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How often are trout caught & released

2009/2/13 17:00
From Jefferson Twp
Posts: 0
I don't know if this question has ever been asked (I did a search), but someone certainly will direct me to the post if it has been asked. Here goes.

Has PFBC, or anyone else, ever done a study to estimate the average number of times per season (or per whatever) a trout is caught on a heavily fished stream, like Spring Creek, Penns, or Big Fishing Creek? Does catch rate adversely affect the life expectancy and/or growth rate of trout on said stream? Logic dictates that it would adversely affect the trout.


Posted on: 2013/6/23 17:45

Re: How often are trout caught & released

2012/3/14 23:03
Posts: 3
I know of one larger fish, over 18", growing to over 20 last time I caught it, that was caught by three fisherman, two who had pics of it, because of its scar. And this fish seemed perfectly healthy each time I saw it.

I actually caught a fish with one eye multiple times(2 year period) that kept getting larger and larger and looked fine. These fish keep getting caught because I think browns just stay in a pool for quite awhile.

So, this is anecdotal, but, at least fly hooked fish look to be no worse for wear to me over years.

Posted on: 2013/6/23 17:51

Re: How often are trout caught & released

2006/12/28 18:12
From Lansdale,Pa
Posts: 11
A few years ago the PFBC had PSU do the Trout Demand Study or Survey,one or the other.Try doing a search on the PFBC website it may still be buried there.

Posted on: 2013/6/23 18:17

Re: How often are trout caught & released

2006/9/9 22:44
Posts: 76

This fish was caught two weeks apart on the west branch of the d. I'd say under the best of conditions, i.e. cold water, played quickly, barbless hooks, caught on fly, minimal handling, etc the mortality rate is probably close to negligible.

Resized Image

Posted on: 2013/6/23 18:28

Re: How often are trout caught & released

2011/5/9 15:37
From Ohio
Posts: 124
I know for sure I caught 4 or 5 different fish two times each. Spots and other markings lined up perfectly on all of them. Then there's another fish i caught once(actually 2 years ago) and this year I saw a pic of that same exact fish caught by someone else not too long ago. Spots lined up as well as a deformation it had(which is what made me think it was the same fish).

Catch and release works!!

Posted on: 2013/6/23 18:38

Re: How often are trout caught & released

2006/10/2 10:08
From Greensburg, Westmoreland Co.
Posts: 284
I caught a fine tiger trout that another board member had caught before (he had a photo and the vermiculations matched up). This same trout was later caught a third time and listed with photo on the PFBC's "Biggest Fish of 2011" webpage as the largest brook trout caught that year (inaccurately as it was a tiger). Doubtless this same fish was caught by many other anglers who either didn't take a photo or whose photos I've never seen.

I wouldn't be surprised to learn that many trout are caught 8-10 times or more on sections where C&R is predominant.

Most of the anecdotal evidence will be from larger and more memorable trout (in my opinion) as these are most likely to have photographic evidence to definitively answer the question.

Posted on: 2013/6/23 19:12
Resized Image
Only one constant in the universe, all men are equal in the eyes of the fish.
-GulfGreyhound paraphrasing Herbert Hoover

Re: How often are trout caught & released

2010/5/1 9:10
From NE OH
Posts: 75
I have documentation of my own on 1 small PA wild brown stream and have caught several of these fish numerous times over the past 3 years. They are fat, healthy, and continue to grow. I've kept track of this because I wanted to learn about the stream itself and I wanted to know the impact fishing the steam was having.

I'll add this, big wild browns (17"+) are fairly difficult to catch. Those of us that have put in the time to understand how to catch these fish consistently, respect and love the fish (outside of hooking them in the face of course) and handle them appropriately. They are pretty resilient. Respect their limitations and they will continue to thrive.

I fished my local brown trout stream (in OH) this morning and unfortunately, the water temp is now in the upper 60s. I put out the word to our local folks that are trying to grow that fishery that it probably time to put it down for the Summer so they can find safe haven and continue to hold over. The fish are stocked at 6-8" and we have a good handful of 20" fish now. You just have to respect the fishery. can't control others. Educate when you can and don't waste your stomach acid when other people don't respond appropriately. Take the high road.

Posted on: 2013/6/23 20:15
"You don't need 7x. All right, you're just being stupid. That's ridiculous. You know what else...throw away the 6x, because that's garbage too." -Hank Patterson

Re: How often are trout caught & released

2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
Posts: 2370
I too have plenty of anecdotal evidence of catching some fish multiple times. And while they may not always be the largest, they typically have some sort of distinguishing feature, which is why the photo was taken and proof exists.

