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Re: Current PA Brook Trout Population as Percentage of Original?

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interesting! but tb said the point of the thread is that there is a 95% reduction in ST biomass, and that this 95% reduction might be considered in mgt/cnsrvtion policy. so tb what mgt/cnsrvtion policies should made in consideration of the 95% ST biomass reduction, and how much of that 95% reduction might be reversed by the policies?

Posted on: 3/13 9:07


Re: Current PA Brook Trout Population as Percentage of Original?

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Very good thread. You guys have been busy and I am trying to catch up.

Quote:

troutbert wrote:

So why has there been so much focus on side stories that really do not impact the answer to the question in any meaningful way, i.e. that are several decimal places out.

IMHO, it's a tactical thing. Trying to create the IMPRESSION that things are really not that bad, among readers not familiar with these topics, by focusing on, emphasizing trivial counter-examples that really have almost no influence on the overall situation.

And possibly a diversionary tactic. As long as you can get people to talk about deer, bears, hemlocks, they are distracted from the original topic, and aren't focused on what most who have ventured to make an estimate have characterized as a 90 - 95 - 97 - 99% reduction in native brook trout populations.


I don't think any of that was intentional. It's just the nature of discussions on here. I think most if not all that have contributed to the side stories have also answered your original question.

Quote:
That's the real story. And the point of it all is that if in fact the populations of brook trout in PA are off by ~95%, then that ought be given some consideration in conservation and management decisions regarding brook trout.

There has been some consideration given over the years. Namely the raising of the size limit from 6 to 7 inches, was done specifically for brook trout.

And quite a few of the brookie streams that were stocked "back in the day" have been taken off the stocking list, and that has helped on those streams.

But stocking over brook trout is still very widespread, particularly in central, NC, and NW PA. Both by the PFBC and coop hatcheries.

The creel limit is 5 fish per day for brookies. In many states it ranges between 0 and 2 fish.

So, there is still a lot of work to be done that could improve brookie populations.



I think there is merit there, but one thing we have to consider is that what we have left, though it may be less than 5% is quite stable. If anything, numbers have been increasing with less strip mining, better timbering practices and the like.

And you know I agree that too many streams are stocked.

But going beyond that would be at the expense of other wild trout populations and would require drastic action as in poisoning entire streams and replanting brook trout.

And not many would favor such a thing to remove wild brown trout from a stream in favor of wild brook trout, at least not on a large scale.

And going beyond that would be at the expense of human populations, ... which really wouldn't be a bad idea IMO, but city people should go first.

Posted on: 3/13 9:45
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Re: Current PA Brook Trout Population as Percentage of Original?

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FD: "...what we have left, though it may be less than 5% is quite stable. If anything, numbers have been increasing with less strip mining, better timbering practices and the like."

I like that idea on the 5%. But I'm skeptical about considering the 95% reduction in pursuing policies if its most important causes -- thermal & BT, particularly on bigger waters -- can't be rolled back. I'd work on AMD, habitat preservation, and smaller scale stuff like the TU/Orvis culvert upgrade matching gift program.


Posted on: 3/13 10:40

Edited by k-bob on 2014/3/13 11:05:00
Edited by k-bob on 2014/3/13 11:19:47


Re: Current PA Brook Trout Population as Percentage of Original?

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Well, I'd guess that 70% of the lost 95% population was lost due to big streams warming or being taken over by browns. See comparison of all of Potter Cty vs. the LJR. And that's the toughest nut to crack if your goal is to scale back the existing damage.

So you have to realize that anything we can realistically do is working on the remaining 25% of the lost population.

As far as recovering anything we've already lost, biggest bang for the buck is probably focusing on AMD streams. Realizing that it does absolutely nothing for broad swaths of the state that aren't in mined areas. But in the places with lots of AMD, well, you can do a heck of a lot of good. You can recover entire watersheds.

Attacking the sources of acid rain, and managing development, are efforts to prevent further damage. Worthwhile, for sure. But not going to gain you anything, merely prevent you from losing more, or more likely SLOW down how quickly we're losing it.

Posted on: 3/13 11:25

Edited by pcray1231 on 2014/3/13 11:56:10


Re: Current PA Brook Trout Population as Percentage of Original?

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Quote:

k-bob wrote:
FD: "...what we have left, though it may be less than 5% is quite stable. If anything, numbers have been increasing with less strip mining, better timbering practices and the like."

I like that idea on the 5%. But I'm skeptical about considering the 95% reduction in pursuing policies if its most important causes -- thermal & BT, particularly on bigger waters -- can't be rolled back. I'd work on AMD, habitat preservation, and smaller scale stuff like the TU/Orvis culvert upgrade matching gift program.



Most definitely those too, and I was going to include some of those especially the ones like AMD abatement which likely helps brook trout more than the rest.

But many are not brook trout specific ideas and that is what I was responding to in Troutbert's message.

I wouldn't want to be accused of sabotage.

Posted on: 3/13 12:13
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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance." -Henry David Thoreau--


Re: Current PA Brook Trout Population as Percentage of Original?

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As much as I hate to say it, we should be concerned mostly with what can be improved upon, streams that already have brook trout or streams with maybe very small populations of brown trout but are mostly brookies, and work on regs, improvements, restoration, and connecting to the lower drainages where we'll have a real chance to succeed. Not to leave the other streams with nothing or ignore them. I would say they should be be on public land or on protected land. That improve the chances of success.
Continue work on streams that connect to the brookie water, and if it's found the brookie populations are expanding, then do more on those streams. I think a slot limit on all brook trout waters, regardless of any other regs, except for C & R would be a good thing, we need the larger brookies as brood stock because they have the best survival skills and best growth cycle and live longest.

Posted on: 3/13 16:32
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Re: Current PA Brook Trout Population as Percentage of Original?

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Agreed.

And while I agree with you on regs, that's mostly out of selfish reasons of wanting the streams to fish better. Not so much out of a long term conservation interest. I don't think regs do that much in that department.

i.e. does harvest/competition from stockies hurt the brook trout population in some brook trout waters? YES!

But it doesn't typically eradicate that population, and it's mostly a short term problem. i.e. if you ended the stocking/harvest tomorrow, or did the same 10 years from now, it wouldn't make a dang bit of difference to what that population will look like 20 years from now. You haven't changed the capability of that stream, merely allowed it to come closer to its capability.

But if you protect the greenway from development, remediate the AMD input, reduce the acid rain, upgrade the sewage plant which dumps into it, be vigilant about drainage controls in the drainage, etc. etc. etc., yes, the stream capability will be better in 20 years than it would had you not done all this stuff.

Posted on: 3/13 16:39



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