Some of you may have seen a recent post on Facebook from a guide about being involved in the stocking of “millions” of stripers in SML - which was a surprise given our normal target of 350k-450k. Well, that was technically correct - though not of the typical size stocking done at SML.
As Paul Harvey used to say, “Here’s the rest of the story”
From our VA-DGIF biologist:
During the flooding about a week ago, the hatchery ponds were approaching flooding where all the baby stripers would have washed away. Predicted peak river heights were right at levels to flood hatchery ponds. With the high chance of losing all stripers for the year but the hatchery still had some striper fry (stage just hatched from egg) available it was requested they be stocked in SML because we could lose all other fish in the flood. VA-DGIF normally does not stock fry because they are very fragile and have a very low survival rate when stocked in lake, normally fingerlings (about month old instead of fry couple days old) are stocked that survive much better.
Approximately 2.5 million fry were stocked which should equate to only about 20-30 thousand fingerlings usually stocked at best but more likely lot less. So millions of stripers were stocked, but in relation to fish we usually stock it was very few.
Fortunately the ponds did not get flooded. Rivers levels got couple feet from going into hatchery ponds. So VA-DGIF is back on schedule for routine stocking since they did not lose any fish.
VA-DGIF is now in the process of 2020 stocking. The first hatchery pond is done and approximately 230,000 Fingerling stripers were stocked into SML last Friday-Sunday. More hatchery ponds getting drained for more stocking soon.
Last Edit: Jun 1, 2020 14:22:37 GMT -5 by mwardncsu