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Opinion needed sanctuary solution

Joined:
2009/6/17 21:49
From United States
Posts: 259
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I asked the question about the protection for cold water refuges as a baited question. I wanted to see what others felt on the subject. I have been sitting on and protecting such an area for three decades now. I have seen trout population trends due to many factors. With the focus being protection of these areas, I will not go into the importance of the different factors effecting overall trout population. I will explain how I have been protecting a vital refuge area. I am not saying that what I am doing is right or wrong. I am open to ideas. The trout are what I am protecting, not my ego. This is my un-official appeal to likeminded anglers for advice. The discovery came after witnessing an influx of larger trout up a small trout stream that I called home at thirteen years of age. I didn’t tell anyone at first. I had already realized this error on another of my favorite streams. I cherry picked the stacked trout for a week or two every year when they first came in. Their arrival coincided with a flying ant hatch that was over by six a.m. I was young and sixty trout mornings were difficult to resist. Then one year the water heated more rapidly and a twenty incher fought to exhaustion and became difficult to revive.
Rule number one. Don’t fish over the trout. The short term enjoyment comes at a price. Another factor is that someone may see you catching trout thus drawing unwanted attention.
Rule number two. Don’t give it away by simply offering up information. If anyone happens to discover it and comes back more than once or discovers it and has loose lips, get to know them, talk to them and find out what they know and go from there. I might not do anything or I might make them my best friend. Depending on what they say. I usually don’t have to ask many pointed questions. Most fishermen are more than happy to offer up their wisdom or lack of it. Basically I gauge the threat that they impose to the fishery. Of course there is an art to this as much as there is to fishing. The last thing you want is to put your quarry down and make him uncatchable. Over the years with this policy I have built a network of friends through education who understand the importance of protection and the value of the fishery. This network of friends is the eyes and ears in the community and has proven very effective.
I have chosen not to involve any organizations for fear of fishing pressure. My biggest fear is some short minded egotist finding this fishery who would sell it out for his own glory and admiration (to make a name for him) in spite of the fishery. This may be the strongest reason for not involving a so called protection group because I believe there is always one of these so called fishermen waiting in the wings.
I have read that a stream without friends is a stream without protection. These words echo for me and at times even haunt me. However the fishery is still there and thriving. BUT…. Every year I worry. When am I going to be forced to the last resort, push for some official protection? Right now I don’t even like” No Fishing” signs. Anything that draws attention to this area is a potential threat. The effects of fishing pressure are huge here. A fisherman who doesn’t have any understanding of wild trout will approach too close. The wild trout will scatter, in an attempt to stir up enough silt or sediment to conceal them beneath the cloud. The ill afforded energy scrubbing movement looks a lot like red building. The trout may be much stressed and may have been holding for 3 to 4 months. These trout will avoid the threat of a fisherman by holding in the eighty five degree water until the threat leaves. Without spelling it out, I think it’s easy to see how one fisherman can have a large effect over an entire spawning run of fish here. I can’t over emphasize the importance of protection. To understand the effects of fishing pressure, I believe you must first see the fishery with zero fishing pressure or near to it and I believe that in my youth I had seen a good example of this. I feel nervous even writing this. I am afraid that you can only keep your thumb in the dike for so long. More people in recent years have been learning of this fishery. I am finding it more difficult to stay up with. The most recent fellow, I bribed away from the refuge area. I have been fishing with him. I am showing him the rest of the puzzle. He now has a better understanding of what we are protecting. Friends are made and lost. Promises are made for the protection of the fishery. These promises can be difficult to keep.
Some of the promises are. You do not tell anyone the details. You do not take anyone here. We keep an open line of communication so we do not over pressure an area and don’t fish behind one another. In short, we share it as friends not as opposition.
The knowledge we gain as fisherman is ours to keep or share and with knowledge comes responsibility, a responsibility to protect and conserve that which you love. I could not live with myself if I were to outlive this fishery. I believe that discovering a fishery is better than having it given to you. I don’t believe that people appreciate what is given as much as what is earned. Discovery is precisely what drives me as a fisherman and possibly the biggest reason for why I fly fish. I may someday thru silence be gifting another generation of anglers with the same opportunity of discovery that I had as a young man. I can’t think of a bigger gift.
To sum up anyone who discovers the cold water refuge of summer gets a lot of our attention and maybe a free in. The cold water refuge is the piece of this otherwise strong and viable fishery puzzle where the trout are most vulnerable. We currently protect it first by silence and secondly by education. I believe I have just discovered the reason for s future book, to change this order to education first and silence second. Maybe the biggest gift to future anglers would be the knowledge of how to discover such fisheries and keep them. I need a title.

