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Re: Raibow Trout Question on Reproduction

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2006/9/9 20:09
From Harrisburg
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Quote:

Wulff-Man wrote:
……And many places out west they get a boatload of runoff in the spring.


Dear Wulff-Man,

That isn't entirely accurate. Out west the rainbows spawn primarily in March and the high water from run-off doesn't occur until late June or early July in most years. They have the benefit of spawning and having the eggs hatch during generally low flows during the "Mountain" winter.

Fish spawning in PA at that same time are usually met with the highest flows of the entire year since that time period is generally when whatever snow we have melts and the Spring rains begin. I think that makes it awfully difficult for a Spring spawning fish to be successful.

Regards,
Tim Murphy

Posted on: 2007/1/9 15:29


Re: Raibow Trout Question on Reproduction

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The paucity of self-sustaining RT pops. in PA streams has always been a curiousity to me. Most of the other states in the NE have significantly more wild RT pops than PA. Even NJ has a higher percentage of such waters as a component of their total cold water mileage than PA.

I think there are a lot of factors involved, from spawning difficulties to existing wild BT and ST pops that have simply been too much for introduced RT to successfully compete with long enough to establish a breeding population and so on and so forth.
Water chemistry so far as alkalinity, etc. *may* be a factor, but my giess is that it is not much of one. Rainbows do just fine in an awful lot of low alkalinity streams all uo and down the Appalachian spine, from VT to GA.

But I think my vote for most likely controlling factor goes to the strains historically used by the PFBC. I say this mostly because in at least some of the places where RT have established themselves in freestone water in PA, the source of the original fish very easily might have been other than PFBC. There is or was a scattering of wild RT pops in small freestones in and around the Allegheny National Forest, particularly the western portion of the Forest. Chances are fairly good that the ancestors of these trout were Federal fish. Before they mostly got out of the fish raising biz some years ago, the Feds used to dump a lot of fish in ANF waters.
If a scattering of these same waters have developed self-sustaining RT pops while virtually no long term state managed streams have done so, this *may* (and it's a big maybe) be an indication that the difference is somewhat due to the original strains stocked and their characteristics, etc.

Personally, I really like to fish over small wild freestone RT. They are by far, once hooked the hottest fish of any of the three major species..

Posted on: 2007/1/9 18:01


Re: Raibow Trout Question on Reproduction

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2006/9/10 21:53
From Greensburg, PA
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Quote:

TimMurphy wrote:
Out west the rainbows spawn primarily in March and the high water from run-off doesn't occur until late June or early July in most years.


Actually, Tim, they will spawn anywhere from March thru July. Some of the streams in the area of Idaho, where I lived, were closed from june 15th to july 15 for just that reason. Regardless, There is something different about the flows or temps or chemistry of the water, thats makes them less successful here.

I read one report that said regardless of when they spawn there can be a difference of up to four months as to when the eggs actually hatch based on water temps. And a difference of two months from when the fry will leave the gravel beds and find alternate cover based on flows, so those things may factor in as well.

The last time I was out there it was June 15th. They had a lot of snow in late april and flows were pretty average as the "big" snows hadn't even begun to run off yet.

Posted on: 2007/1/9 18:26


Re: Raibow Trout Question on Reproduction
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My theory as to why we don't have more Rainbow reproduction in PA is primarily due to the effects of acid precipitation. After hearing all of the conjecture, allow me to add mine. I like the idea that the strains may have something to do with it...to a point. But there has to be something more to do with water quality.

As discussed before, we have the acid tolerant brook trout. But these fish are mainly tolerant to the more acidic streams in the hemlock forests. Mainly first and second order stream with steeper gradients. The secondary fish for this region is the rainbow trout. I believe they survive well here because of the temperature controlled forests in moderately acidic streams. Some even reproducing here.

Then we have the more warm water tolerant Brown trout that can and does find ways to reproduce in the messiest watercourses the mankind can produce. Many of these stream and rivers are silt laden still waters in the summers. When its all said and done after a warmer summer the Browns are still there but the Bows go away. (well, you will find some in the heaviest pocket water and bouldered pools where spring seeps help a little) Still, reproduction remains the duty of the BT. Still RT are the primary fish stocked for these larger and warmer, more silty streams.

Rainbow trout are the major production product of the state's machine. And that is only going to get worse...or better depending on how you look at it. RT put on weight faster and grow longer than any of the big 3. With the request for fewer but larger fish, expect more rainbows.

