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"And when strong winds turned the lake over a few days ago, satellite maps showed temperatures as low as 49 in some areas"

That's a bogus statement. That satellite image was reading clouds. I don't believe I have ever seen a thermocline on this lake and thus it can't "turn over". There can't be any water in the lake colder than the St Clair River, and it has been above 50* since mid June.

The rest of the article is interesting. I wonder if it is not that some fish haven't spawned yet but that they aren't going to spawn this year and instead absorb their eggs. I wonder if when the moon phases were right for spawning the temps were way too cold. Thus the fish held their eggs and missed the opportunity. What this tells me regardless is that our smallmouth fishery might be in trouble in a few years as any frey that are hatched in the next few weeks may not be viable enough to survive the winter, and any eggs not laid period will obviously not even have the chance. We may as a result, lose a large piece of our 2009 year class.
 

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QUOTE(little guy @ Aug 9 2009, 08:19 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>"And when strong winds turned the lake over a few days ago, satellite maps showed temperatures as low as 49 in some areas"

That's a bogus statement. That satellite image was reading clouds. I don't believe I have ever seen a thermocline on this lake and thus it can't "turn over". There can't be any water in the lake colder than the St Clair River, and it has been above 50* since mid June.

The rest of the article is interesting. I wonder if it is not that some fish haven't spawned yet but that they aren't going to spawn this year and instead absorb their eggs. I wonder if when the moon phases were right for spawning the temps were way too cold. Thus the fish held their eggs and missed the opportunity. What this tells me regardless is that our smallmouth fishery might be in trouble in a few years as any frey that are hatched in the next few weeks may not be viable enough to survive the winter, and any eggs not laid period will obviously not even have the chance. We may as a result, lose a large piece of our 2009 year class.

I don't think they were using the term "turnover" in the true context of it being associated with a thermocline. It would be my understanding after reading the article that they were referring to the difference in the surface temp and the temp near the bottom with the wind mixing the two creating their idea of "turnover". Most electronics on a boat only reads the surface temps which is why I have a color finder that also measures water temps up to 50ft deep but unfortunatly I don't use it as much as I should. 49 degrees does seem a little extreme to me to but I have come to realize in Michigan anything is possible.
 

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I do agree with little guy. They will absorb them and they will have to wait till next year.Only time will tell if alot of the females had to do this or a few. We will definately have to wait and see how this one plays out.
 

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I recently read a post that said that someone saw a smallmouth charter keeping their catch. If they are and are still continuing to do so that could seriously hurt the numbers couldn't it?
 

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QUOTE(pigsmallie @ Aug 9 2009, 08:48 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I do agree with little guy. They will absorb them and they will have to wait till next year.Only time will tell if alot of the females had to do this or a few. We will definately have to wait and see how this one plays out.


Every year we go walleye fishing in Ontario, north of Souix Lookout. The water up there may not get into the 60's until July and may never get into the 70's. It only stays that warm for a couple of months then starts to cool off again, and the smallmouth do just fine up there.
 

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This is another example of misinformation and statements being made by individuals who honestly don't know what they are talking about. No offense (again) to someone who is surely a fine professional bass angler but, these statements within the article are completely false:

"But what anglers may not know is that many bass in a lake, including St. Clair, spawn in water up to 20 feet deep farther offshore, where the nests usually can't be seen from the surface."

"I'd say only 5% of the bass in Lake St. Clair spawn where people have easy access to them," Gostenik said. "The bass in the shallow water off the mile roads get beat up, but most of them spawn out in deep water and never see a lure. The lake is really just one big spawning flat."

