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What about the upcoming years?

Joined:
2006/9/11 13:05
From Lewistown
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I have recently stumbled upon a class A stream that has more Brookies that any other that I have fished (about 4 per hole). Plus, they are all over 7" (well, okay a few that we caught are in the 5-6 range). So everything seems great, right?
Well I got to thinking, and what about next year, or the year after, when these fish die? Will there be any fish to replace them? Obviously there will be, but the same numbers and sizes? OR, with the stream cycle itself and have large numbers and big fish for 2 years, and the opposite for the next 2? I haven't fished it much but without catching any small ones or atleast seeing them what's the future like for this stream and my fishing?

Posted on: 2006/11/24 17:46


Re: What about the upcoming years?

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2006/9/13 10:18
From LV
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Brookies are far more resilient than most people realize. They are found in slightly populated water, for instance, but they won’t be found in water that gets above about 78 degrees for very long, they need a refuge from thermal impacts. They are less tolerant of pollutants in general though, so we must be vigilant. There are lot’s of streams that have brookies over the legal size this time of the year, but after opening day they get hard to find, whether that is because of heavy fishing pressure (harvest), or they are so spooked by the activity is a question that needs to be answered if we’re going to have brookies in the future. You are wise not to name the stream though, because people who are unethical watch these message boards for places to catch and keep fish even when they are out of season.

Posted on: 2006/11/24 22:37


Re: What about the upcoming years?

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2006/11/2 8:50
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McKern,

I'd be happy to answer your questions. Just send me a pm with the name of the stream.

Seriously, there's nothing to worry about. You found a good stream. If most of the trout in the pools are of good size, that indicates that the stream is not getting harvested very much.

In a stream that isn't harvested much, the better pools will be occupied by good size trout. The biggest fish take the best spots.

The smaller trout are around, they're just in the shallower water, where the big trout won't eat them. Places you might not even bother to cast to. When a space opens up in a good pool, these fish happily move in.

Trout populations in freestone streams do bounce around a lot. Severe floods and droughts can knock populations down. A couple years of more favorable flows and they bounce back up.

Posted on: 2006/11/24 23:26


Re: What about the upcoming years?

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2006/9/11 13:05
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I'll take anyone to some of my secret spots, but I will never give just the name and/or directions. Of course if you go with me, you will never really know if I'm taking to one of those streams or just lying.

Posted on: 2006/11/25 16:56


Re: What about the upcoming years?

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2006/9/9 20:09
From Harrisburg
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Dear MKern,

Keep a couple to eat, it'll make room for the little ones to grow.

Regards,
Tim Murphy

Posted on: 2006/11/25 21:14


Re: What about the upcoming years?

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I guess what I am wondering is, is there a cycle of trout in these little streams? Do the fish grow big, stay big for a couple years, die and the little ones reign for a year or two till they get big? And this happens over and over? Or, should I expect large fish on a continuous basis?

Posted on: 2006/11/26 8:56
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Re: What about the upcoming years?
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2006/9/11 8:26
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First of all, it's not possible for you or I to accurately evaluate the age class structure in the stream. Even electroshocking by trained professionals cover only a small sampling of the stream. Flow and seasonal variations during sampling make it difficult to get accurate data. It takes years of data to try to accurately evaluate the health of the trout population.

Unless there are some sort of barriers both upstream and downstream, the trout will spread out and look for new water rather than stay there and starve to death. I wouldn't worry about over population. Those trout have been surviving for many thousands of years.

Tim, put that frying pan away for now!

Posted on: 2006/11/26 9:24


Re: What about the upcoming years?

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Quote:

MKern wrote:
I guess what I am wondering is, is there a cycle of trout in these little streams? Do the fish grow big, stay big for a couple years, die and the little ones reign for a year or two till they get big? And this happens over and over? Or, should I expect large fish on a continuous basis?


No, there's not a cycle.

Severe floods and droughts knock the populations way down. And when that happens you'll notice that the fishing gets noticeable poorer. A few years of good flows brings the populations way up. At their high point, populations can be twice the level at the low point. These are big swings in population. But it's not a cycle, because it's not regular or predictable, it depends on weather events.

If someone starts harvesting a lot of fish regularly in that stream then that's a big wrench thrown into the machinery. Just one guy who fishes the stream regularly and keeps them can keep the number of legal size brookies knocked way down.

Posted on: 2006/11/26 10:22


Re: What about the upcoming years?

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2006/11/5 16:58
From York
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From what I've learned about brookies, they only live for 3-5 years. The fisheries biologist from the Smokies encourages anglers to kill a few fish each time they are out, because of their short life span and that a few less fish in each hole equals bigger fish in the long run because of less competition for food and structure.
There is a great pod cast on Itinerant Angler website with an interview with the biologist and what they've done in the Smokies to bring the native brookies back.

http://www.itinerantangler.com/podcasts/podcasts/

Considering that PA shares the eastern strain of brooke trout with the Smokies, the info should be the same here.
John

Posted on: 2006/11/26 14:03
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Re: What about the upcoming years?

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2006/9/10 21:53
From Greensburg, PA
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http://www.fish.state.pa.us/images/pages/qa/flood_effects.htm

http://www.patrout.org/brook.htm

These two link answer most of the questions posted here. of particular interest shoudl be corrections to statements made byt troutbert and jpavoncello

"In sterile freestone waters like those in Pennsylvania, brook trout grow at best at an average rate of about 2 inches per year. They have the potential to live about 7 years, and can live as long as 10 years."

and

"wild trout populations tend to be quite resilient and numerically stronger year classes in the years that followed allowed many of these populations to rebound from these events."

Posted on: 2006/11/26 17:19


Re: What about the upcoming years?

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2006/11/2 8:50
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Quote:

tomgamber wrote:
http://www.fish.state.pa.us/images/pages/qa/flood_effects.htm

http://www.patrout.org/brook.htm

These two link answer most of the questions posted here. of particular interest shoudl be corrections to statements made byt troutbert and jpavoncello

"In sterile freestone waters like those in Pennsylvania, brook trout grow at best at an average rate of about 2 inches per year. They have the potential to live about 7 years, and can live as long as 10 years."

and

"wild trout populations tend to be quite resilient and numerically stronger year classes in the years that followed allowed many of these populations to rebound from these events."


I see nothing here that "corrects" or contradicts anything I've said. As I explained, severe floods and droughts knock the populations down. Then with more moderate conditions, the populations bounce back. That's exactly the same thing they are saying.

Posted on: 2006/11/26 17:55


Re: What about the upcoming years?

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2006/9/13 10:18
From LV
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All I got out of the podcast was a black screen.
I don't buy that harvest harvesting brook trout imporves the population structure, if anything it hurts it, because everyone takes the biggest fish. You've got to leave the biggest fish in the stream, and they have to be fish that eat other fish and things like crayfish, then you'll have bigger brookies.
One of our biologists told me once he's never seem a stream over populated, that the primary limiting factor is food when it comes to trout size. Did you ever see a stream that had no food unless itis and AMD stream or 1 impacted by acid rain?
Think about the last time you saw a major hatch on a stream, did all of the bugs get eaten? Trout will seek out the best environment.

Posted on: 2006/11/27 5:55


Re: What about the upcoming years?

Joined:
2006/9/13 10:18
From LV
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Oh yeah, when browns and brookies are together in the same stream the browns will take the best lies, thus will always grow bigger than the brookies. This is why no matter how many brookies you catch in a stream where they coexist the browns you catch will always be bigger, the 1 caveat is when the brookies are dominant by overwhelming numbers.

Posted on: 2006/11/27 10:22






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