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Re: Wild Brook Trout
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Quote:

salmonoid wrote:
It is, but I'd argue it is somewhat meaningless and somewhat suspect. I don't know what methodology the state used to determine their numbers, both for their average number of legal brookies and 9"+ brookies per mile, and for their harvest rate of 7 fish per mile, and finally, what the total miles of stream that support those numbers. As with any study or formula, a small sample size is extrapolated to create an "average" across a whole state. Small errors upon small errors in formulas or study biases, multiplied by 34 years can yield a big error in the final number. Just look at the wide variance in legal fish in the 2006 Biologist Report (Jeans, Kistler, and Wolf Swamp Run). Sampling in three or four years swung as much as 90 legal fish per mile (Kistler) and Jeans yoyoed from 47 to 5 to 43 to 11. Ten samples of fish from approximately 300m stream lengths in three or four different years yields a lot of noise that is mirrored across all the other streams sampled in the state.

This paper, about the economic impact of wild trout angling lists an abundance of legal size wild brook trout at 75.5/mile for the 76 streams studied. And if you read it closely, you can see how sampling error (and even angler answer bias) might skew the results.



Going back to the 34 legal fish/mile, I find it hard to believe that 20.5% of the legal wild brookies in PA are harvested. I'll bet that less than 20.5% of the legal wild brookies in PA are even caught, let alone harvested.. I can't remember the last time I've even saw a wild brookie creeled or on a stringer.

Anyway, my whole point is to not get too up in arms about a number derived by multiplying a couple of calculated numbers together. It's a number based on a model that probably has a number of flaws, over-representing some things, under-representing others and probably completely missing some important elements.


My thoughts too. Thanks for putting the matter so well (as usual).

Posted on: 1/4 7:48


Re: Wild Brook Trout

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Posted on: 1/4 7:52
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Re: Wild Brook Trout

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2013/9/6 11:40
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Good article. No doubt brook trout genetics have been altered in various ways, and one of the obvious ones are their inability to grow to larger sizes as recorded in the BTs heyday just a century ago.

Why were the brook trout so much larger during that period.?
During that era of 50 a day creel limits, many anglers only kept the larger fish and tossed back the ones "not worth keeping" which by todays standard would qualify as a "good fish".

If those generations of fishermen were to selectively eliminate the largest fish over the course of just 50 years, which is between 13-15 generations for a brook trout (depending on the stream) you will have then removed the genes that are capable of growing larger trout. The article states that genetic change is possible over the course of a few decades.

Perhaps one day a replenishment of the gene pool of faster growing brook trout from waters not completely wiped out could be the answer to restoring brook trout to their historical size, populations, and distribution.

Posted on: 1/5 0:15
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Re: Wild Brook Trout

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2017/9/18 23:12
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"In addition, no Class B waters found may be ADDED to the stocking program."

This is progress. I remember bringing the issue up in the Trout 2000 meeting.

Posted on: 1/18 2:45


Re: Wild Brook Trout

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2013/12/8 21:26
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Quote:

LetortAngler wrote:
Good article. No doubt brook trout genetics have been altered in various ways, and one of the obvious ones are their inability to grow to larger sizes as recorded in the BTs heyday just a century ago.

Why were the brook trout so much larger during that period.?
During that era of 50 a day creel limits, many anglers only kept the larger fish and tossed back the ones "not worth keeping" which by todays standard would qualify as a "good fish".

If those generations of fishermen were to selectively eliminate the largest fish over the course of just 50 years, which is between 13-15 generations for a brook trout (depending on the stream) you will have then removed the genes that are capable of growing larger trout. The article states that genetic change is possible over the course of a few decades.

Perhaps one day a replenishment of the gene pool of faster growing brook trout from waters not completely wiped out could be the answer to restoring brook trout to their historical size, populations, and distribution.


I really don't think that anglers many years ago keeping larger fish has anything to do with why brook trout in the state are on the smaller side. I'd be willing to bet that it has everything to do with them being confined to the most infertile, smallest, and secluded streams. Everywhere they are surrounded by barriers, as the article pointed out. Human development, warm temps, and the now much more dominant and adaptable brown trout which rules the larger, more fertile streams. I've certainly seen brookies in Big Spring that are significantly larger than any of my favorite brookie waters here in Mifflin and Centre counties. Why aren't those fish all 7 inches from the heavy creeling of larger fish in years past?

