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Re: NY study on effects of stocking browns in water w/ brookies

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This article discusses the same study.

http://www.outdoornews.com/January-20 ... -do-suffer-from-stocking/

Note the title: "Wild-brook-trout-do-suffer-from-stocking"

This article was posted on paflyfish before and discussed extensively. I did a search but couldn't find it. I haven't had much luck with search tool on here.

Posted on: 3/2 20:35


Re: NY study on effects of stocking browns in water w/ brookies

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The paper is interesting but I'm not sure I buy some of their assumptions. Leaving aside the outputs from their neural network model the results they generate for the impact of stocked brown trout on top of brook trout are only as good as the assumptions they use to drive the model.

For example they cite two articles to support the fact that brookies are easier to catch than browns. One leads directly back to the NY "Trout" webpage (http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/7016.html) which is a useless as supporting evidence (I'm surprised they got away with using this as a reference) and the other to Cooper's 1952 study on brook trout versus brown trout harvest rates. That may well be a good study (I've only read the abstract at the moment) but I'd like see how relevant it is to NY 60 years later.
KenU rightly points out the detrimental effects on Brook trout domestication but the same is true for brown trout. Are hatchery brown trout really good competitors of wild brook trout? And do they get caught significantly less than wild brook trout - they must be equally as dumb as the box of rocks hatchery brook trout after all. It could also be argued that they are a more prized target for the harvest crowd being bigger and more apparent.

In connection they authors also ignore modern C&R practice (unlikely to be a significant factor back in the 1950s). I wonder if wild brook trout would be harvested at 3 times the rate of browns given their possible smaller average size, C&R and increasing education of anglers to the parlous state of the species.

In general brown trout can impact wild brookies and KenU is right in some of the ways that is played out but in the wild these are often relatively subtle, condition dependent interactions and have to include other factors such as habitat change (increasing mean water temps for e.g.).

McKenna et al. seem to be taking a very coarse grind to look at what is inevitably a finely milled topic.

Anyway that's enough from me.

Posted on: 3/2 23:37


Re: NY study on effects of stocking browns in water w/ brookies

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TB: right, stocking can impact wild brookies, the effect differs with stocking frequency, intensity, % of stream miles stocked, # anglers.

so how many of PA's brookie streams are stocked?: EBTJV: "Of the 5,044.3 miles of stream that support some level of brook trout reproduction, a total of 299 sections and 1,268.65 miles are also stocked with hatchery trout." That's a quarter - even if you assume that 100% of the length of those streams is stocked.

So less than a quarter of PA brookie stream miles are stocked. And stocking can be managed to conserve wild brookie populations, if not every fish or all of the larger ones. In fact, many of the PA streams that now have good wild brookies were stocked in the past - look at old records. How could that be if stocking were so damaging to native brookie populations?

And even when you guys do get PA trout stocking and Federal taxes changed to your liking, I still won't pursue the 20" natives that reappear in the Loyalsock -- I'll be afraid of the mountain lions! :)



Posted on: 3/3 9:00


Re: NY study on effects of stocking browns in water w/ brookies

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Quote:

k-bob wrote:

In fact, many of the PA streams that now have good wild brookies were stocked in the past - look at old records. How could that be if stocking were so damaging to native brookie populations?



Mr. Miko of the PFBC stated recently that the brookie populations on those streams improved when stocking ended. And other PFBC biologists stated the same thing at the trout management seminar they held in the mid 1990s and they had data from many years of stream surveys to support it. And what you actually see out on the streams also supports it.

I'm not sure that the NY study actually contradicts this. Their language is quite vague.

But if they are contradicting this, go with the PFBC biologists. They have solid data on this.

Posted on: 3/3 9:32


Re: NY study on effects of stocking browns in water w/ brookies

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Quote:

k-bob wrote:

I still won't pursue the 20" natives that reappear in the Loyalsock



The stocked portions of the Loyalsock are not even on the reproduction list. There is no chance whatever that stocking will end there.

Neither PATU or TU national has ever advocated ending stocking on the Loyalsock.