In freshwater lakes all over the world, the majority of bass (meaning way more than 50%) spawn in shallow water, provided the habitat is there. Mother Nature assured it be the case for the family Centrarchidae. The reason bass spawn in shallow water? Because it warms faster than deep water. Eggs don't get fertilized unless there are ripe males nearby and ready to do their part. And fertilized eggs don't hatch unless they are kept at certain temps for a certain length of time. Too cold? Fry never hatch. Too windy/rough? Eggs may get buried/smothered. The only reason for bass to spawn in "20 feet" of water on LSC (or any other lake) is because there is less than optimal spawning substrate for the bass in the shallows and their fry to survive. Anyone who knows LSC knows that bass don't spawn in the shipping channel, or any of the channels in 20 foot of water. It's too cold in Spring. Mother Nature makes sure female bass eggs are ready to be laid come the right Spring moon and the right water temps. Same for male bass. This has been happening for eons. Now, there are exceptions yes, but the statement that only "5% of bass spawn in the shallows" is pure fiction. Yes, LSC is one big spawning flat - because of all the water that is less than say, 8 feet deep! And the majority of bass spawn, in the Spring, in water 8 feet deep or less, I guarantee it. Do I know this for a fact? No, but I have studied freshwater fisheries biology enough to know that 20 foot of water of LSC, Erie, or Huron, or the two rivers connecting these bodies of water don't reach 60 degrees until maybe July - in some years August or never. Whatever fry that hatch from the eggs of these so-called deep spawners would never survive the winters. Mother Nature just isn't designed that way.

And the statement about LSC stratifying and developing a thermocline is most likely fiction also. The lake is too shallow and there is too much moving water through the system all year for a thermocline to develop. Thus the term "turnover" is inaccurate in that context. But I have not seen or read any studies with data showing a thermocline/drastic temp change occurring on LSC so I cannot say with certainty it doesn't happen. Erie or Huron most likely but not St Clair. And it surely won't turn over in August, the water is way too warm and anyone who knows what turnover is knows the cause - surface water cools to a degree that it becomes more dense and sinks through the thermocline. Fall winds also facilitate the process.

We as passionate bass fishermen must do what we can - today - to protect the great fishery we do have right now. That is if we as sportsmen and women actually care about the resource. But maybe losing "a few thousand" adult smallies - the heart of the fishery - isn't enough to cause alarm. Hopefully here won't be more unnecessary fish kills next Spring.
 

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QUOTE(fishindad @ Aug 9 2009, 10:31 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>This is another example of misinformation and statements being made by individuals who honestly don't know what they are talking about. No offense (again) to someone who is surely a fine professional bass angler but, these statements within the article are completely false:

Ya ok. I guess you know better even though you're not the expert? There seems to be too many self-proclaimed experts when it comes to fish biology on this site. Life is too short for fisherman to be spending time discussing fish biology when they should be out fishing.

FYI, SM do spawn in the deeper water of LSC. If you had watched Hook'n Look this past spring you would have seen the evidence on video plus the Michigan DNR confirming that as well.
 

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I don't know about 20 ft on LSC, but I have marked alot of smallmouth beds in 10-15 ft on other inland lakes.....
I have heard that the smallies will bed in 30 feet in GTB....I can't personally say I have seen that though....

A pretty well known Fisheries Biologists in this state stated that Smallmouth will spawn into August...I believe that to be true....Heck I saw a Mama Duck yesterday with some brand new ducklings so I would say it sure is likely...

You can't dismiss the comments from Gostenick who spends countless hours on the water every year over the "Education" of a biologist....I would say they both have a certain value....
 

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I'm sure the water's a bit cooler 15 feet below the surface than it is right near the surface... but I can see how some cool post cold front nights could result in it "turning over" a bit.

Lately I've been getting all my good sized smallies in water 15ft deep or greater. And that includes a number of 18+ inch fish. They're definitely in the deeper water, but have hit lures running high, so they are coming up to feed.

I don't think it would so much as make a dent in the population if the charters took all the smallies they caught. The lake is overrun with smallies. And rockies. And the size is just out of this world for being so far north.

That said, I still like to see the really big ones put back. ><{{{{*>
 

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He didn't claim that "5% of bass spawn in the shallows". He claimed that 5% spawn where people have easy access to them. I agree.

Based on what I witness year after year in the mile roads - where it could be described that people have "easy access" to spawners - the vast majority of boats are fishing 8ft. or shallower. And, yes, these people are only bothering a small percentage of the fish that are spawning in that area.

I agree that most of the fish spawning in that area don't see a lure because they are deeper (or at least farther off-shore) than what most people are willing to fish at that time of year. But that doesn't mean they're in 20ft of water. 10-12ft of water? Absolutely. And that puts them out of reach of where "most" people would have "easy access" to them. Go out on the lake anywhere during the full moon in May, when water temps and clarity are conducive to a successful spawn, and look at where the boats are. I'll bet that 90% of them will be in the mile roads fishing 8ft of water or shallower, leaving the majority of spawning fish virtually untouched.
 
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