From firsthand experience here in Oklahoma, all of our Arkansas water shed lakes have now had zebra mussels for 12 years. Sooner where I fish the most (power plant lake) the Zebras have contributed to an explosion in the drum population, this in turn has provided another source of forage (small drum) they were scarce before Zebra Mussels, secchi disk tests, have not confirmed much change in turbidity, threadfin shad and silversides(ghost minnows) seem to be thriving better, when zebra veligers are present, and these populations are on the rise. Sooner is a fairly sterile clear lake in the first place , no real inflow, except for a pump in from the Arkansas river.
We also have white perch now too as a result of Arkansas river from Kansas. The sunfish population CRASHED, anecdotally it appears to be holding steady, but no net samples to prove this. All Striper, Hybrids, Sandbass, white perch seem to be thriving, while Largemouth are getting bigger with new available forage, their recruitment is now poor, ODWC is considering supplemental stocking of all sunfish. Saugeye and catfish are also doing well -- the Zebra population seems to be lower now than when we first started seeing them, rocks are not as encrusted as they were five years ago -- I think what you CAN say is that Zebra mussels will reach a stable population, controlled by drum catfish, and threadfin shad eating veligers, you can also say that former fishing patterns will DEFINITELY change, we find most all of our fish 15-30' deeper than we did ten years ago -so now we fish 70' deep as opposed to 30' deep --its not all doom and gloom, nature adjusts - Tony Hughes, Lateral Line Guide Services Stillwater OK.
Edited by thughes55 (11/26/16 10:25 AM)
Screamin Drags All!!!