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Re: The PFBC is Puzzling...Question About Stocking Wild Streams

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When I was 13 I caught a large brown trout from a stream that hadn't been stocked for ten or fifteen years. I took the fish to a local store owner who entered it in the Big Fish Contest of the Patriot News. The trout was entered as a brook trout. The pictures that were on the cover of the Fish Finder Magazine which was then printed and free at all Fishing Stores showed that the trout was indeed a Brown. I didn't care and it made no difference to me then. The PFBC looked into it and visited the Taxidermist to identify the trout. That wasn't all they looked into. The previously unstocked trout stream was stocked the following year and is to this day. I remember that I was excited to see it stocked. They put Brook trout on top of the wild brown trout pop. I later learned from the champion of this idea at the PFBC, that it was accepted that this would not damage the wild pop. The stream that was stocked is a relatively unfertile freestoner with limited reproduction. The stocking had a very large impact on this pop of wild brown trout. I believe that the above mentioned factors such as fertility have an influence here. The number of trout stocked has declined in recent years and the Brown trout numbers are climbing once again.
My point is that the impact of stocking will vary upon many factors and no one stream will be impacted the same as another. What are we gambling with? I believe that we continue to overlook the most important factor, which is Genetics. Wild trout through generations will develop unique characteristics to the individual watershed. In many cases becoming irreplaceable with any stocked trout from any hatchery. Stocked trout are genetic pollution as were the pheasants that they continued to stock in spite of having a naturally reproducing pop. We all know what happened to the wild pheasants.
It will take more than fishing pressure and the placement of stocked trout to wipe out a pop of wild brown trout. However throw in another negative factor such as poor spawns, disease, thermal issues etc. and you have the proverbial nail in the coffin. Then after all the wild trout are gone, we can all argue over the cause of our loss, habitat destruction, disease, sprays, pollution, climate change etc. etc.
Genetics.... Genetics.... Precisely the ability to adapt is what is bred out of hatchery reared animals. All this of course is in my humble opinion.
Many streams that are not Class A are great streams to fish that offer miles of less that pressured trout and sometimes large trout in a natural setting and holding in lies that make sense. Worth the time and the miles on my legs for the experience even though I am getting a little older and don't like the brush as much as I once did. 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.

Farm-reared brown trout differ from wild brown trout in three main ways. They
differ genetically due to founding effects and to subsequent domestication in
culture, involving artificial selection, relaxed natural selection and genetic drift.
They differ phenotypically in behaviour, physiology and morphology. They
also differ in their learning opportunities especially in relation to feeding and
anti-predator behaviour.

Posted on: 12/20 13:55

Edited by Stenonema on 2013/12/20 14:48:07
Edited by Stenonema on 2013/12/20 14:49:07
_________________
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: The PFBC is Puzzling...Question About Stocking Wild Streams

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www.fisheriesireland.ie/.../br ... s-and-fisheries-manageme.

I just found this to be interesting reading. I did a search on wild brown trout gentics. The last paragraph was copied from this site.

Posted on: 12/20 15:00
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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: The PFBC is Puzzling...Question About Stocking Wild Streams

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"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." Well put Steno!

The idea of "genetic pollution" is right on if the pelletheads reproduce with the wild population.

I also agree with the fisheries specific genetics. As well as your last paragraph as to what's wrong with pelletheads.


Posted on: 12/20 20:58
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"I think I fish, in part, because it's an anti-social, bohemian business that, when gone about properly, puts you forever outside the mainstream culture without actually landing you in an institution." John Gierach


Re: The PFBC is Puzzling...Question About Stocking Wild Streams

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Steno - your post is probably THE best post I have read ever on this board. The whole post is great but one sentence is 1 million percent true.

"Wild trout through generations will develop unique characteristics to the individual watershed. In many cases becoming irreplaceable with any stocked trout from any hatchery."

That is spot on!

