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Re: So they're not closing...

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Quote:
What's wrong with warmwater species anyways. I think smallies and rock bass are pretty cool.


Completely agree.

It may just be the case that it's the people who insist on stocking so that they can catch trout out of marginal quality streams who are the real "trout snobs".

I'm in northern Va., where the streams are marginal even for warmwater species. I'd like to see residents of the three wealthiest counties in the U.S. spend some serious money on improving that.

Money ain't everything. It can be worth less than nothing, depending what you do with it.

Posted on: 2013/3/24 5:09


Re: So they're not closing...

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I think the 'trout snob' door swings both ways on this issue. I don't believe in stocking streams that can and do support wild trout. When it comes to 'lesser' streams you can promote warm water species all you want but the fact of the matter is that many of these streams are only open to fishing because of trout stockings.

Does the stocking of trout suppress the population of warm water species? I don't know I'm asking. When it comes to smallmouth bass why aren't they there in numbers now? They are a native species here in Western PA.

What about the steelhead program? In my few times heading up to Erie it seems that access is fairly limited and in fact some are making money or having their own private 'fishing oasis' off of something funded by anglers. To add to that some of the fish end up in other states. Is this a wasteful venture?

You can't argue the fact that the stocking of trout keeps streams open to anglers. More so than the steelhead program I believe. But I could be wrong.

I was surprised the decision was reversed and it will be interesting to see how it all pans out. You shouldn't spend money you don't have but you also shouldn't put over three million into a facility and then shut it down shortly after. Perhaps a little more foresight is in order.



Posted on: 2013/3/24 8:50


Re: So they're not closing...
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Mountainbrookie wrote:

Does the stocking of trout suppress the population of warm water species? I don't know I'm asking. When it comes to smallmouth bass why aren't they there in numbers now? They are a native species here in Western PA.


I'm not familiar off the top of my mind with any studies suggesting that stocking trout displaces SMBs......although it certainly may be possible in some (very limited) scenarios.

I think many fishermen, especially trout fishermen, are not aware of two aspects of SMBs that are germane to this question: their slow growth and migratory nature.
SMBs are very slow growers. With a minimum size of 12".....these fish need to grow for about five years to reach this size (more in small stream environments). That is longer than the lifespan of most wild brookies in PA just to reach min size! Small streams just don't have enough "catchable" - to use the PFBC term - size bass. Anglers who are accustomed to stocked trout want fish to harvest and stream bass will be too small on average. You can fish small streams all day, catch dozens of SMBs, and you may not get one that is 12" long. This is just the reality of the situation.
The other issue is movement. Small stream SMB populations are largely transient and many fishermen don't know this. They catch bass in summer and assume they're there all year. Most bass in most small streams are not there during the colder months so they are not a viable fishery in the springtime when fishermen want to pursue stocked trout. Usually, by mid summer when the stocked trout have all been caught or died from thermal increase......all of the sudden the bass are there. It's a coincidence of timing. Bass fishing in bigger rivers can be great in early spring but in the smaller streams where trout are stocked, it's a waste of time in spring because the bass have not migrated up these streams yet.
Due to this timing of movement, I don't think that stocking trout in smaller, typical sized trout streams has much effect on bass - they really aren't there at the same time.

Posted on: 2013/3/24 9:04


Re: So they're not closing...

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The majority of licensed fishermen don't fish for trout year round. Trout fishing is something to do from April to Memorial Day and then it is wait for next year. Stocking is necessary to meet this need.

I'd much rather see the stocking of the marginal streams in the spring for the meat fishermen than do away with stocking and have the meat guys hitting the wild trout streams. There is NO WAY regs would ever be passed prohibiting the harvesting of trout from wild streams if their was no stocking program. In fact you can harvest them right now but the meat guys would rather drive 10min and catch 14in stocked fish than drive 30min and catch 8in wild trout. But if 8in wild trout becomes the only game in town, guess where they are going.




Posted on: 2013/3/24 9:13


Re: So they're not closing...

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GreenWeenie wrote:
There is NO WAY regs would ever be passed prohibiting the harvesting of trout from wild streams if their was no stocking program.


Likely true.

Unfortunately there's often a gulf separating what can and what should happen.

Posted on: 2013/3/24 9:30
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Re: So they're not closing...

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I would like to see no harvest of wild trout and if stocked streams continue maybe that could happen. With no stocking, as some suggest, there is no way PA would become a total C&R state.

Posted on: 2013/3/24 9:40


Re: So they're not closing...