Posted on: 2012/9/9 10:00


Re: Opinion needed sanctuary solution
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2006/9/9 19:16
From Dallastown, PA
Posts: 7019
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How about "It's mine....ALL mine!"

You seem to be torn between the conundrum of having something of a fisherie you want to scream about from the roof tops yet don't want to share with anyone.

Simple, write your book and post the property. Then you can get your publicity without the fishing pressure.

If twenty years ago you were having 60 fish days during these sanctuary times and the phenomenon continues to occur it hasn't had an effect on the trout population that come there, only on your ego regarding the importance of your vigilance.

Look, if you think it is important and the F&BC does not, you own the land and they do not, you hold the Aces. Play your hand.

You can also post signs downstream in April indicating that the quality of the fishery is dependent on the steadfast management of the property owners locates on the cold water tribs for providing sanctuary during the summer months. Thank a property owner who posts. (another book title).

Posted on: 2012/9/9 11:48
_________________
Don't hit me with them negative waves so early in the morning. Think the bridge will be there and it will be there. It's a mother, beautiful bridge, and it's gonna be there. Ok?


Re: Opinion needed sanctuary solution

Joined:
2009/6/17 21:49
From United States
Posts: 259
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You are implying I'm selfish. I get it. You are entitled to you opinion. What about the fish. Selfish does not apparently in your opinion have their interest as a part of the equation.

Posted on: 2012/9/9 12:36


Re: Opinion needed sanctuary solution

Joined:
2009/6/17 21:49
From United States
Posts: 259
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Maurice, Please read my post again.... I'm really confused by your reply. Did I offend you. Are you bitter. I would like to share, destroying it is the issue, protection is the topic. I'm not sure where you are coming from and you are a moderator.

Posted on: 2012/9/9 16:51


Re: Opinion needed sanctuary solution
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2006/9/9 19:16
From Dallastown, PA
Posts: 7019
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Ok I read it again and realized I should have not responded as you specifically requested " an appeal to like minded anglers". That said you also asked for opinions earlier so i will expand on my view.

Its either a fisherie or its a refuge area. It can't be both. The fish are stacking up there for a reason. They are stressed otherwise. Fishing over them for any reason when they have nowhere else to go is unsporting. Once the downstream areas are suitable for their migration fishing is appropriate. If you are interested in protection as you say you would/should prohibit fishing during those times. even by yourself and those you deem acceptable. if you have possession of the property where it resides. Or, accept the responsibility and the burden of your current practice of filtering and educating the anglers who use it. but as said this is a burden.

All i am saying is you can't have it both ways and be a conservationist. To be a true conservationist you would have to draw a line and say fish or don't fish at given circumstances. there is nothing wrong with that approach BTW. So long as you own the land.

I apologize if my post sounded bitter, it was not the intent. I tend to speak with a direct voice and it wouldn't be the first time someone was taken aback by it. Often though the poster is looking for props rather than advice or opinions. So like any opinion you can take a nugget from it and discard the rest or be hurt by it over all. That's your choice.

Anytime we feel ownership over something and have strong opinions on how it can be affected by others it becomes difficult to share it. Its just human nature.

It will always be a refuge area so long as the water stays cool. fish will always come there if there are fish below to migrate there. The fish will protect themselves by moving to the bigger water for short periods, they won't kill themselves, they will stress themselves though if fished over. The fishing won't be good and the people will go away. I imagine this is the unsettling feature that disturbs you. The disturbance of the fish. So if that's it, close it.

It may not be what you want but it may be your only choice. Otherwise the G&A factor goes up.

I am hopeful that others contribute toward your scenario. Mine is only one opinion. And being a moderator has nothing to do with it. Its just my view, not that of the site or its administration.

Posted on: 2012/9/9 22:24
_________________
Don't hit me with them negative waves so early in the morning. Think the bridge will be there and it will be there. It's a mother, beautiful bridge, and it's gonna be there. Ok?


Re: Opinion needed sanctuary solution
Moderator
Joined:
2006/9/11 8:26
From Chester County
Posts: 8931
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Interesting post.

First of all, Mods post their opinions on here. We (the Mods) are just yahoos like anyone else on here, and when we post our opinions about anything FFing, it should not in any way be taken as policy or as the opinion of the "site" or the site owner.

