles. Gradient of the Oklawaha River is much steeper than the St. Johns River proper, and currents are much swifter. The gradient of the Oklawaha, from its headwaters to confluence with the St. Johns River, is about 60 feet (18.3 m)."

Ocklawaha River (Oklawaha River)

"Although the Oklawaha is a 'sand-bottomed' type stream, as defined by Beck (1965), it has several unique characteristics. Its swift current and steep gradient of 60 feet from headwaters to its mouth more typically exemplifies a Piedmont-type stream."

Ocklawaha River (Oklawaha River)

"Also the blockage of migrations of striped bass, American eel and possibly, American shad, which now exists in the form of Rodman Dam, would be removed. Restoration of these spawning runs would have a positive economic impact upon commercial fisheries as well as enhancing the sport fisheries."

Striped bass Morone saxatilis information (page 1 of 2)

Striped bass Morone saxatilis information (page 2 of 2)

Hatchery stocks of striped bass were not introduced into the St. Johns River basin until 1971, a couple of years

after the 30 September 1968 closure of Rodman Dam (a.k.a. Kirkpatrick Dam) across the Ocklawaha River.

Blockage of spawning migrations (page 1 of 3)

Blockage of spawning migrations (page 2 of 3)

Blockage of spawning migrations (page 3 of 3)

"Another factor to consider in the successful reproduction of anadromous fishes after they have surmounted dams is the length of free-flowing stream above the dam (Talbot, 1966). Since eggs of anadromous fish such as striped bass and American shad are heavier than water, they depend upon water currents to keep them suspended. Thus, spawning must take place far enough upstream so that by the time the reservoir is reached, young larvae have developed adequately to maintain themselves. Striped bass in the Santee-Cooper system utilize about 50 miles of river in the Congaree River and about 60 miles in the Wateree River (Scruggs, 1951, 1957)."

Silver Springs (43 species) fishery data

Silver Springs (43 species) fishery data

"Barkuloo (1967) noted that striped bass were occasionally numerous in Silver Springs. As early as 1970, however, there has been a decline in certain marine fishes (e.g., striped bass, mullet) in Silver Springs (letter from Buck Ray to Dale Walker, 23 October 1970). This decline in the marine fishes may be attributed to the presence of the physical barrier downstream--Rodman Dam."

"A total of 36 freshwater species have been recorded from Silver Springs...In addition, a total of seven marine or estuarine species (Atlantic needlefish, rainwater killifish, sailfin molly, striped bass, striped mullet, white mullet, hogchoker) have historically occurred in Silver Springs."

Ocklawaha River (60 species) fishery data

"A total of 49 freshwater species have been recorded from the Oklawaha River proper and immediate tributaries (Appendix 1 Table 6). Eleven marine species (American shad, American eel, hogchoker, Atlantic needlefish, striped bass, sailfin molly, white molly, white mullet, striped mullet, tidewater silverside, clown goby, southern flounder) have been taken in the Oklawaha River (Appendix 1 Table 7)."

Rodman Reservoir (36 species) fishery data

"A total of 33 freshwater species have been taken from Rodman Reservoir (Appendix 1 Table 6). Only three marine species, American eel, Atlantic needlefish and striped mullet, have been recorded."

REFERENCE AS: Nosca, P. 2015. "1976 Cross Florida Barge Canal restudy report fisheries study" webpage report. "Paul Nosca's bass fishing photos" website. Paul Nosca, Eureka, FL.


Email: ocklawahaman1@gmail.com