7/11/17 Photo of Striped Bass carcass on the middle Ocklawaha River
From Ryan Hamm of FWC on 8/1/17:
It is difficult to tell for sure from the photo but it appears to be a Sunshine Bass (hyrbrid). It appears to be a few days old, so I think your suspicion about being washed down from Moss Bluff to be the most likely.
Thank you for filling us in on what you are seeing on the river.
Ryan S. Hamm
Regional Fisheries Administrator
Division of Freshwater Fisheries Management
My photos from 7/11/17 on the middle Ocklawaha River.
Paul Nosca July 12 at 2:13pm
After about 600 canoeing, fishing, hunting, exploration, or sight-seeing day (and/or overnight camping) trips on the middle Ocklawaha River since 2004 between the Delks Bluff SR-40 and Eureka CR-316 bridges -- 7/11/17 it finally happened. And I don't think that it has anything to do with the 5/13/15 stocking of fingerling stripers by the USFWS.
See photos of the first STRIPED BASS (maybe 20 to 22-inches total length) that I have ever seen in the middle Ocklawaha River (above Rodman Dam), recorded during my largemouth bass-fishing trip Tuesday 7-11-17. The striper was drifting / floating DEAD in the strong current down the river channel about 3 miles upstream (S) of the Eureka CR-316 Bridge.
Maybe Ryan Hamm, Regional Fisheries Administrator, Division of Freshwater Fisheries Management, FWC can determine from the carcass photos if it is a SUNSHINE BASS (hatchery-produced striped bass-white bass hybrid) that are stocked by FWC into some of the Ocklawaha Chain of Lakes (Apopka and Harris) above Moss Bluff Lock & Dam - OR - if it is a true Atlantic-race STRIPED BASS (hatchery-bred and stocked by USFWS into the St. Johns River basin [but not until only one year 2015 -- at my request -- that fingerlings were released into the Ocklawaha above Rodman Dam]) that somehow made-it through Buckman Lock and went upstream way above Rodman Reservoir. Moss Bluff Lock & Dam has released water 100-300 cfs on many days this year including quite lately.
NOTE: The fingerling striped bass stocked on 5/13/15 would not be expected to be 20-22 inches long until 4 to 5 years old -- maybe 2019 or 2020! Atlantic-race striped bass are native to the St. Johns River basin but haven't been able to reproduce naturally since the advent of Rodman Dam -- the former 56-mile length free-and-swift flowing Ocklawaha-Siver River system was their only suitable spawning water.