Here is a video of the 3 tanks up and running. now all we need is to get some Stripers in them!!
Everything is coming together now!
The tanks have arrived and being put together
Beginning Construction of the Striper Raising Facility
Thursday July 19, 2012
The fish arrived shortly after 6 am, and the water was tempered to within a degree of the lake water. The truck contained just over 100,000 fingerlings, the majority were about 3 inches long. One compartment had over 6,000 larger (4-6 inch) fish. All fish were in excellent condition. The fish shown above is one of the larger class we got.
Now the truck moves into position to load the tanks. The photo above right was taken from the top of the truck.
The transfer setup we used two years ago was again used to drain the fish into tanks for float stocking. The truck had 6 compartments, 2 were stocked directly in the lake at Tatman. Denny Roth took 2 loads on his pontoon boat, dropping one load at mm18 and the other at mm16.
This year the Army Corps graciously allowed us to utilize the barge to assist in float stocking. The barge easily handled 2 tanks. Since the barge needed to return to 7 Points, we used it for the longer runs. These loads were dropped at mm12 and mm10. The PSBA re-fueled the barge so that the Army Corps did not have to absorb additional operating expenses. Many thanks to the Army Corps for their help!
Today was a very good day for the future of the Striped Bass fishery at Raystown Lake. The PSBA stocked over 100,000 quality fish, and we gave them all the best chance of survival by spreading them out in alewife rich waters. We want to thank all the members whose dues money, gun tickets, donations and plain old hard work made this possible.
Tuesday June 22, 2010
It was just before 3:00 am when the truck arrived at Tatman Launch. The fish were loaded Monday evening and then the drivers drove thru the night so that they could avoid hauling the fish during the heat of the day. Upon arriving at the launch, the driver set up a pump to begin the long process of tempering the water in the tanks with lake water. This process took nearly 2 hours, with temperature and dissolved oxygen checked periodically. The fish were in good condition from their journey, and were now getting used to Lake Raystown water. This picture was taken just after sunrise.
While waiting for the fish to be ready, our grower (Skip Bason) chats with board member Mark Sipes. Skip has many years of experience in capturing, spawning and growing Striped Bass. Mark has contributed much of his own money over the years to help the fishery at Raystown Lake. If you catch a nice striper in the lake, there is a good chance that it was put there by the efforts of these two individuals.
After the tank temperature is within a half a degree of the lake temperature, the stocking begins. The fish are transfered onto the waiting tanks on board pontoon boats via a pipe system that Denny Roth and Dave Rhodes put together. The truck has a 12 inch diameter outlet, which gets necked down to a 6 inch pipe as it enters the pontoon boat tanks.
This is a picture Eric McVicker took with his waterproof camera as the fingerlings are being flushed down the tube and into the tanks on the pontoon boats. It looks like a wet & wild ride for the little guys.
This is another view of our transfer setup. Denny Roth is making sure all the fish coming down the tube go where they are supposed to – in the tank. Each tank held about 250 gallons of water and roughly 35,000 fingerlings. Oxygen was used on board the pontoon boats as well.
Denny’s 24′ tri-toon proved very effective in hauling fish down the lake. With his 150 hp Yamaha he was able to achieve 23 mph fully loaded. Denny made three runs in all, placing fish in locations on the lake where we know alewives have been spawning. This is critical for the striped bass fingerlings so that they will have immediate access to alewife fry as a food source, a proven tactic by Virginia fisheries biologists in studies they conducted.
Now it’s Charlie Meyers’ turn to load fish onto his boat. Even though Charlie’s boat is just a conventional 2 log pontoon, it did very well hauling a tank full of fish. The square tanks kept the weight well inside the boat, and were not prone to sloshing and shifting. Charlie made two runs, distributing fish in yet more places. This strategy was adopted from research done by biologists in which they learned that survival rates are higher if fish are distributed in the lake, rather than dumping them all in one location and overstripping the available food source.