Posted on: 1/18 6:28


Re: Wild Brook Trout

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2006/9/9 11:22
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Quote:

jifigz wrote:
I really don't think that anglers many years ago keeping larger fish has anything to do with why brook trout in the state are on the smaller side. I'd be willing to bet that it has everything to do with them being confined to the most infertile, smallest, and secluded streams. Everywhere they are surrounded by barriers, as the article pointed out. Human development, warm temps, and the now much more dominant and adaptable brown trout which rules the larger, more fertile streams. I've certainly seen brookies in Big Spring that are significantly larger than any of my favorite brookie waters here in Mifflin and Centre counties. Why aren't those fish all 7 inches from the heavy creeling of larger fish in years past?


^This is probably the most accurate assessment of the situation. I think many bookie enthusiasts don't want to face the truth that we simply don't have many streams left that can produce bookies of decent size in any real quantity. I think putting the blame on harvest, whether current or in the long-term, is more palatable since it is more feasible to stop harvest and even introduce new strains of brookies. On the other hand, restoring the environment to a condition that once again supports big brookies is insurmountable.

Posted on: 1/18 11:02


Re: Wild Brook Trout
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troutbert wrote:
The issue of widespread stocking over native brook trout (and wild trout in general) was not mentioned at the Wild Trout Summit.

It was the "elephant in the room" there.

And it was the "elephant in the room" in this article too.

Any discussion or article about native brook trout that does not include this issue has a severe credibility problem.

If you are going to have a serious discussion about a topic, you have to include the important issues.

If you just omit obviously important ones, because they are difficult to deal with, you're killing your credibility.



Quote:

PennKev wrote:
This is probably the most accurate assessment of the situation. I think many bookie enthusiasts don't want to face the truth that we simply don't have many streams left that can produce bookies of decent size in any real quantity. I think putting the blame on harvest, whether current or in the long-term, is more palatable since it is more feasible to stop harvest and even introduce new strains of brookies. On the other hand, restoring the environment to a condition that once again supports big brookies is insurmountable.


Great discussion.

IMO, the "elephant in the room" is not really just the current stocking of trout (brown trout for the most part), it is the trout introduced in past stockings, likely from strains stocked many years ago, and their proliferation as a wild fish, replacing the native brookies in their former habitat.

One can (and should) continue to protect and enhance stream habitat, but the brown trout is now the king of the stream in PA.

We actually do now have great streams for brook trout to prosper...but the brown trout has taken over many of them leaving only the smaller streams and headwaters for the natives. Tiny streams yield tiny fish, for the most part. That's really what's insurmountable, IMO.

The best we can do is try to help native brookies hold on to what's left of their population in the streams they current inhabit.


Posted on: 1/18 12:12


Re: Wild Brook Trout

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Quote:

afishinado wrote

The best we can do is try to help native brookies hold on to what's left of their population in the streams they current inhabit.



I couldn't agree more.

Posted on: 1/18 16:49


Re: Wild Brook Trout

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I guess brookies are often small due to a double whammy. First, Brookies have a shorter lifespan than wild Browns. For example the PFBC sites says a wild Brown might live 10 to 12 years while few brookies would survive past 6. Second, bookies are often in small and infertile environments, this is in part due the to their acid tolerance .. they are in the head waters where the acid rain has not been neutralized as much. But these acudic waters have fewer aquatic bugs... Short life plus low food leads to small fish.

Posted on: 1/18 17:36


Re: Wild Brook Trout

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Quote:

k-bob wrote:
I guess brookies are often small due to a double whammy. First, Brookies have a shorter lifespan than wild Browns. For example the PFBC sites says a wild Brown might live 10 to 12 years while few brookies would survive past 6. Second, bookies are often in small and infertile environments, this is in part due the to their acid tolerance .. they are in the head waters where the acid rain has not been neutralized as much. But these acudic waters have fewer aquatic bugs... Short life plus low food leads to small fish.


Once again I think the point is being missed here. Yes brook trout may not be as genetically given to as long of a life as brown trout (I honestly don't know if that's true or not.) But at the same time more of it had to do with where they are confined to. It is essentially comparing a child in the U.S. to a child in a very under developed country. Less food, nutrition, shelter and care generally leads to shorter lives. Those are similar to the habitats brookies face with where they are trapped to. There is less nutrition and survival is harder.

