Response of Summer Habitat for Striped Bass in Lake Greenwood, South Carolina to Weather and Phosphorus Loading
Barbara E. Taylor, James S. Bulak, and Henry N. McKellar
Abstract.—A CE-QUAL-W2 water quality model was used to characterize the availability of striped bass Morone saxatilis habitat in Lake Greenwood, South Carolina, during 2004 and 2005. Although the lake has a productive fishery, water quality and aquatic habitat are affected by nutrient loading, algal blooms, and extensive oxygen depletion in the bottom waters. The main objectives were to characterize habitat availability and predict the implications of a change in phosphorus loading from the Saluda and Reedy rivers. The baseline scenario of the model showed that habitat was most critical during July and August, when as little of 5% of the reservoir contained tolerable habitat (temperature <28°C and dissolved oxygen >2 mg/L). Favorable habitat (temperature <25°C and dissolved oxygen >2 mg/L) was usually absent for most of July and August. Pulses of higher inflow or freshets produced short-term increases in tolerable habitat, especially in the upper end of the reservoir. Phosphorus-loading scenarios predicted that large reductions (50% or more) would be required to improve habitat substantially during midsummer. For the manager of a striped bass fishery, water quality models can be useful tools for evaluating habitat, especially under marginal conditions, and for predicting the impact of altered water management practices.