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Donegal C&R FFO: fall fingerling RT stocked

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The plan is to stock Donegal Ck C&R FFO with fall"fingerling" RT from 2012 through 2015 with follow-up electrofishing evaluation of survival, growth, and abundance. It has recently received its first fall stocking of RT fingerlings (using the term "fingerlings" loosely in that the fish were about 7-8 or more inches long, given the time spent in the hatchery). No adult trout will be stocked in this stretch-spring or fall-throughout the study period and, as a side-light, it will be interesting to me to see the response, if any, in the very low density wild brown trout population.

Posted on: 2012/10/24 9:33


Re: Donegal C&R FFO: fall fingerling RT stocked

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Mike, in your opinion, is there any chance at all of Donegal becoming a solid wild RT fishery? This would be amazing for Lancaster County.

I was there yesterday to check things out, just for about 20 minutes. You are correct, these are not fingerlings. Some of them are nice sized. Saw a few rising already.

Posted on: 2012/10/24 9:39


Re: Donegal C&R FFO: fall fingerling RT stocked

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If there's a low density wild Brown pop (which I was not aware of until this thread), my guess is you will also have a low density wild Bow pop in few years, assuming a viable quantity of "fingerlings" are being introduced. Any idea on the number of fish stocked Mike, can you release that?

For whatever reason on the whole Bows are not as efficient at spawning in PA streams as Brooks and Browns, but I still think it happens on a limited basis in more places where Bows are stocked than one would initially think. Outside of the streams where they're abundant, I've found Rainbows to be streaky spawners in streams with marginal conditions...they'll have a good year and then they'll be fairly abundant for a couple years after that. Then they seem to disappear for a few years, only to reappear a few years later after another relatively good spawn.

Squatch - I think Bows in another Lanc Co. stream you know had a fairly good year in the last couple of years...

Posted on: 2012/10/24 10:55


Re: Donegal C&R FFO: fall fingerling RT stocked

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There is a low density of wild browns in the stream and an extremely low density of apparently wild rainbows as well. The stocked rainbows are marked for later identification. As to the question of whether or not a larger population of wild rainbows will result from increased spawning success, I'm not even certain or betting that the stocked fingerlings will survive in acceptable numbers, let alone add to spawning success.

Posted on: 2012/10/24 10:55


Re: Donegal C&R FFO: fall fingerling RT stocked

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Quote:

Mike wrote:
There is a low density of wild browns in the stream and an extremely low density of apparently wild rainbows as well. The stocked rainbows are marked for later identification. As to the question of whether or not a larger population of wild rainbows will result from increased spawning success, I'm not even certain or betting that the stocked fingerlings will survive in acceptable numbers, let alone add to spawning success.



Yea...so Donegal's on the nat repro list...not sure how I overlooked that one when I live so close to it!

Knowing that Mike, I think there may be a slight shift in favor of the Bows in terms of the wild population, with maybe a mild increase in the total wild trout biomass for both species. Mainly the result of one stocking of large "fingerlings" vs. multiple stockings of full adults each year.

Posted on: 2012/10/24 11:05


Re: Donegal C&R FFO: fall fingerling RT stocked

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I agree Swattie. Having the wild brownies in there I would think puts things in favor of having sustainable bows as well.

Swattie, are you talking about the stream Fox caught a small Bow on, or that other local limestoner that I can never catch a freaking fish on? That stream has turned up wild bows in the past.

Posted on: 2012/10/24 11:09


Re: Donegal C&R FFO: fall fingerling RT stocked

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The one we were on with Fox...I've found more of them...

Posted on: 2012/10/24 11:13


Re: Donegal C&R FFO: fall fingerling RT stocked

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I guess I have to invite myself out there again to meet up with you guys then.

Posted on: 2012/10/24 11:14


Re: Donegal C&R FFO: fall fingerling RT stocked

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You did!? How far up!? I walked REALLY far up the one day, I was well into posted land (shh!) I was determined to find one, but never did. Damn you!

Posted on: 2012/10/24 11:15


Re: Donegal C&R FFO: fall fingerling RT stocked

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Why rainbow trout? Why not browns? It seems like brownies have fared better there and might have a chance of establishing a fishable naturally reproducing population. There are wild bows but the browns are definetly the dominant streambred fish. As swattie mentioned the rainbow reproduction in the donegal is streaky. one year you'll catch a bunch of fingerling bows, the next 2 or 3 yrs you won't catch any.

Posted on: 2012/10/24 11:26


Re: Donegal C&R FFO: fall fingerling RT stocked

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Quote:

The_Sasquatch wrote:
You did!? How far up!? I walked REALLY far up the one day, I was well into posted land (shh!) I was determined to find one, but never did. Damn you!


Still in the public land stretch...not that far upstream from where we were and Fox caught his.

Posted on: 2012/10/24 11:31


Re: Donegal C&R FFO: fall fingerling RT stocked

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Quote:

Foxgap239 wrote:
I guess I have to invite myself out there again to meet up with you guys then.


Yep!

Posted on: 2012/10/24 11:32


Re: Donegal C&R FFO: fall fingerling RT stocked

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What the crap. I'm not gonna complain, 'cause I caught a crap ton of fish that day (not chubs). I just really really want a wild bow from that stream.

Posted on: 2012/10/24 11:37


Re: Donegal C&R FFO: fall fingerling RT stocked

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icey - I've never fished Donegal before, but it's funny you mention that as my experience with wild Bows on other marginal streams is the same. Some years you catch a bunch of little guys, then they disappear for a few years, but I've never caught a big wild Bow from these kinds of streams. And by big, I don't necessarily mean a huge fish, just an adult that looked clearly wild. I'm thinking that wild Bows in streams like these may be the result of a good holdover year in the stocker Bows (a few of whom figure out how to spawn), and not necessarily the result of a real self sustaining Bow population...it would be interesting to study that correlation.

Posted on: 2012/10/24 11:37


Re: Donegal C&R FFO: fall fingerling RT stocked

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Quote:

Mike wrote:
There is a low density of wild browns in the stream and an extremely low density of apparently wild rainbows as well. The stocked rainbows are marked for later identification. As to the question of whether or not a larger population of wild rainbows will result from increased spawning success, I'm not even certain or betting that the stocked fingerlings will survive in acceptable numbers, let alone add to spawning success.


I have caught one wild/streamborn brook out of Donegal years ago, and my buddy caught a gorgeous 17" holdover (if not wild) brookie there years ago as well. I don't know if the state ever stocked brookies or if the Donegal Fish and Conservation club put them in..

Posted on: 2012/10/24 13:37



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