Posted on: 1/18 21:42


Re: Wild Brook Trout
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Combining two popular misconceptions, I would recommend keeping all browns because we know that harvest decimates populations and stunts the gene pool. Thus would brook trout thrive in any given brown/brook culture.

Posted on: 1/18 22:20
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Re: Wild Brook Trout

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There is a great potential to improve the populations of PA brook trout.

The first, most obvious would be to end stocking over brook trout, by the PFBC and by the coop hatcheries.

This would improve both the numbers and the size of the brookies in a very large mileage of streams. And it would cost nothing, and in fact would actually save money.

If the agencies (and the public) ever gets serious about brook trout populations, that step will be taken. Until that step is taken, you will know that they are not serious.

Once that step is taken, then there are a great many things that could be done regarding restoring the habitat on brook trout streams. Including:

Removing dams that impound brookie streams, which would reduce water temperatures, and allow brookie movement to find thermal refuge in the summer.

Restoring riparian vegetation where that is lacking. Restoring large wood debris where that is lacking.

Reconnecting streams and floodplains where they have been separated. Many streams have been "channelized" i.e. moved, straightened, had their secondary channels eliminated, and been locked into place. Including on public lands. These things can be undone, restoring the normal habitat-forming processes of dynamic streams flowing through a normally vegetated floodplain.

Posted on: 1/19 6:39


Re: Wild Brook Trout
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Quote:

troutbert wrote:
There is a great potential to improve the populations of PA brook trout.

The first, most obvious would be to end stocking over brook trout, by the PFBC and by the coop hatcheries.

This would improve both the numbers and the size of the brookies in a very large mileage of streams. And it would cost nothing, and in fact would actually save money.

If the agencies (and the public) ever gets serious about brook trout populations, that step will be taken. Until that step is taken, you will know that they are not serious.


Once that step is taken, then there are a great many things that could be done regarding restoring the habitat on brook trout streams. Including:

Removing dams that impound brookie streams, which would reduce water temperatures, and allow brookie movement to find thermal refuge in the summer.

Restoring riparian vegetation where that is lacking. Restoring large wood debris where that is lacking.

Reconnecting streams and floodplains where they have been separated. Many streams have been "channelized" i.e. moved, straightened, had their secondary channels eliminated, and been locked into place. Including on public lands. These things can be undone, restoring the normal habitat-forming processes of dynamic streams flowing through a normally vegetated floodplain.



I'm certainly against stocking over any viable wild trout population, including stocking over wild browns.

But stocking over any population of wild native brook trout is a cardinal sin and should be opposed vehemently.

Troutbert, give us a list of native brookie streams, the major ones or the ones you feel are most vulnerable, that are currently being stocked over by the PFBC and/or the coop hatcheries or clubs. With this list, we can come up with an action plan to stop it.

This point in time is likely the perfect time for us to voice our opinions and help shape the future of wild trout in PA, since it is very likely stocking policies will change drastically due to the lack of funding.

This is our opportunity to actually do something for the native brook trout, rather than just complaining about it. With a list of streams in hand, we can advocate for saving the remaining native population of brook trout and possibly turn the tide and actually expand its range.


Posted on: 1/19 7:21


Re: Wild Brook Trout

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2016/9/6 6:56
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Quote:

JackM wrote:
Combining two popular misconceptions, I would recommend keeping all browns because we know that harvest decimates populations and stunts the gene pool. Thus would brook trout thrive in any given brown/brook culture.


Wasn't there a short lived program on a couple of streams?

Brook trout enhancement or something of that sort?

Posted on: 1/19 11:57


Re: Wild Brook Trout

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Continued rehabilitation of AMD streams could open up many miles of fairly large would-be brook trout waters.

I have one for the list Afish. S. Fork of Beech Creek. Club and state stockings of all 3 species on miles of super clean, cold brook trout water. I used to fish it in summer and caught more native brookies than anything else, reverse is true early in the season.

Then you could clean up the AMD in the main stem of Beech and bam, there's several miles of prime brookie habitat that just opened up.

Posted on: 1/19 12:20
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