Are the Threads on Keystone easy pickings for the Fish and Birds at 40.5 degrees
I thought they died at 43 degrees, maybe just a little more time!
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Posted on Wednesday Dec 25, 2013 at 7:15 AM  
 Merry Christmas Kurt! And I certainly don't expect a answer today or even this week. Maybe some of the other pros will chime in!
 We fished Christmas eve on Keystone for blues and did not even get a bite! There were birds and shad in many places on the Arkansas arm and the Cimmaron arm. The birds looked like they were getting shad and I did not see any fish stunning or killing them. So would it be reasonable to say to my friends or my wife (she does not like it when I can't get here on some willing fish) "I can't compete with all those lethargic dying shad ". I certainly do not have a whole lot of experience with CF and they may just simply have not been bitiing during the few hrs we were on the lake.
  When I caught some bait at least two weeks ago the temp was 40.5 and a lot were floating in my tank that was only a little warmer. When I got them home in my garage tank at 48 degrees about a third of them died over the next three days, in optimum temps I usually only loose a few.
 Then I went back out at the end of that warm spell on the 18th and the water had warmed up 2 degrees with similar results.
Then again yesterday I grabbed about 200 with similar results as the previous two trips so far.
 Is there a estimate of the total biomass of all those shad compared to all fish? I have not been on the water much in cold weather to witness a shad kill. Seeing so many on the screen makes me think there would be way more than the fish and birds can eat and the whole lake is gonna look like shad soup soon!
 Just one more question This year I have caught way more threads than gizzards. Did the threads squeeze out the gizzards with the warm winter last year?
 Thanks Kurt or anyone that has any info!
Posted on Wednesday Dec 25, 2013 at 10:04 AM  
Thanks for this post Ed. Should be interesting. When I fished Keystone I never saw threadfin, but the gizzards were so thick that the best method of fishing was to move away from the main balls of bait to fish nearby structure - shallow or deep, depending on how the sun was warming waters. I've only seen large shad kills when there was a sudden change of temp and that's usually below the dam, but that was before Keystone got a good supply of threads. There should be a good source of info on threads online if no one rears there head.
Posted on Wednesday Dec 25, 2013 at 11:06 AM  
 I think my thermometer is fairly accurate, I have checked it against a Fluke. I did google the temps for threads and found less than 45 and one site saying 40 to 55. Also shallow lakes that can change temps fast will cause a kill.
Posted on Wednesday Dec 25, 2013 at 3:55 PM  
Not Kuk but-

Research has Threads start to die off about 45 degrees, and die in numbers below 40 degrees,  it dependent on how fast water cools off, if its very gradual cooling the die off is more prolonged - if its a fast chill more die off at one time - BUT all water temps are not uniform

On most southern lakes warmer water will be found after consecutive sunny days in coves that aren't affected by wind or wave action, and can be four to five degrees warmer than main lakes - all shad will bunch together in a main cold lake at the top of the water column especially later in the day to soak up available infrared warmth and the massed shad create their own micro- environment, due to sun/black body interaction.

SO on a lake like Keystone threads die off about right now, and if water gets to freezing smaller gizzards will die off too -- the bigger the shad the more it can cope with cold water.

In fact the really mongo gizzard shad prefer water temps in 50-60 degree range.

Most shad basically quit feeding when water gets cold, its not always the cold that gets them but starvation.

You will find the blues late in the day trapping shad shallow.
Those who would give up constitutional freedoms to elected officials in exchange for a false sense of security, deserve neither freedom or security.
Posted on Thursday Dec 26, 2013 at 9:54 AM  
Very interesting topics. Thanks for discussing this. 

I bought home a few shad last week and they all lived healthy lives until I left on a weekend vacation. And while I was gone, wouldn't you know it, the power went off for a day and a half. I was certain I was going to return to a tank full of dead shad but lo and behold only 15% of them died!  The tank temp was right around 50F. In the last few days, the tank temp has dipped into the mid 40's, and I've got consistent daily die off happening. Maybe the day & a half without filtration & bubbles weakened them and they are starting a die off - I'll never know. But, I'm starting to get the idea that 50F might be a magical shad storage temperature.
The more you practice, the luckier you get.
Posted on Monday Dec 30, 2013 at 9:46 AM  
I think in relation to not getting a bite while fishing for blues on keystone I'm pretty sure there was a fish kill up there, I've been out several times and have had absolute shite luck on finding blues over 2-3lbs where I used to catch lots of big fish now I'm lucky if I can catch 10lbs of them in a day.  The striper fishing for me this year up there was good though as well as the incidental LMB on my speckled trout gear lol
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