I think the answers are likely to vary wildly. Not just on size, which stream it came from, etc., but also what exact section of that stream, the fertility of said stream, the individual preferences of that individual trout, etc. I certainly wouldn't be surprised to find that many trout get caught upwards of 10 times. I also would expect that many, even fair sized ones, never get caught. And everything in between.

Posted on: 2013/6/23 20:52

Re: How often are trout caught & released

2013/2/16 0:51
From Northern VA
Posts: 550
As long as the fish are caught when the water is cold enough for them to recover properly, I don't think there is any effect.

My best example would be a large native brook trout I've caught twice. I first caught this fish in a limestone stream in early november. the limestoner does not have brookies, but a tributary a mile or two upstream from where I was has an excellent brookie population. When I caught this fish it had clearly spawned/laid eggs recently. I would guess right around the time a big flood hit the area. In its weakened state it got washed out of the tributary in the high water and a mile downstream to where I eventually caught it. After a quick picture I released the fish and it could barely hold in position against the current. I thought me catching the fish was going to be the final straw and there was no way the fish would survive the coming winter, if it even lasted another day. Then in March I caught the same fish, still in the limestoner and healthy as could be. Not only did it survive the winter, it grew nearly an inch in that time and it was an old fish to begin with.

I think they are tougher than we give them credit for, but as PatrickC said you have to respect their limitations in warm water.

Posted on: 2013/6/23 23:10
Let's get more people fly fishing.

Re: How often are trout caught & released
2006/9/9 17:32
From Gettysburg
Posts: 439
I'm not aware of a study in PA on this topic. I can personally attest, as many of you have, to catching the same fish multiple times. One particular fish was a 19" brown in Fisherman's Paradise that I caught and released seven times over a period of about four months.

More recently, there was (and probably still is) a 20" brown in Falling Springs that three PAFF forum members caught over three different years from 2008-2010. There's a thread about this fish.

There was a study done in Yellowstone some years ago if I recall correctly and what was striking was the difference between how often cutthroats were caught relative to browns: the cutts were caught many times per year and the browns typically only once or twice.

Posted on: 2013/6/23 23:26

Re: How often are trout caught & released

2006/11/2 8:50
Posts: 1731
There was a study done by the fisheries people at Penn State on Spring Creek, using angler use data and population data from electrofishing surveys, and crunching the numbers and they came up with an estimate the average number of times each individual trout caught in Spring Creek was about 6.

I read another study done in at Buffalo Ford, a popular section of the Yellowstone River in the Park, and the number was considerably higher. I believe it was 14 times per year.

Posted on: 2013/6/24 0:05

Re: How often are trout caught & released

2008/5/29 15:28
From Lititz/Huntingdon
Posts: 43
I think this would be a hard stat to come up with numbers on. I've caught the same brown on the LJ at least 4 years in a row. I know for a fact that he's been hooked at least 1 other time. I pulled a pheasant tail out of his lip last year. I have seen him grow from about 18 to 20 inches +. He is always in just about the same spot. Got him again over Memorial Day week. But here again, that is all C&R around Barree.

Posted on: 2013/6/24 10:10
High Voltage

The four most effective weapons for taking anothers possessions:
4) knife
3) gun
2) lawyer
1) politician

Re: How often are trout caught & released

2006/9/13 10:18
From LV
Posts: 631
So only one person actually answered the question, very interesting. I remember the Spring Creek study, and the yellowstone study, and I know there were others, try a google search. that should help answer your question.

Posted on: 2013/6/24 16:03
George Orwell warned, "The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it."

Re: How often are trout caught & released
2006/9/9 9:29
From Monessen, PA
Posts: 2882
I think there were many answers. Here's mine: it depends upon the health of the trout and how it is hooked, played, handled and released. Maybe only once, maybe, based on various sources, including anecdotal evidence (for what it is worth) dozens of times.

Posted on: 2013/6/24 17:06
"If you see the Buddha in the road, please slow down and see if she is OK." OK?

-- Me

Re: How often are trout caught & released

2006/9/13 22:36
From Tioga co. formerly of bucks co.
Posts: 356
There was one done on the LLH some years back, not sure who did it but remember it being done.

Posted on: 2013/6/24 19:51

So many Fish, So little time !!!
from the outer edge of nowhere
fly tying and fishing ghillie..

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