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Re: Does high water wash all the trout downstream?
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Stenonema,

I believe too that they don't wash away... I don't know where you see in my posts otherwise, except where they are stocked directly prior to a high water event.

I cannot wait to get into the Muddy Creek Fly area when the water comes down and begins to clear. It should be a good streamer day and experiment toward proving that these fish don't move very far.

I also agree with the post above that during low water the fish seem to move (stocked fish) to find cover if stocked in shallow or are over crowded in smaller lie areas. We see this alot in certain stretched where the fish will a few days later be ganged up in a deep slow water area following each other around with tailpipe envy. Then in a few days they wil break up and you will find them back and more evenly distributed in probable lies, riffles and pools where they were stocked to begin with.

Posted on: 2013/10/13 10:26
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Re: Does high water wash all the trout downstream?

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Hey Mo, I was going from the poll. Good luck on Muddy. That is what you gotta love about fishing. Fish with a purpose, always trying to figure something out. Let us know how the theory holds on the creek. Good luck

Posted on: 2013/10/13 10:34


Re: Does high water wash all the trout downstream?

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All of them... they all wind up in the ocean. The rains n floods just absolutely scour the streams and rivers. Even the all the rocks get washed into the ocean. This is why the sea levels are rising . It's because of all the added fish and rocks.

Posted on: 2013/10/13 11:23
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Re: Does high water wash all the trout downstream?

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You also gotta remember that the water is broke up into layers. The surface of the water is probably the quickest and decreases as your go deeper in the water column. Also in high water fish especially smaller type bait fish move to the fringes of the creeks or rivers. Also another area of soft water in flood type conditions. That's why bigger predatory fish also move to fringes to feed in these conditions.

Posted on: 2013/10/13 11:27
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Re: Does high water wash all the trout downstream?

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It depends on:
1) how big of a high water event / flood it is.

2) Whether or not the physical nature of the stream, provides many places for fish to find refuge from high velocity flows.

Posted on: 2013/10/14 8:52


Re: Does high water wash all the trout downstream?

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I think that the fish, even stockies, can find refuges. The surface roughness to hold a trout isn't all that large (about the size of a softball), so I think nearly all streams must have some refuge. Fish wouldn't have survived if they couldn't take floods and droughts.

That said, some of the extreme events of the last decade have had some effects. The Brodhead has been hit by some enormous floods - the latest being Hurricane Irene in 2011. I didn't notice the fish missing, as much as moved. I was helped by a local guide that it may be that insect (food) density was the key. Some stream sections were severely scoured, and in some places the stream bed had moved. These places had little insect life. Therefore, the suggestion was to do quick screen samplings and fish where the samples were good and avoid where they weren't. That seemed to work after Irene. The trout still seemed to be around, but not where the insect life was impacted. Another case was a small, high gradient stream I fish. After Hurricane Otto a section of glacial gravel probably 75' tall and 1000' long washed away and scoured the stream down to the bedrock in places, and created new pools in other places - especially where large trees got lodged. The trout were less right after the storm and the few I caught often looked beat up. A few years later, it was back to normal. As an aside, trout repopulated the huge area scrubbed clean by glaciers fairly rapidly. That shows that are capable of quickly moving back to damaged sections of stream when they recover.

The one odd thing about the latest flood/drought yo-yo is that some other species seem to be missing. However, something else may be a play and the extreme conditions may not be the cause. For example, on my local river the rock bass population seemed to have vanished. Once they were pests, but now I am hard pressed to catch one. On the Beaverkill the chub population seems to be down. If the trout are OK then who cares, but these do show changes of the ecosystem.

Posted on: 2013/10/14 10:26


Re: Does high water wash all the trout downstream?

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I've caught the same fish from the same small areas before and then after severe flooding. In one case, it was stocked fish which had endured some of the worst flooding I have ever seen in my area.

Prolonged flooding may be bad for fish and extreme water conditions may have a different effect on juvenile trout, but in my experience, most extreme high water situations don't hurt adult fish too much if at all. The exception would be if habitat and cover are destroyed, in which case the fish are displaced and then who knows where they end up. I've seen this situation on numerous smaller waters.


Kev

Posted on: 2013/10/14 13:58


Re: Does high water wash all the trout downstream?