Posted on: 12/20 21:07


Re: The PFBC is Puzzling...Question About Stocking Wild Streams

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Something I think is important that I didn't mention.
From a management point of view stocking trout over wild confuses many issues. By artificially propping up the population makes identifying that there may be a problem in the wild trout harder to acknowledge, identify and diagnose. What is a strong population today may not be tomorrow and the above mentioned is a recipe for disaster.
Can anyone place a value on heritage strain genetic Brook trout of the Big Springs?

Thanks Brown71 and BrookieChaser. It felt good to tell that story, it was thirty years ago and a hard lesson learned in many respects.

Posted on: 12/20 22:35
_________________
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: The PFBC is Puzzling...Question About Stocking Wild Streams

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Sbecker – I like your #30 post in this thread. “They have been stocked Class A waters for a very long time and continue to be Class A waters”. Thanks for saying stocked trout are not so detrimental to wild trout.

BrookieChaser, Stenonema, and Brown71,
Please tell me you guys realize that the PFBC stocked brown trout pelletheads in our streams from as far back as roughly 1890. Congratulations Stenonema for catching one of those big stocked descendants when you were 13. It cracks me up, however, when we put this prestige upon wild trout only to realize the only reason they are in our streams in the first place is because the PFBC stocked them years ago.

Posted on: 12/21 13:15


Re: The PFBC is Puzzling...Question About Stocking Wild Streams

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Yea dude Im not against stocking. Just thought a lot of that post was spot on.

That being said, there are places that are better off not stocked, and places that definitely benefit from stocking. Too many places/variables for me to even get into that argument.

Strains of wild trout though have definitely evolved to their specific watersheds. Ma nature is stronger than most want to believe.

In fact, there is a lot of common trout "belief" that I just flat don't subscribe to. Two big ones being - number one, the belief that trout can't survive in what is thought to be too warm of water. Obviously, good water is a plus, but I know quite a few places where trout and big ones at that survive in places that most say "too warm for trout". Browns especially.

Second, a lot of streams have WAY more spawning than the average joe realizes. Stocked or unstocked. Take a walk up a trib to your local stream sometime after a rain in mid - late November. You'll probably be surprised.

Posted on: 12/21 13:59


Re: The PFBC is Puzzling...Question About Stocking Wild Streams

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Most of the streams on the list being discussed in the OP are limestone streams, with one tailwater.

On other limestone streams in PA, when the management has been changed from stocking + "general" regs to no stocking + restrictive harvest regs, the result has been LARGE increases in brown trout populations.

Increases of 10 or 15 or 20% could be explained away as natural variability or sampling variation.

But when increases are 100% (doubling) and even 200% (tripling), those arguments vanish.

Posted on: 12/21 14:52


Re: The PFBC is Puzzling...Question About Stocking Wild Streams

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fishfuzz, I could hardly detect the sarcasm. However don't be fooled to think the brown trout in the hatcheries today are anything like the ones first placed into our streams many years ago.

Posted on: 12/21 16:25

Edited by Stenonema on 2013/12/21 16:56:10
_________________
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: The PFBC is Puzzling...Question About Stocking Wild Streams

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Quote:

fishfuzz wrote:
Sbecker – I like your #30 post in this thread. “They have been stocked Class A waters for a very long time and continue to be Class A waters”. Thanks for saying stocked trout are not so detrimental to wild trout.

BrookieChaser, Stenonema, and Brown71,
Please tell me you guys realize that the PFBC stocked brown trout pelletheads in our streams from as far back as roughly 1890. Congratulations Stenonema for catching one of those big stocked descendants when you were 13. It cracks me up, however, when we put this prestige upon wild trout only to realize the only reason they are in our streams in the first place is because the PFBC stocked them years ago.


A stream with 50 kg/ha is Class A.

A stream with 150 kg/ha is also Class A. So is a stream with 300 kg/ha.

Are they all the same? Obviously not.

Why settle for a continually suppressed mediocre brown trout population, when you could have a trout population far higher?

It's not about "prestige." It's about trout populations.

These streams have the potential to support much higher populations than they presently do. We don't have to guess about this, we know from the experience on many similar streams.