As for as your conundrum, to state what Mo stated above in a few words: if you fish it yourself you're protecting the location of your fish'in hole. If you don't fish it yourself, you're protecting a cold water refuge.

I know some similar places where fish stack up in the summer. I won't fish them and won't reveal their locations to anyone.

There's a line between good fish'in hole and a refuge. To me, a good fishin' hole is where fish naturally hold to find the best conditions, whether it be cover for concealment, ideal current speed or current break, good food source, more favorable temps, etc. When the fish hold in a certain area for survival, it turns from a good fishin' hole to a refuge.

To me, it is at the very least unsporting to fish a refuge, and at worst may severely deplete the population in the stream if it were fished hard.

Fly-fishing, to me anyway, is a sporting way to pursue our quarry without having to do harm to them. In fact, I try to give back a little to conserve or even enhance the stream so even more fish will inhabit it now and in the future.

When the angler's only goal is catching numbers of fish or big fish in any way possible, I think they miss the whole point of FFing.

BTW, I'm not implying that you are doing any of the above, I'm only making a general statement, a.k.a. on the soapbox.

Again, this is all just my opinion.


Posted on: 2012/9/10 7:26


Re: Opinion needed sanctuary solution

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2009/2/10 16:30
From SE PA
Posts: 4792
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Many years ago I became aware of a refuge on a famous central Pa stream. Even the refuge is famous. I happen to get into that location quite a bit and have been able to observe the location during some very warm seasons. I've even noticed fishermen fishing the spot during warm periods. Over the years I've found that the stream still holds very respectable numbers of fish and while there is a drop off after severely warm years with low water it bounces back and keeps producing. My guess is that during very warm years the impact from anglers who decide to fish the "sanctuary" is actually minimal compared to the overall mortality from the stress of the natural struggles such a season places on the trout.

As practical matter having the PFBC determine refuges on more than a couple high value streams and then enforce them seems more burdensome than any measurable results would be worth. By naming these refuge locations you then let everyone know where they are. Would you manage a refuge by date? Water temperature? Distance from source?

While I believe fishing over fish stressed in this way is not ethical I don't see it as enough of a problem to warrant the effort needed to determine refuges on a large number of waters and enforce whatever restrictions would be put in place.


Posted on: 2012/9/10 8:06


Re: Opinion needed sanctuary solution

Joined:
2009/6/17 21:49
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In the origional post I bounce between the fishery as a whole and the sanctuary/refuge area. Sorry for the confusion. The refuge area cannot be protected by landowners only we the fisherman who have knowledge of it and the PAF&BC can protect it. The water is navigable. I take it for granted that anyone reading this post is "Like Minded" in that protection for wild trout would be a common interest.
If you were to locate a Cold Water Refuge (CWR) area, Would you protect it in the manner that I have tried to? What would you do different? Would you call all your buddies and tell them what you found and where? The CWR is a staging area for a spawning run of fish, not just fish seeking refuge.

Posted on: 2012/9/10 9:01


Re: Opinion needed sanctuary solution

Joined:
2009/6/17 21:49
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Mo, I am also a plain speaking person but that is no excuse. I was also a moderator for a popular site. I believe that a certain amount of professionalism and pride should go into being a moderator. Your reply was out there. In no way did anything you wrote help. It's obvious that you took exception in some way to my thread and allowed that emotion to take over your responses by looking for an argument. You questioned my motive for protection, You assumed that I was a landowner. You appear to be someone somehow threatened by me. Someone who is insecure and desperately trying to appear in someway knowledgeable by creating a new topic of discussion that is off point allowing you to get your digs in. I'm telling you it's raining and you want to describe the rain. I just want to stay dry. Aldo Leupold described a conservationist as "someone who realizes that they have the ability to destroy that which they love". I really don't know what you are talking about. Please don't feel the need to explain. I have read the ' Posting Policy and I don't believe that I stepped over the line any more than you.
Just a plain speaking opinion hopefully there is a nugget in there for you, take from it what you wish.


Franklin, Thanks for your sincerity. To answer your question, I would think that water temp would have to be the factor. The refuge you found, Is there cover and depth for the trouts' protection, are they exposed to aerial predation.
A friend said to me last year, " I would rather loose it after doing all I can, than to loose it by doing nothing".
This is a hope for the best, plan for the worst scenario. The cold water refuge (CWR) being the most vulnerable time for these trout.
The burden of enforcement would not entirely lie on the commission. The landowners and others would have some ground to stand on with some litigation. The conundrum really is protection of the refuge without over exploiting the fishery thru exposure. I should mention that the fishery is classified warm water and not considered trout water. Exposure of the CWR without a change in classification on the fishery could be a problem. Because the fishery is considered warm water they currently see very little pressure comparatively.