Therefor RT cover more ground, so to speak, than the other two species from a stocking standpoint. But their reproduction is limited to limestone streams and small freestones...and the Delaware. (But we will come back to that.) Acid precip has been around since the stocking of RT. Although better now..but getting worse, the operative word is dosage. If you look at the limestone streams they inhabit, they are very small drainage areas. The freestones are small as well. Smaller drainage areas equate to lesser impacts from acid precipitation and siltation.

As for the Delaware, maybe it is a "dilution solution" as to why they thrive there. Or maybe largely due to the strains. (I liked RLP's Federal fish conspiracy theory) The Delaware fish could be NY strains of RT. Less corrupted genes.

KIMIHNIWITA

Posted on: 2007/1/9 19:11
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Re: Raibow Trout Question on Reproduction

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2006/9/13 10:18
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I think it's a combination of factors, first as Troutbert said it is in their genes to do well in a hatchery environment same as hatchery brookies in fact. Once released to the wild they last in streams only until the last fish is harvested, same as the hatchery brookies there too. If some do escape capture they just die.
Fall spawning fish tend to have better success spawning, in part because of spring floods, having said that though, the stocked rainbows for the most part spawn in the fall, so that might help. I believe that the water chemistry has an impact but it is hard to get this information. As for the number 1 cause I believe it is genetics and believe that the streams that do have wild bows were stocked with a good strain over a hundred years ago.

Posted on: 2007/1/9 19:23


Re: Raibow Trout Question on Reproduction

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2006/9/11 15:34
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I have caught lots and lots of wild bows in limestoners and freestoners all over central pa , mainly centre and blair county . I say wild bc alot of these streams i fish havent seen a rainbow stocking in 10-15 years . ( i researched , my grandfather works foR PAFBC) . Also , one for example Black Moshannon Creek is regularly stocked with brooks and bows and browns . All the standard stocking size 10 inch plus. I have caught many 2-4 inch bows and browns . This leads me to say that there is wild bow reproduction throughout pa !!! But hey im just here for fun !!!

Posted on: 2007/1/9 19:36
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Re: Raibow Trout Question on Reproduction

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If the PFBC stocked wild-strain rainbows all over the state, there would be reproducing rainbow trout all over the state, many hundreds, if not thousands of streams.

Rainbows are found in Porcupine Cr, and some other small freestoners in that region, and also in some other small freestoners in the Ligonier region. These are not unusually fertile freestone streams. And rainbows are found in many other mountain freestone streams all up and down the Appalachians. So that theory is disproved.

It is true that some streams are so poorly buffered against acid rain that only brook trout can live there. And then there are some stretches of headwater streams that are so poorly buffered against acid rain that no fish can live there at all, not even brookies.

But all the freestoners with moderate fertility, that now support mixed brown/brook populations, could support wild rainbows, if a viable strain was stocked.

I'm concerned that the rainbows the PFBC is getting from down south may be a viable strain. I don't know for sure, but if people are finding little wild rainbows in streams like Cross Fork Creek and Black Moshannon, that's a new development. There didn't used to be wild rainbows in those stream.

Wider proliferation of wild rainbows could be a disaster for PA's brook trout. You can read more about it below. Be sure to read the last line.

http://afs.allenpress.com/perlserv/?r ... t&doi=10.1577%2F1548-8659(1985)114%3C195%3AEOERTI%3E2.0.CO%3B2

Posted on: 2007/1/9 20:42


Re: Raibow Trout Question on Reproduction

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2006/12/29 10:00
From Harrisburg
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Wow! Man did this thread take off. Thought it was a good question.
I have to apologize for leading some of you down the limestone path, that was an example to bring forth the acid levels. I have caught wild rainbows in freestoners but not near the numbers prevelant in limestoners. Nor the size the wild rainbows can achieve in the limestoners. Dont remember any in the same stadium as the 20"-24"ers in Big and Falling Spring.
As far as tolerance to acid, I helped stock Stony Creek last year with a waterways patrolman named Mark Swissberger was it? Anyhoo as most of you know Stony has a limestone well at the top of it to minimize some of the effects of mining from years gone by. When I asked him why only browns and brooks he said that the RAINBOWS not the browns couldnt take the acid levels that still remained. The only thing I can back that up with is on the Fish Commissions website. I checked 10 counties and only a couple streams (Breeches included) stocked all three types of trout. All the rest of the streams recieved either rainbow and brown or brook and brown. Or just one type of course. Except for only one stream, just one, out of streams from 10 counties recieved rainbows and brooks only. The Little Lehigh. A very low acid level, limestone stream.
But, I've been wrong before and all these posts intrigue me. Have some friends much smarter than me and a computer full of information. See if I can find anything out that wasn't already posted.