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GreenWeenie wrote:
I would like to see no harvest of wild trout and if stocked streams continue maybe that could happen. With no stocking, as some suggest, there is no way PA would become a total C&R state.


It's certainly a bargain I'd be willing to accept if C&R regs were applied to any stream determined to have the potential to support a self-sustaining population of trout. Give them a chance, at least.

Posted on: 2013/3/24 9:45
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Re: So they're not closing...

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I think I'd like to weigh in on this one. Personally, I'll take wild over stocked trout any day of the week. In my opinion they are a better fish. I'm gonna get into that aspect right now though. As far as stocking goes, it is an unfortunate but necessary evil that has been built into this states fishing heritage. This isn't going to change I don't think. Did you ever notice the looks you get from some people when you put a fish back? For many, it's not an option. To them trout season is about going out with friends and family and catching a meal to share with loved ones. There is nothing wrong with that idea and shouldn't be looked down upon. Yes, there should be limits and thoughtful harvests and attempts to not waste the resource. But, realistically, those people paid for those fish so let them have their day. Extremely valid points were made a out stream access due to the stocking program. There are many streams that would not be open for the public to use if not for the stocking of trout. Absolutely, I agree about the stocking over wild populations issue. I think the idea of 100% c&r is rediculous. Fishing is a blood sport. It's a way of providing a meal for your family. Because many I us prefer to cat h and release and feel that the days bounty isn't the only thing the sport is about is no reason to impose those thoughts on others. I put just about everything I catch back. But I do keep fish from time to time. Whenever I bring fish home to eat, the family is ecstatic and they're supposed to be. To say that all wild populations of fish should be 100% catch and release is absurd. Personally, I'd much rather eat a wild fish than a hatchery raised one. There's a big difference in quality. Sure cut the creel limit, but to eliminate harvest is a silly notion in my opinion. It's wonderful to think that everyone who buys a license is going to happily adopt our personal ethics and ideals, but the fact is they won't, and in a way we should be happy. Seriously think about what it would be like if a large majority of the money generated by license sales was lost because there were "no more trout." I don't think you'd be as happy as you think

Posted on: 2013/3/24 10:46


Re: So they're not closing...

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fishngun wrote:
I think the idea of 100% c&r is rediculous. Fishing is a blood sport.


Speaking for myself personally, and my guess is many other C&R advocates would agree, advocating C&R isn't about having an ethical/moral issue with harvesting/killing trout. It's about sustainability. If there were abundant trout populations in PA that could withstand the pressure put on by the number of people looking to harvest trout, there'd be no reason to advocate for C&R. Personally, I rarely keep trout (and wouldn't even consider keeping a wild trout in PA), but I'm in no way opposed to others doing so where appropriate (which is nowhere in PA).

Quote:

fishngun wrote:
It's a way of providing a meal for your family.


This is said time and time again in defense of stocking. I don't even begin to buy it.

No one is looking to take away someone's right to venture into the wild and hunt to feed your family. That's not even close to what this is. Someone dumps farm raised fish into a stream so someone else can come by and remove said fish.

If patch habitat was removed (obviously never going to happen) and the deer population plummeted, would we start a program to stock deer so that hunters could fill their freezers? Yes, I know the state has done it before, but the idea sounds preposterous now, doesn't it?


Posted on: 2013/3/24 11:17
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Re: So they're not closing...

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The idea of harvesting wild food is very appealing, and there is some opportunity to do that.

But there is a reason humans took to farming thousands of years ago. Because of the limited ability of nature to provide abundant wild food.

It would be interesting to know the number of legal sized wild trout that exist in the state of PA. And how that compares to the number of anglers.



Posted on: 2013/3/24 12:20


Re: So they're not closing...
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There are plenty to allow everyone who wants to harvest to do so. The problem is coordinating the effort.

Posted on: 2013/3/24 12:22
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Re: So they're not closing...

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JackM wrote:
There are plenty to allow everyone who wants to harvest to do so. The problem is coordinating the effort.


How many legal-sized wild trout do you estimate there are in PA?

Posted on: 2013/3/24 12:44


Re: So they're not closing...
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16,500 to 200,000. How many harvesters do you estimate there are in PA?

Posted on: 2013/3/24 12:56
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Re: So they're not closing...

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JackM wrote:
16,500 to 200,000. How many harvesters do you estimate there are in PA?


A 2005 joint study by the PFBC, USGS and Center for Economic and Community Development estimated that roughly between 2.5 million trout are harvested annually in PA.

Posted on: 2013/3/24 13:13
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Re: So they're not closing...
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I thought he was asking about wild trout.

Posted on: 2013/3/24 13:34
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