Posted on: 3/3 9:43


Re: NY study on effects of stocking browns in water w/ brookies

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I wrote: "And even when you guys do get PA trout stocking and Federal taxes changed to your liking, I still won't pursue the 20" natives that reappear in the Loyalsock -- I'll be afraid of the mountain lions! :)"

TB: "Neither PATU or TU national has ever advocated ending stocking on the Loyalsock."

uh, the loyalsock reference was a joke, implying that I do not think that effects of 19th c deforestation can be reversed by changing 21st c stocking policies. federal taxes are here to stay and PA mountain lions can't come back imho :)

Posted on: 3/3 10:09


Re: NY study on effects of stocking browns in water w/ brookies

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Quote:

k-bob wrote:

I do not think that effects of 19th c deforestation can be reversed by changing 21st c stocking policies.



The PFBC recently ended stocking on Jack Dent Branch, which is a small tumbling stream flowing through a watershed that is nearly all state forest land.

In the 1990s, the PFBC area fisheries manager suggested that stocking be ended, because according to his surveys, the brook trout were being cropped off severely in the stocked section, by using the comparison with the unstocked upper end.

But there were anglers who opposed that change, so stocking continued for many more years. But there are also anglers (TUers mostly) who supported that change.

As with all political issues, there are people on both sides, and both can influence the outcome.

Anglers, particularly brook trout anglers, should ask themselves which side are they are supporting in these cases. Continued stocking over brook trout, or ending stocking?

The change to end stocking in Jack Dent Branch took place this year. Without the support of anglers supporting what the PFBC biologists/managers thought best for the brook trout population, that would not have happened.

And it is very likely that on this stream, as others, the brook trout population will go up as a result.

So that is what this stuff is REALLY about. Improving brook trout populations to improve the fishing. (While those hatchery fish can provide recreation elsewhere.)

It has nothing at all to do with stuff like:

"I do not think that effects of 19th c deforestation can be reversed by changing 21st c stocking policies."




Posted on: 3/3 12:21


Re: NY study on effects of stocking browns in water w/ brookies

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Some other examples of what this stuff is ACTUALLY about.

In 2003 the PFBC proposed taking sections of the following wild trout streams off the stocking list. These were Class B wild trout streams. Modest sized forested freestone streams with wild trout throughout.

Cooks Run, Clinton
W. Br Hicks Run, Cameron & Elk
Upper Jerry Run, Cameron
Wolf Run, Centre

I'm pretty sure their intent was not to reverse 1800s deforestation. The intent was to improve trout populations in those streams.

TU supported this PFBC proposal. The other side opposed it. The other side won.

This is the way politics works. There are two sides on the issue, and they advocate for what they want.

The question I'd ask fellow flyfishers is "Which side are you on?"

Do you support the PFBC in ending stocking on these wild streams? Or do you oppose them?

Posted on: 3/3 14:34


Re: NY study on effects of stocking browns in water w/ brookies

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tb: "The question I'd ask fellow flyfishers is "Which side are you on?"

Do you support the PFBC in ending stocking on these wild streams? Or do you oppose them?"

OK you are asking fly fishers about stocking, but the states trout plan says "The majority of Pennsylvania’s trout anglers prefer to use bait (53%) followed by lures (16%) and flies (15%)." fly fishers are not the majority.

I am just one trout stamp buyer out of 450k, but I have no one size answer. I'd look at each stream on a case by case basis and form an opinion - shrug. if brookies are being cropped in the stocked section of jack dent run, I'd fish up higher or just go somewhere else. the cropping happens because of fishermen, not competition, and I'd try to have empathy for the stockie fishermen when there are many other places I could go for wilds. see area image below, nat repro in blue, public land in black, jack dent marked with red. file limit restricts the size of this image, but there are clearly a lot of streams around.

I also am not too concerned about catching bigger brookies. If I wanted to catch bigger fish, wild PA brookies aren't what I would fish for, because the food-poor habitat they live in tends to keep them small.


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Posted on: 3/3 14:50

Edited by k-bob on 2014/3/3 15:07:53
Edited by k-bob on 2014/3/3 15:10:31
Edited by k-bob on 2014/3/3 15:13:30
Edited by k-bob on 2014/3/3 15:14:08
Edited by k-bob on 2014/3/3 15:21:05


Re: NY study on effects of stocking browns in water w/ brookies

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I think the PFBC made the right decision on Jack Dent Branch. They quit stocking on top of the brook trout, so their population should benefit.

And they began, just this year, to stock hatchery trout in the Bennett Branch, just a few miles a way. That is a much larger stream and people will have fun fishing for hatchery trout there.

