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Re: Stocking Trout Over Wild Fish

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Based on data in the recently released PFBC report on production and stocking costs of fingerling and adult trout, in order to break even (be cost comparable) 25% of the 3.5 inch fingerlings or 34% of the 5 inch fingerlings stocked would need to survive to 11 inches in order to match the cost of an adult trout delivered to the stream or lake. An even higher % of larger "fingerlings," such as the 7 in. fish sometimes stocked in fall, would need to survive in order to break even with the adult trout stocking program. Fingerling survival rates of this magnitude, in my experience, have rarely been seen in Pa.

Posted on: 2009/6/21 11:41


Re: Stocking Trout Over Wild Fish
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Mike what does this information have to do with stocking over wild fish? Isn't the data significant even if PFBC stocks only waters not capable of sustaining a wild trout population?

In addition, isn't there some significance to angler preference if it were to show that at least in some waters, grown-up fingerlings are preferred to trout reared to adulthood in a raceway?

Just a few questions to ponder.

Posted on: 2009/6/21 13:23
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Re: Stocking Trout Over Wild Fish
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Jack,

I believe Mike posted that info in response to some of the previous posts in this thread concerning trout stocking costs.


Mike,

Interesting. Given the %'s you posted, it does not appear, from a cost standpoint, that stocking fingerlings is a viable option since I cannot imagine stocked fingerling survival rates ever being that high. However, as Jack pointed out, it may make sense from an angler satisfaction standpoint on selected waters, like you are currently doing on the Little J, Yough, etc.

How 'bout the Tully? Do you have any updated data on fingerling survival? Do you plan to continue limited stocking (lower section) in the DH area, and adults in the the upper section? You know my vote and many others on this board, from an anglers satisfaction perspective is to continue fingerling stocking on the stream.

Thanks for the info.

Posted on: 2009/6/22 8:29


Re: Stocking Trout Over Wild Fish
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Mike and afish, my bad. For some reason, when I read the post this morning, I thought Mike's comments were the initial post in this thread (I must have clicked direct to page two). Thus, I was wondering why he would have entitled his thread this way. I must stop posting before my first cup of coffee kicks in. Still, I am interested in the remaining question which afish reiterated for me.

Posted on: 2009/6/22 9:37
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Re: Stocking Trout Over Wild Fish
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Here is my take on fingerling survival.

I think too many are stocked. I believe that the total that survive is dependant on the carrying capacity of the particular stretch of stream.

For instance, Put 20,000 in the Tully and only 1,000 survive, (5%)

Try putting only 5,000 in instead. You may get the same 1,000 survive.


I think the fingerling survival net should be the determining factor in of how many are stocked.

Now if no fingerlings were surviving, I could agree with discontinuing the program. But if there is survival similar to the number of stocked adult trout that would be planted, just try to refine the number of fingerlings planted so you don't "waste" so many.

my .02

Posted on: 2009/6/22 12:23
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Re: Stocking Trout Over Wild Fish
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Maurice, you may be right, but if the low survival statistics are the result of predation as opposed to competition for food and cover, the result may be a smaller survival ratio if less fingerlings are stocked. The point is valid, though, in that there may be many explanations for low survival rates, and these may vary by stream or stream-type and I would like to see them all explored before abandoning the program in favor of adult stockings.

Posted on: 2009/6/22 13:05
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Re: Stocking Trout Over Wild Fish

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Seems to me many of the states largest fish come from waters with the fingerling program. Yough,J,Clarion- maybe they are getting large on eating the easy prey.

Posted on: 2009/6/22 13:51
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Re: Stocking Trout Over Wild Fish
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Quote:

Maurice wrote:
Here is my take on fingerling survival.

I think too many are stocked. I believe that the total that survive is dependant on the carrying capacity of the particular stretch of stream.

For instance, Put 20,000 in the Tully and only 1,000 survive, (5%)

Try putting only 5,000 in instead. You may get the same 1,000 survive.


I think the fingerling survival net should be the determining factor in of how many are stocked.

Now if no fingerlings were surviving, I could agree with discontinuing the program. But if there is survival similar to the number of stocked adult trout that would be planted, just try to refine the number of fingerlings planted so you don't "waste" so many.

my .02




I agree Mo, I was thinking more about larger rivers such as the Yough and Lehigh to give two examples.

