Game and Fish studies summer striped bass mortality on Norfork Lake

Each month, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission hosts a series of webinars known as “Wild Science” to showcase science projects conducted to inform the management and conservation of the state’s natural resources, and the episode of this month includes a research project on an issue affecting the Twin Lakes Region. Game and Fish Mountain Home Regional Fisheries Supervisor Jeremy Risley opened the show with his presentation titled “Consequences of Summer Kills on Management of Striped Bass on Norfork Lake”.

Risley says the commission has long been dealing with striped bass survival issues in the summer, and he says research results show a relationship to the high water levels in Lake Norfork.


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Risley worked on the research project with game and fish biologists Paul Port and Cody Wyatt, with Alex Beezel, Dr. Quinton Phelps and Hae Kim of Missouri State University in Springfield. One thing the research team was unable to determine is the number of striped bass lost in the summer. Risley says that by mid to late summer, most striped bass move to the Norfork Dam area and inhabit a pocket of deep water with oxygen and the right temperature to survive.


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Risley says another reason they’re unable to determine the number of dead and dying Striped Bass is that they don’t always float on the surface. Some sink to the bottom, some get caught in the dam, and others decompose before Game and Fish staff have a chance to retrieve them.

At present, Risley says he and his research partners have been unable to find a solution to this problem.


click to download audio

For more information on striped bass at Norfork Lake, contact the Game and Fish’s Mountain Home office at 870-425-7577.

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