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Not sure, but I've heard that during really high water events whent he water is over the banks and into the flood plains that fish get trapped in the flood plains.
I seriously believe that fish just get crushed by flows such as Ireen's floods. High Gradient streams are more suseptible to fish getting washed away in high water events, mostly because they can't find refuge. But it has to be pretty extreme. Remember during the end of the last ice age brookies survived all over PA and because our primary predatory fish where they were found.

Posted on: 2013/10/15 9:47
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Re: Does high water wash all the trout downstream?

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Yeah, gotta say, I think wild fish generally stay in the general area, though they may move a little.

Stocked fish, it's a different story, but I wouldn't call it "washed" as in against their will. High water or not, many leave the immediate place where they were stocked. More go down than up. High water increases this tendency.

I'd say it "spreads them out" rather than "washes" them downstream. They move on their own. 50 fish in a pool with hardly any downstream isn't sustainable, they'd move on their own eventually. High water merely makes it happen quicker.

Here's my thoughts. Be the fish.

"Ok, I'm in this nice pool, but so are 50 other fish. I wanna move, but this is the only decent spot I see, that riffle down there is too shallow, I'd rather be here with all these a-holes".

Insert high water.

"Ooh, this spot is nice. Oh, so is that one. Oh, how about that one!"

Let that go on for a day or two and they can move quite far. As low water comes, they again settle into the nicest nearby lie, but that might be a mile away from where they started. Low water concentrates fish. High water spreads them out. Wild or stocked. But stocked fish started off really concentrated, and truck chasers want and expect them to be concentrated, so when they spread out they got "washed away".

Posted on: 2013/10/15 14:06


Re: Does high water wash all the trout downstream?

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This question has been repeatedly been answered by scientific observation, often inadvertently when floods have struck in the middle of a scientific study of stream trout populations. Even after Hurricane Agnes in the early 1970's, a population study of wild brown trout in Spruce Creek (the Bachman study as I recall) revealed that once the water returned to its banks, either 90% or 70% (I forget the exact figure, but for my purposes it doesn't really matter) of the fish were right back in their former territories.

Posted on: 2013/10/16 10:16


Re: Does high water wash all the trout downstream?
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And, the answer is?

Posted on: 2013/10/16 10:21
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Re: Does high water wash all the trout downstream?

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No, it dose not "wash them all downstream," especially if they are wild. As for stocked trout, if they are stocked in good habitat (for the species), it is unlikely that flow alone is going to be the determining factor as to whether or not they move downstream. Stock brook trout in fast current with little or no current breaks and they'll be gone, at least from that location. Remember, also, that on a number of streams, especially in the NE and NC regions, and to some extent in the NW, with higher flows often comes pH's low enough to reach stressful levels, and that factor will cause fish to move. Do fish occasionally get hung up out in fields during floods? Yes, but it is a small minority of the populations. For related info, see the stocked trout residency study report on the PFBC web site.

Posted on: 2013/10/16 10:30

Edited by Mike on 2013/10/16 10:50:42


Re: Does high water wash all the trout downstream?

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Trout don't wash anywhere. They got fins, they swim. What we view or see as fisherman by what we catch is relative to the stream and the trout we fish for. In other words the findings of each and every fisherman on each and every stream on, after and during any combination of weather events will produce different findings and results producing as many opinions in this matter.
If you are a fish. High water means it's time to move, if you want to and if you don't. Well, you don't.
Every bump in the water level can be a potential game changer depending on many factors. Putting all the factors together to consistently get on fish. Well, that's fishing. Give me flood stage for Walleye on the river.
I did find a hot tub and a truck cap washed downstream last year.

Posted on: 2013/10/16 13:04
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I am of the opinion that there is NOT one single population of wild trout that exists in our great state worth intentionally degrading for the benefit of any fisherman or any amount of money no matter how small the population.


Re: Does high water wash all the trout downstream?

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And they get crushed during bed movement events.

Posted on: 2013/10/16 13:29
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Re: Does high water wash all the trout downstream?

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Chaz, They get crushed. Which, the fish or the hot tubs. For the sake of conversation I believe that fish getting crushed by stream bed movement during flood events could only be an assumption. I don't disagree that some fish could be killed during such events. I just don't believe that there is any way to conclusively prove it. If the only evidence is that they aren't there does not mean they are dead. I did find a dead carp out in a corn field after a flood once. What did I learn from that dead carp, definitively?

Posted on: 2013/10/16 22:43
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I am of the opinion that there is NOT one single population of wild trout that exists in our great state worth intentionally degrading for the benefit of any fisherman or any amount of money no matter how small the population.



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