And they also began stocking a section of the upper West Branch Susquehanna this year. That is a little further away, but still in Clearfield Cty.

Of course there are probably people who would like both these larger waters and the little brook trout streams to be stocked. But there are only so many hatchery fish produced, and that number is about half what it used to be. Choices must be made.

Every hatchery trout stocked in a brookie or other wild trout stream means one less hatchery trout for the big waters that depend on hatchery trout to provide recreation.

Posted on: 3/3 18:36


Re: NY study on effects of stocking browns in water w/ brookies

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"I think the PFBC made the right decision on Jack Dent Branch. They quit stocking on top of the brook trout, so their population should benefit.

And they began, just this year, to stock hatchery trout in the Bennett Branch, just a few miles a way. That is a much larger stream and people will have fun fishing for hatchery trout there."

You said above that some fishermen wanted continued stocking of Jack Dent. Are you sure they "will have fun fishing for hatchery trout" in the bigger Bennett? Were they asked about that change?

The fact that you would ask people in post 23 above to take a position on ceasing stocking on streams they have never seen, have no idea who fishes, etc., does not suggest a lot of interest in the people who fish there now.





Posted on: 3/3 19:29


Re: NY study on effects of stocking browns in water w/ brookies

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"But there are only so many hatchery fish produced, and that number is about half what it used to be. Choices must be made."

right. but there also fewer people buying trout/salmon permits. about 30% less since just 1991 (bottom of page linked below). so different choices could be made, including stocking fewer fish in the same places, stocking fewer places, etc?

http://fishandboat.com/licsal2.htm

Posted on: 3/3 19:59


Re: NY study on effects of stocking browns in water w/ brookies

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Yeah, that's really it to me. While, as a lover of wild trout, I'd want to see wild trout absolutely maximized, I realize that people like fishing for stockies. If stockies were unlimited, I'd have to make some compromises.

But the situation on the ground is that stockies aren't unlimited. And the big, popular stocked streams have had declining allocations for years. It shows. It shows in the catch rates. It shows in the number of opening weekend anglers, and the # of youth in the sport, and declining license numbers.

The obvious way to maximize opportunity is to maximize wild fisheries where they can exist, and utilize as many stockies as possible in the remaining waters.

Now, I realize that knocking a tiny stream off the stocking list contributes a negligible # of fish to a stream the size of Pine. And there aren't very many class B streams that are stocked, so even knocking them ALL off wouldn't add much. That said, there are a lot more class C's and D's that are stocked than class B's. And IMO, many of those offer rewarding wild fisheries. I've topped 50 fish in a day on class C streams multiple times. If that ain't a good enough fishery, I don't know what is.

I don't know exactly where to draw the line. I won't go as far as saying that if it has a single wild fish, it shouldn't be stocked. Every situation is different. But I do believe the goal should be that if a stream is capable of offering a wild fishery, it shouldn't be stocked, saving as many fish as possible for those streams that can't. And I think the PFBC's line of "capable of offering a wild fishery" is WAAAAYYYY too high.

Posted on: 3/4 10:13


Re: NY study on effects of stocking browns in water w/ brookies

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# of stockies per trout stamp is similar in 2003 & 2014...

about 6.3-6.4 stockies per stamp in' 03 (4.1M fish & 652k stamps); also for '14 ('14 will have 3.2M fish, '13 stamps = 498k)

http://blog.pennlive.com/pa-sportsman ... _trout_stocking_2014.html

I dunno, there are so many wild fisheries now that I am reluctant to try to end stocking that other anglers appreciate on the rare sections of wild brookie water that are stocked: what, 15% or less of all such water? I can go to a lot other places.






Posted on: 3/4 10:44


Re: NY study on effects of stocking browns in water w/ brookies

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We have been concentrating on the effects of stocking over wild trout, but let's not forget the effects that stocking has had on anglers. After 100 years or so now, stocking has taught anglers that trout are a product produced by the state and put into the streams every spring for their pleasure. It has taught them that trout can be easily and cheaply replaced. It has created an 'all-you-can eat' mentality among trout anglers many of whom have little or no concept of where real trout come from - namely clean, cold streams. As one notable fish biologist (whose name I do not know) once said: "stocking is to angling what prostitution is to love." And that pretty much sums it up!

Posted on: 3/4 13:41



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