Posted on: 2012/9/11 9:04


Re: Opinion needed sanctuary solution

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Steno - I don't get what you want hear. You as for opinions and you seem pissed at Maurice for giving one. My opinion is you should never fish over trout seeking refuge. If you can protect this area in some way and feel the need ... then do it or at least try. If you want to keep the place a secret then don't talk about it. I'm with Maurice in that you can't have it all, if it's a refuge for 3 or 4 months I wouldn't fish it.

Posted on: 2012/9/12 19:43


Re: Opinion needed sanctuary solution

Joined:
2009/6/17 21:49
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I'm looking for an opinion on how best to protect an area. I'm not looking to cut hairs on wording or definitions. I thought I made it clear but I will do my best to make it more clear. I am passionate and failure is not an option for me. I don't want to hear what the Pa FBC can't do. There exists a population of wild brown trout in a constant state of migration. Class A depending on where and when you take the census. They grow quite large due to the migration from nursery waters to the larger stream where food is more prevalent. From there they migrate throughout sometimes stacking in certain riffles and runs depending on what hatch is on. Experience has taught me how to hit this moving target. Every year regardless of weather a large percentage of the population make their spawning run. The trout move in and stack off the mouth and begin trickling in on rain events. Some will not come in till much later. There are 30 or 40 adult fish holding there as of yesterday. My concern is that under current regulations there is very little protection for these fish. They are easily most vulnerable when they stack prior to running especially in the heat of summer. The word is slowly leaking out.
The conundrum: Be proactive and seek official protection and expose it or remain silent and try to protect it as I have. I see advantages and disadvantages for both sides. I am interested in what you would do. I hope this helps because I don't wish to bandy words.

Posted on: 2012/9/15 11:23


Re: Opinion needed sanctuary solution

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I'm of the mind that I'm not out to protect wild trout, I'm out to protect wild trout fishing opportunities for the public. If a stream is private and posted, it's not even a resource. I couldn't really care less whether it even exists, just so long as it doesn't affect any public resource.

To be clear, by public resource, I mean "open" to the public, not
necessarily publicly owned. So a privately owned property can be a resource if it's not posted.

Now, if you're say, protecting a little coldwater trib to a larger public resource, and thus protecting the quality of fishing on said public resource at other times of the year, and also not fishing this refuge yourself, well, then I salute you sir.

If you're protecting it with the mindset that you want to fish it yourself, so you don't want others to know about it and ruin it, well, then, I agree with Maurice's initial thought and say it's pretty selfish.

Posted on: 2012/9/15 19:16


Re: Opinion needed sanctuary solution

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2010/7/18 7:23
From Lansdale
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Just keep it to yourself. If you found it, others already knew about it and it has worked for at least a few years. There are still trout available to fish for. Don't advertise.

Posted on: 2012/9/16 6:12


Re: Opinion needed sanctuary solution

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2009/6/17 21:49
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pcray, by your definition this entire watershed including tributaries is a public resource. A public resource that if allowed to get out of the bag without protection will be no-longer. To have public wild trout fishing opportunities you must first have wild trout. As much as any other factor in this state, stocking and over fishing have damaged wild trout populations. The type of protection I would like to propose to the commis=ssion would be a huge undertaking and I doubt they would go for it. I could share without the worry which is The goal.
Not everyone understands or cares about catch and release. You care about it being a public resource otherwise it doesn't exist. Many fisherman feel the same way about special reg sections. Particlarly Fly fishing only. This area doesn't have any spec. regs and trout fishing is stock truck put and take. There is a mind set that comes with this.

Open minded Ideas for protection and advise has always been the motive for this thread. I thought I was clear on my motive but apparently if you hang on this board too long you become narrow minded and argumentative. With a knock on a door anyone could discover this for themselves as I did. I want to protect it. Let's debate over weather or not I'm worthy of your praise. Please.

Posted on: 2012/9/20 9:18


Re: Opinion needed sanctuary solution

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2009/2/11 13:14
From Lehigh Valley
Posts: 1269
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Stenonema,
How about this...take a guy one at a time separately with you to see what you are talking about.Swear em to secrecy. Then maybe they could get a better picture of what you are asking?

Posted on: 2012/9/20 10:49



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