RE: NANFA-L-- Arkansas Convention

Mike Bessert (
Wed, 22 Jun 2005 14:15:18 -0500

Mark -

That wouldn't be unlikely. How big were they and what condition were they
in? We used to trammel net paddlefish below that dam. The largest one we
ever tagged was 67lbs (a bit of a chore to get into the boat). We had
several other fish in the same net, so we quickly took data, tagged, and
released the largest one first. We always worked as fast as possible to
reduce stress and limit mortality. In fact, my boss said each paddlefish we
handled was a "thousand dollar" fish for all the money the state spends on
management. Anyway...about the time we finished the last one, we saw 15-20
gulls going after something on the surface about 200 meters downstream. We
were none too happy because we thought the big one didn't make it and
hustled down to investigate. In fact, it was a dead paddlefish, but not the
one we tagged. Although it was roughly the same size, it was cut cleanly in
half midway between the anal and pectoral fins. We figured it must have
gone through the turbines because most of the boats up there don't have
props big enough to make a clean cut of that diameter.

- Mike

I'm wondering if the dead fish I saw were sucked through the dam and that is

what killed them.


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