Posted on: 2009/6/23 6:43


Re: Stocking Trout Over Wild Fish

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Quote:
Seems to me many of the states largest fish come from waters with the fingerling program. Yough,J,Clarion- maybe they are getting large on eating the easy prey.


This is true, but its not that fingerlings naturally get bigger or necessarily that more fingerlings = prey. It's that fingerlings are typically stocked in larger streams that stay cool enough year round for trout to survive. Thats a rarity, but its those situations where you get big fish. Those streams would have big fish if adults were stocked as well.

Maurice's thoughts are interesting. I think they're not correct in the majority of circumstances, but I'm sure there's a few circumstances where it is correct. I think more likely, with less fish stocked, the percentage of survival may increase but the total number would still decrease. The question is total number, though. Most of us would be happy to accept a few less fish in exchange for them being more adapted to the stream, i.e. a fingerling that survives IS more valuable than an adult stocked fish. But there is a limit to that, we're not willing to accept a really low population. The question we need to answer, and tell the PFBC, is how many less fish are we willing to accept to have a fingerling fishery as opposed to an adult fishery? 50%? 75%? It's their job to figure out the economics and survival ratios from there.

Another point is that in fingerling fisheries, the fish have more time to spread out. When they measure survival rates, they are actually measuring only fish that survived and stayed (residency). If a fish survives but moves to a new stream section or even a new stream, I don't think thats a bad thing, even though he'll be counted as a casualty. So when they give the survival rates, I mentally at least double it.

Posted on: 2009/6/23 9:41


Re: Stocking Trout Over Wild Fish

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Has there ever been a fry stocking of trout like they do for shad? I think it would be interesting to look at the cost/benefit of trout survival to the expense of feeding and transportation of fry vs. fingerlings vs. adult fish.

Posted on: 2009/6/23 14:02


Re: Stocking Trout Over Wild Fish

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Yadda...Yadda...Yadda. This debate is old.

We complain about stocking over wild trout, we debate if fingerling stockings are productive, and we bemoan the PFBC for their management of our wild trout resources.

It's unfortunate to say, but it cracks me up anymore when I read a post on this board stating how bad a stream is, its lack of fish, and what the PFBC could or should be doing to improve it.

The board's "Computer Biologists" seem to have all of the answers, but seldom, if at all, do I read about any of them doing work on the streams they complain about to improve wild trout populations. Instead, they give up on a given stream and move to another.

This forum should initiate a "pay as you go" system. That being...You should not be allowed to bitch about the wild trout populations in a given stream unless you have a plan to do something about it.

Posted on: 2009/6/24 14:32


Re: Stocking Trout Over Wild Fish

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Time out Jeff. How do you know people arent working on those streams?

In my life time alone...i have worked on over 50 streams all across the state. Helped with petitions, helped talk and write to all the political figures i have also help in various fund raisers to secure parcels of land. SO i guess i have a right to complain then.

And NO the PFBC is not resource first nor do they manage most of our fisheries properly. I can talk to many PFBC people over the phone and in person who are ALOT more willing to admit these things than on a public forum

Posted on: 2009/6/24 15:44
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Re: Stocking Trout Over Wild Fish

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Sal,
I commend and appreciate your efforts to improve wild trout popluations across the state.

With that being said, I think you are a rare bird. I have come to realize that fly fishermen are just like bait fishermen in that they swoop down upon a stream and expect to catch fish at a certain time of year. If the fishing is good fly fishermen don't complain, but, if the fishing is bad, they bitch about poaching and the lack of PFBC enforcement. Seldom do they lift a hand to improve the stream they bitch about. I guess they figure the $35 they give to TU will take care of everything.

I didn't bring it up, but, since you did, to claim that the PFBC is not a "resource first" driven agency or that they are not conservation minded is ridiculous. (I ended here because I anticipate a big debate to follow!)

Posted on: 2009/6/24 20:51


Re: Stocking Trout Over Wild Fish

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No debate from me Jeff. My opinion has been formed over 25 years of angling experience. Its just my and a few others opinions. We all have one if i remember the saying correct

Posted on: 2009/6/25 6:31
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