SINCE 2010 I have tirelessly advocated for the re-establishment of a naturally reproducing population of striped bass in a restored to free-flowing again 56-mile length Ocklawaha River -- Source to the Sea, from its supreme headwater at Silver Springs to its tidal estuary at the St. Johns River. The Ocala Star-Banner newspaper on 05 July 2010 published my Letter to the Editor entitled Before Rodman Dam, the stripers ran. My first Riverbassin article regarding this subject was posted to the internet on 01 November 2010 and my first You Tube video related to this topic appeared online 09 May 2011. And up to this present day I have continued pleading my case -- to anyone who would listen or read -- on the behalf of St. Johns River basin Atlantic-race striped bass, a Florida-native and desirable game fish condemned for all eternity in 1968 by the closure of Rodman Dam to a sentence of NO NATURAL REPRODUCTION EVER ALLOWED AGAIN in its only suitable spawning waters (the Ocklawaha River of Marion and Putnam counties).
IMPORTANT OCKLAWAHA RIVER STRIPED BASS NEWS
SOME GOOD NEWS TO ANNOUNCEThanks to the combined efforts of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), some 22,440 live Atlantic-race striped bass fingerlings were stocked into the Ocklawaha River system upstream of Rodman Dam and Buckman Lock during May 2015.
NOW TO THE REST OF THE STORY ABOUT THIS MAY 2015 STOCKING OF STRIPERS In 2011, I had initiated email contact with the FWC to request state and/or federal stocking of striped bass back into their pre-1968 natural range of the Ocklawaha River (including its supreme headwater of Silver River and Silver Springs) upstream of the present Rodman Dam. FWC personnel and I exchanged follow-up emails occasionally since then. Of course I retained copies of these public record emails. Migratory Atlantic-race striped bass were native to (and spawned in) the Ocklawaha upriver to Silver Springs and Moss Bluff prior to the Cross Florida Barge Canal construction activities of the late 1960ís that produced Rodman Reservoir. Almost all scientific evidence points to Rodman Reservoir (a.k.a Lake Ocklawaha or Rodman Pool) as being the cause of the ultimate extirpation of naturally reproducing stripers in the St. Johns River basin. Simply put, Rodman reduces the free and swift-flowing Ocklawaha River to a length unsuitable for a successful hatch of striped bass.
Read much more about the Striped Bass of the Ocklawaha River, Florida at: