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Re: Brook Trout Management Study in Western Maryland

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2006/9/10 22:25
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Mike I"m wondering why biologists thought angler harvest was a 'perceived' problem. The remoteness of the streams I'm familiar with should tell anybody that angler usage is low and that angler harvest even lower. I doubt anglers hike a mile into a steep ravine to a rhododendron-lined, 6 foot wide trickle to kill native brook trout. I think 99% of those anglers that make that effort are C&R. One could fish some of these streams for a lifetime and not see another angler so I really do wonder why experienced PFBC personnel thought it would make any difference. You seem rather reasonable and know your craft well. Did you agree with their perceptions? I would be disappointed if you did.

I think the studies have shown flows and habitat dictate pops and sizes and not harvest/usage. No regs can control flows or create habitat. You could shut a stream down to fishing completely for a year and not guarantee it will hold more trout one year later. Limiting harvest will only work where harvest of native brook trout could be - or is - high. Off the top of my head, I cannot think of any that qualify(at least in in eastern Pa where I fish).

The WBTEP just isn't working. It could work on overfished/high pressured brook trout only streams but how many of those are there? Not many. Plus you can poll all the anglers want about whether they practice C&R or hypothesize about what % of wild/native trout are being creeled but unless you get out there opening day and actually SEE whats being killed, you won't know for sure how many brook trout are being killed.

Posted on: 2013/2/20 8:40


Re: Brook Trout Management Study in Western Maryland

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Quote:

NJAngler wrote:
I doubt anglers hike a mile into a steep ravine to a rhododendron-lined, 6 foot wide trickle to kill native brook trout. I think 99% of those anglers that make that effort are C&R. One could fish some of these streams for a lifetime and not see another angler... Did you agree with their perceptions? I would be disappointed if you did.

The WBTEP just isn't working.


I agree 100% with the first part of this, but what is it that the WBTEP ISN'T achieving that it SHOULD be?

Posted on: 2013/2/20 9:24
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Re: Brook Trout Management Study in Western Maryland

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There should always be a goal in mind, and I've never heard anyone in PFBC say they had a goal when they started WBTE. All I ever heard was that it wouldn't work.

Posted on: 2013/3/6 19:41
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Re: Brook Trout Management Study in Western Maryland

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Chaz, it seems to me that the only "goal" with the WBTEP is to have a CR program (brookies only) on said streams. I believe this should apply to all native brookie streams on the Class A list.

Posted on: 2013/3/7 9:26
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Re: Brook Trout Management Study in Western Maryland
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Quote:

wildtrout2 wrote:
Chaz, it seems to me that the only "goal" with the WBTEP is to have a CR program (brookies only) on said streams. I believe this should apply to all native brookie streams on the Class A list.


This could not be farther from the truth...

The goal of the WBTEP was simply to shut the traps of the folks at PATrout who have been blabbering for years that harvest and cropping of wild brook trout is the reason for the brook trout being so small in these small freestone systems.

The streams selected varied in a wide range of geography and popularity to demonstrate the PF&BC assertion that harvest in these streams is below the level of natural and seasonal mortality. So far their assertion has proven correct.

What the WBTEP did accomplish is increase pressure on these streams by popularizing them. While the angler surveys say different It could be argued that incidental mortality through increased angling could have suppressed the numbers.

The bottom line is as frequent anglers we would like to see larger fish and we release our catch to preserve our entertainment value in angling. On the other hand, there are those that harvest trout for a number of reasons, few of which involve sustainance, mostly because "they are permitted to".

Its not like deer hunting where we are trying to manage or control a population to protect life and property from pests the size of humans that run in front of cars and eat landscaping.

It is also argues that a five trout limit on wild brook trout streams makes no difference because not enough people harvest them anyway. So why not lower it to two? If it don't make a difference why does it need to be five? Likely few would complain, far fewer than those in the "Save the brook trout" camp. Harvest is still on the table and the trout huggers get their way too.

But make no mistake the progress in our favor as the F&BC struggles to stay afloat, fewer stream sections on streams with natural reproduction will be stocked and this will expand the range of wild brook trout. It won't be as quickly or robust as we'd like but it is not a zero sum game. We will prevail through default. It's a pressure game.

It will prove that reducing and eliminating stocking in areas where wild reproduction is possible increases fishing opportunities overall.

The WBTEP should not have the name enhancement in it. It was put there to have the results prove its failure. If no enhancement, no success, even if pops stayed static.

The question remains how did they do compared to other waters without the regulations and added pressure?


Posted on: 2013/3/7 10:04
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Re: Brook Trout Management Study in Western Maryland

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From Mont Co, Pa
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Quote:

Maurice wrote:
Quote:

wildtrout2 wrote:
Chaz, it seems to me that the only "goal" with the WBTEP is to have a CR program (brookies only) on said streams. I believe this should apply to all native brookie streams on the Class A list.


This could not be farther from the truth...

The goal of the WBTEP was simply to shut the traps of the folks at PATrout who have been blabbering for years that harvest and cropping of wild brook trout is the reason for the brook trout being so small in these small freestone systems.



What the WBTEP did accomplish is increase pressure on these streams by popularizing them.
Natives only get so big, so don't expect to see many big ones anywhere, regardless of the regs. I fish a few of the streams on the WBTEP list fairly often (have for several years), and I have only seen other fisherman ONE time on ONE of these streams! So much for polularizing? These streams are usually tougher to access than most, this keeps most fishers away.

Posted on: 2013/3/7 10:36
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Re: Brook Trout Management Study in Western Maryland

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Quote:

NJAngler wrote:

The WBTEP just isn't working.


Are you sure? Has anyone clearly shown that to be the case?

Posted on: 2013/3/7 12:10


Re: Brook Trout Management Study in Western Maryland

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"The goal of the WBTEP was simply to shut the traps of the folks at PATrout who have been blabbering for years that harvest and cropping of wild brook trout is the reason for the brook trout being so small in these small freestone systems."

Interesting, but it may not work :)

After fishing several brookie streams that are probably too small and/or too remote to see much fishing pressure, I think that habitat and hunger, not harvest, are the reasons for the small size of PA mountain freestone brookies. I have even gotten permission to fish a few streams that are heavily posted and remote (1.5 mi from a road), still the fish size is pretty much the same.

Brookies are sometimes the only fish in these highly infertile streams -- there may be no bait fish because their mouths arent big enough for terrestrials. Seems easy to believe that it is infertility not fishing pressure that keeps the fish small. Unless it is mountain lions :)

C'est la vie, it's fun to fish with a two weight and dries. And you
gotta love fish that will hit dry flies in 35F water... but that fits with the infertility idea, too.

Not that it really matters, but I dont expect the low level of fisihing pressure on these streams will increase... I say that in part because of the reaction of people here to ultralight fly gear, which makes catching small fish more fun "it'll kill the fish," "you cant really cast a 2 weight," etc...........

Posted on: 2013/3/7 12:29

Edited by k-bob on 2013/3/7 12:48:22
Edited by k-bob on 2013/3/7 12:52:11
Edited by k-bob on 2013/3/7 12:53:07


Re: Brook Trout Management Study in Western Maryland

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"The goal of the WBTEP was simply to shut the traps of the folks at PATrout who have been blabbering for years that harvest and cropping of wild brook trout is the reason for the brook trout being so small in these small freestone systems."

maybe WBTEP was a plot to get some peace and quiet by sending the concerned parties to the surveyed section of wolf swamp run, what a slog! :)

Posted on: 2013/3/7 12:45


Re: Brook Trout Management Study in Western Maryland

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2009/2/19 19:59
From Mont Co, Pa
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Quote:

k-bob wrote:

maybe WBTEP was a plot to get some peace and quiet by sending the concerned parties to the surveyed section of wolf swamp run, what a slog! :)

Bob, this is a great example of the tough access I was talking about! lol I have to wonder how many guys who talk about the WBTEP actually fish any of these streams?

Posted on: 2013/3/7 13:48
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Re: Brook Trout Management Study in Western Maryland

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Interesting that WBTEP was initiated at least in part over angler concerns that fisherman cropping was reducing the size of brookies in small freestone streams... (Maurice's comments above, and Mike on this thread: WBTEP was at least in part a response to "an angler-perceived problem with harvest.")

Still, PFBC surveys like these, with 600 brookies, none > 9", found in 3 small freestone streams with no other fish present...

http://fishandboat.com/images/fisheri ... 6/5x10_23lehigh_tribs.htm

suggest to me that the brookies are small because the streams are so infertile. There isn't enough in-water bug life to support dace or other bait fish with mouths too small for terrestrials. Without aquatic bugs or baitfish, the brookies survive on in inconstent supply of terrestrials, so they will be small, even without fish cropping.

Don't worry, go dry-fly fishing??

Posted on: 2013/3/8 8:07


Re: Brook Trout Management Study in Western Maryland

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2006/11/10 8:32
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NJ Angler said: "Mike I"m wondering why biologists thought angler harvest was a 'perceived' problem. The remoteness of the streams I'm familiar with should tell anybody that angler usage is low and that angler harvest even lower."

I think you misinterpreted my comment regarding the perception of a widespread angler harvest problem in wild trout populations. It wasn't biologists who "perceived" that there was a harvest problem; it was a subset of anglers.

Posted on: 2013/3/12 21:35

Edited by Mike on 2013/3/12 22:16:25



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