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Rodman Reservoir

by: Micheal S. Rivers

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Rodman Reservoir is an artificial lake created by the damming of the Oklawaha river in Putnam County Fl. Both sides of the Rodman Dam have abundant fish and other wildlife. The reservoir side is a world class largemouth bass fishing location. The Rodman Reservoir is well known by Florida tournament fisherman and also supports a local guide industry.

The spillway side, or the Oklawaha river head is flourishing with a wide variety of freshwater fish. Many species congregate near the spillway to take advantage of the highly oxygenated splashwater and fast currents. This area is known to hold huge black bass, stripped bass, alligator gar, speckled sperch, chain pickeral, and many other gamefish. blue_crabs and other saltwater species find their way to the Oklawaha river also, as it connects directly to the St. Johns River and the Ocean.

There has been sentiment from some that the Oklawaha River should be restored to its natural state by removing the Rodman dam and draining the reservoir. The dam stops wildlife like striped bass from reaching preferred spawning areas upstream, however the benefits of the dam to the fishing industry are favorable to conservation efforts. The Reservoir generates revenue and fishing interest that in turn support wildlife conservation efforts. Whether or not the Dam should stay is a political topic worth much consideration. Please comment below if you have thoughts on Dams.

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Rating: 5/5
Title: Striped Bass of the Ocklawaha River, Florida
by: "Ocklawahaman" Paul Nosca 2012-11-14

Largemouth bass exist and naturally reproduce in all of Florida's 67 counties. Trophy largemouth bass (10-lbs and over) are caught from time to time statewide. Striped bass, however, have a completely different life history. Back in 1961 fishery biologists determined that only two river systems in Florida--the Apalachicola-Chipola and the St. Johns-Ocklawaha--contained naturally reproducing stocks of native striped bass. Stripers in Florida are riverine fish which require about 50 miles of cool, free and swift-flowing large streams for successful spawning. Adult striped bass, which can weigh beyond 30 lbs, also require closeby access to water temperatures no greater than 80 F (such as artesian springs). Rodman Dam reduced the spring-fed, swift-flowing Ocklawaha River upstream from the tidal St. Johns River estuary to a length unsuitable for striper spawning. Since 1970 the St. Johns River basin has been stocked with hatchery produced striped bass. No other tributary streams of the St. Johns River meet the stripers' strict spawning requirements. https://sites.google.com/site/ocklawahaman/striped-bass-of-the-ocklawaha-river

Rating: 5/5
Title: Restoration of Florida's 56-mile Silver-Ocklawaha River system
by: "Ocklawahaman" Paul Nosca 2012-11-14

"The 30 September 1968 completion of Rodman Dam caused the loss of 21 river miles of free-flowing riverine ecosystem. Florida's peninsula was blessed by the Creator with thousands of lakes but very few swift-flowing streams of any considerable length. The 'pre-Rodman Dam' 56-mile long 'Silver-Ocklawaha River' was unique in this state by virtue of having one of the world's greatest-flow 1st magnitude artesian spring groups (73 degree F Silver Springs) as its supreme headwaters with unimpeded access for fish & other aquatic life--located more than 50 miles above tidewater influence." - "Ocklawahaman" Paul Nosca.

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