Operation Future has been going on now since about 1980, i.e. about 33 years. The results are in.

Posted on: 12/21 16:59


Re: The PFBC is Puzzling...Question About Stocking Wild Streams

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troutbert – Thanks for pointing out that Operation Future has been going on since 1980; the streams in question have been stocked since that time…and they still meet Class A criteria. Thanks for helping my argument that stocked trout are not all that bad.

The bottom line folks is…the general public and the bulk of trout fishermen do not care about wild trout. Heck, a lot of people on this board cannot even identify a wild trout. We (the 1% as per BrookieChaser) appreciate them, but they cost the PFBC and businesses money.

I think the PFBC has struck the right balance now between their stocking program and their wild trout management. Others think differently.

Stenonema – I apologize, but I was trying to drive a point home.

Posted on: 12/21 21:03


Re: The PFBC is Puzzling...Question About Stocking Wild Streams

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It's all right Fuzz, We all dig trout. To be clear. I don't have any problem with trout stocking. I feel that it is a tradition and I like tradition.
Is it wrong for me to feel like I don't care if they decimate a wild trout stream I will never fish? This is a question that I ask myself. Because, I feel like Fuzz, You know the stream you are talking about better than I do. Whatever happens is in your hands. However, My past experience has jaded my thinking on this issue. But, these were streams and trout I am attached to.
Just want you to know. Stocking over wild, Pheasants or trout is playing with fire. Sayings like having your cake and eating it too, or if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is; come to mind.

Posted on: 12/21 22:36


Re: The PFBC is Puzzling...Question About Stocking Wild Streams

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If someone put some pollution in a stream that reduced a trout stream's population by 1/2 to 2/3, everyone would be upset.

But when the fisheries management of a stream suppresses the trout population by 1/2 to 2/3, year after year after year, people say it's "not all that bad" and that it's "striking the right balance."


Posted on: 12/22 0:16


Re: The PFBC is Puzzling...Question About Stocking Wild Streams

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Quote:

fishfuzz wrote:

BrookieChaser, Stenonema, and Brown71,
Please tell me you guys realize that the PFBC stocked brown trout pelletheads in our streams from as far back as roughly 1890. Congratulations Stenonema for catching one of those big stocked descendants when you were 13. It cracks me up, however, when we put this prestige upon wild trout only to realize the only reason they are in our streams in the first place is because the PFBC stocked them years ago.


I'm late to the party.

I guess you didn't know the hatchery strain from 1890 was way different than the pelletheads of today?

To answer your question, I know all about stocking and the damage artificial fisheries have caused to our native fish. Since the native fish have been stocked over the only thing we are left with is wild invasives.
These wild fish have some genetic modification, or learned behavior, that are allowing them to survive and reproduce. They then adapt to their surroundings and make worthy adversaries to our angling pursuits.
I'll take the lesser of two evils, since any native strain of brook trout in most of these streams have been extirpated, any brook trout would be stocked as well.

For the record, I'm fine with stocking streams that will not support wild trout.

Posted on: 12/22 20:34


Re: The PFBC is Puzzling...Question About Stocking Wild Streams

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Quote:

fishfuzz wrote:

The bottom line folks is…the general public and the bulk of trout fishermen do not care about wild trout. Heck, a lot of people on this board cannot even identify a wild trout. We (the 1% as per BrookieChaser) appreciate them, but they cost the PFBC and businesses money.

I think the PFBC has struck the right balance now between their stocking program and their wild trout management. Others think differently.



See one of my earlier posts, like I said "the general public is ignorant". If the general public was left to their own vices do you think we'd even have a PFBC, PGC, DCNR, or any rules and regulations regarding fishing, hunting, or natural resources? It is up to those that know, and care, to protect what is valuable.

How do wild trout cost the PFBC money?

To me there is no gray area here, you either care about the wild fish and want to see them thrive, or you want the stream polluted (as Troutbert said).

Posted on: 12/22 20:42



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