This picture was taken on the Striper Dogs boat, as we cautiously pulled away from the dock. We had one of the older open tanks on board, with much of the weight at the front of the boat. The boat was leaning so heavily in the front that we had to get some weight in the back to balance things out. Mark Sipes is seen lamenting that he is only regarded as “ballast”. Eric McVicker is seen to the left of Mark, and Mike Stoeffler (Arnolds Marine Service) is on the right.
This load was deposited halfway between MM18 and MM19. As we idled slowly in reverse, Mike pulled the stand pipe – allowing the fingerlings to flow into the lake. Mike observed that within a few seconds they swam straight down. They were obviously still in great condition. These fish were placed in deep water, but a flat with vegetative cover was only a short distance away. Open water vs weeds is a subject that is sometimes debated, but we think the fish made up their own minds quickly.
It was very satisfying to see so many fish go into the lake on this day. According to the tally sheet, over 212,000 fingerlings were stocked. This could well be the most Striped Bass fingerlings stocked in one day on Raystown Lake, ever. This could not have come to pass were it not for the efforts of the whole membership of the PSBA. Every gun ticket sold, every 50/50 ticket bought, every donation, and all the work by dedicated people has made a difference. Thanks to everyone for making this day possible.
Skip is planning to grow out more fish for a fall 2010 stocking. These will be much bigger, although there will be fewer. We will let everyone know when the next stocking will be.
Thursday, August 26 2010
The day started earlier for this stocking, as the stocking truck arrived at Tatman launch just after 1:30 am. We all knew that this stocking would be conducted in the dark, but PSBA tournament fishermen are used to getting the job done at night. This was a job well worth doing. This photo shows the stocking truck on the right, with the transfer tube reaching to the pontoon boats at left. Denny Roth, Charlie Myers and Vince Lent volunteered the use of their boats for this stocking.
Here is the “tube shot”, similar to before. These are obviously nice fish.
A couple fish would jump out each time another compartment in the truck was opened. This little guy is was picked up off the ground and posed for the picture as George Buseck held him. The fish in this load ranged from 4-1/2 inches to almost 6 inches in length.
This photo was taken on Vince Lent’s boat just before we nearly sank it. Because of the layout of his boat, the tank could not be properly centered. As the photo shows, the tank is closer to the port side (plus the heavy oxygen cylinder is strapped to that side also). Unfortunately, the truck driver estimated wrong and overfilled the tank. We didn’t realize the magnitude of the situation until Vince backed away from the shore. Immediately the boat listed, with the front corner going under water. They say you can’t sink a pontoon boat, but I’m sure the thought must have entered his mind. Everyone knew immediately that the only remedy was to unload the tank right away. The situation improved quickly as the tank drained. Actually, we had planned to put one load of fish by the launch anyway.
Vince was a good sport, and after some adjustments to the placement of the tank he took another load of fish. This time all went well.
The official count was 32,700 fingerlings got stocked. And just like in June, we spread them out in prime alewife areas of the lake. The next load is scheduled for Tuesday August 31, 2010. Thanks to all.
Tuesday August 31, 2010
This load had the largest fish of all, many were over 6 inches in length. The truck was able to carry 28,000 fish of this size. Four of the six compartments were float stocked. The other two compartments were stocked right from the truck at Tatman Run boat launch, as seen in the photo above. Denny Roth had his current and prior pontoon boats set up for stocking, and Charlie Myers had his pontoon there as well. A big thank you is in order for those who came out in the wee hours of the morning, at their own expense, to drive their boats and help pull off this kind of fish stocking.
It would be much easier to just release the whole truck load along the shore edge, rather than spreading them out in the lake with pontoon boats. We know by reading the scientific research, and by our own observations, that this approach of stocking fingerlings directly on alewife populations will have a dramatic effect on the fishery. 2010 promises to become a benchmark in the stocking history of Raystown Lake. Our total for the three stockings in June and August is nearly 300,000 fish.