Posted on: 2007/1/9 23:01
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Re: Raibow Trout Question on Reproduction

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It was a very good question squaretail.

You seem to be correct about sensitivity to acid of rainbows and browns. I found this at the PF&BC wibsite. "Like brook trout, they (brown trout) are also somewhat tolerant of acidity." and this "Rainbows are the trout least tolerant of acidity."

http://sites.state.pa.us/PA_Exec/Fish ... afish/fishhtms/chap16.htm

Posted on: 2007/1/10 10:01


Re: Raibow Trout Question on Reproduction
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Quote:

Squaretail wrote:
.......All the rest of the streams recieved either rainbow and brown or brook and brown. Or just one type of course. Except for only one stream, just one, out of streams from 10 counties recieved rainbows and brooks only. The Little Lehigh. A very low acid level, limestone stream.
posted.


I believe you will find that when a stream has a high density of wilt trout and is stocked, it will be stocked with trout other than the wild species present. This is to prevent thinning of the gene pool of the wild species. And also primarily to eliminate doubt about identifying wild fish when future surveys occur.

Posted on: 2007/1/10 10:04
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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: Raibow Trout Question on Reproduction

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Never heard of that one before. At 1st a flag went up but focusing on "when a stream has a high density of trout" came to mind, that does sound like a viable option. Interesting.
Seems like this board has members into trout like I am. The other one I visit half the time reminds you of the two old guys that used to sit in the balcony yackin and crabbin on that old "Muppets" television show.

Posted on: 2007/1/10 15:40
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Re: Raibow Trout Question on Reproduction

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Quote:

Squaretail wrote:
The other one I visit half the time reminds you of the two old guys that used to sit in the balcony yackin and crabbin on that old "Muppets" television show.


Stick around, This site gets that way sometimes, only there is way more than 2.

Posted on: 2007/1/10 16:08


Re: Raibow Trout Question on Reproduction

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2006/9/13 10:18
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I don't care what anyone tells you, stocking a stream that already has a "HIGH DENSITY OF WILD TROUT" is insanity, and a huge waste of $'s that PFBC does not have.
Stocking over a high population of wild trout should never be an option.

Posted on: 2007/1/10 19:03


Re: Raibow Trout Question on Reproduction

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2006/12/29 10:00
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I love what you say and believe in what you say and was strictly set on what you say for a while.
Some streams can hold their own without stockies and some could if given the chance but we just cant put spec regs on every stream out there. Bait and spin fisherman are where most of the money you speak of comes from. Let them come catch the stockies in the spring and let us catch the holdovers and wild/natives in the summer. If theres no stockies for them to put on the dinner table that might mean a couple natives could end up there in their place. The Breeches is certainly capable of a wild trout fishery and was tried a while back but failed because the wild population couldn't keep up with the amount being harvested. When I get frustrated about that stuff I try and remember the days when I used a spincaster or spinning rod to take trout home like I was a triumphant hero. Most of us didnt start out with flyrod in hand and a code of ethics on conservation. But I like your fire, man.

Posted on: 2007/1/10 23:22
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Re: Raibow Trout Question on Reproduction

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That didn't take long.

I agree with Chaz 100 percent on this one. As a general rule, any stream that has a decent popularion of wild trout should not be stocked ... with very few exceptions.

You don't need no stinkin special regs. We have too many different types as it is. To put it bluntly ... if you stock it, they will come. Therefore, don't stock it, and the freezer fillers won't come. You see, freezer fillers like to follow the white trucks. Stocked streams get hammered, and inevitably, wild fish get harvested along with the stocked trout. Many freezer fillers, although they are targeting the white truck hatch, view a wild trout as a bonus catch, and are sure to keep that over a rubber fish.

When you stop stoking a stream, it sometimes takes awhile for the freezer fillers to figure out the white trucks don't stop there anymore. they may return there for a year or two, maybe even three, but eventually they will give and go to the stocked holes near the roads.

Most of the fished stocked should be simply put in ponds at the hatchery and these ponds should be opened to the public. If they did that, they could stop stocking all streams that have high Class C or better. Many of the freezer fillers would be quite happy to go there to limit out. You don't believe me??? Several years ago a group of us stopped at a co-op hatchery when they did just that. It was completey packed with "anglers" with stringers. We just happened to be passing by.

Think of the money they would save in gas alone.

Posted on: 2007/1/11 7:58



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