Importance of Groundwater Inflows for Maintenance of Striped Bass Habitat in the Flint River and Lake Seminole
Van Den Avyle, Michael J.
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Adult striped bass are heavily dependent on habitats influenced by the inflows of cool water from groundwater sources in the Flint River between Albany, Georgia, and Lake Seminole. Fish tracked with radio transmitters in 1984-85 moved into isolated spring-fed areas during May, when ambient river temperatures reached 24° C, and remained in these areas until October or early November, when the river cooled to 20° C. The duration of habitation of the spring-fed areas averaged 160 days per year (range 137-182), illustrating the vulnerability of the species to habitat changes that would occur if groundwater inflows were reduced or eliminated. Knowledge of the distribution of spring-fed areas that serve as important striped bass habitat provides a basis for linking fisheries concerns with other groundwater demands in this part of Georgia.