One marina on Claytor Lake has registered 20 striped bass and hybrid citations this spring. John Copeland takes this to mean that these species are doing well in the lake. He is the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries biologist who manages the fishery.
The Claytor stripers have not suffered a parasite outbreak, like the one that has impacted fish in Smith Mountain Lake.
“The striper and hybrid populations are looking real strong,” he said. “We have good forage in the lake.”
Even so, there is an opportunity to improve striped bass habitat through adjustments in the generation schedule at Claytor Dam, Copeland said. Habitat suitable for this species declines sharply during the hot-weather months, and changes in generation procedures could help improve it.
Copeland is looking at ways to enhance the fishery of the lake fishery and its tailwaters as part of his response to American Power Co.'s request to re-license its power operation at Claytor. The procedure is a rare opportunity to get positive things done, and it comes along infrequently, he said.
The re-licensing process also has been under way at Smith Mountain and Leesville lakes.