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Winter Mortality

Joined:
2007/3/23 18:10
From Chester Co., PA
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This winter sure has made me feel my mortality. But how about the trout? Can those of you blessed to live close to trout streams across the Commonwealth comment on what you have observed? Anchor ice? What are your thoughts on how the winter will affect the fish populations in the coming season?

Posted on: 3/7 5:52


Re: Winter Mortality

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2006/9/13 22:36
From Tioga co. formerly of bucks co.
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Lots of anchor ice here along with ice top to bottom. not sure if there is much mortality as I think most brookies drop down into larger waters. seems the fish here will migrate a lot.

Posted on: 3/7 6:17
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Re: Winter Mortality

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2012/10/24 19:22
From Landenberg, PA
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I am told that a lot of anchor ice was seen on the Brandywine this year.

I'm sure there are fish kills where fish are prevented from dropping back to deeper water, but that doesn't seem to effect the fishing in Maine, VT or NH.

And to be fair, this would be called an average winter even up in the 'flatlands' of MA and somehow even the stocked fish make it.



Posted on: 3/7 7:09
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Re: Winter Mortality
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2006/9/9 17:32
From Gettysburg
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Quote:

BrookTroutLover wrote:
What are your thoughts on how the winter will affect the fish populations in the coming season?


There could certainly be some mortality of various fish, esp panfish or gizzard shad, in lakes due to persistent ice and snow cover ("winter kill").

Although there is likely some anchor ice issues in streams in my neck of the woods, which is pretty unusual.... my guess would be they're limited and avoidable by trout or other stream fish. I doubt that there will be widespread harm to stream trout populations.

Posted on: 3/7 7:11


Re: Winter Mortality

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2006/9/13 22:36
From Tioga co. formerly of bucks co.
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fish can move to escape, what I wonder about especially with anchor ice is the food souse, nymphs and minnows can only go so far into the substrate. What happens to them ?

Posted on: 3/7 7:21
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Re: Winter Mortality

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2010/6/9 12:35
From down the block from the Letort.
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they all die, there will be no hatches this year.

Posted on: 3/7 8:04


Re: Winter Mortality

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2008/5/29 15:28
From Lititz/Huntingdon
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The same thing will happen when this type of winter was the norm. Nothing. The fish will be fine. The bugs will be fine. It was just what anybody over the age of 40/50 years old remembers as being winter.

Posted on: 3/7 8:13
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Re: Winter Mortality

Joined:
2006/9/21 0:02
From Pittsburgh
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Ice scouring will hurt the aquatic life for sure
I remember one particularly bad winter - about 10 to 15 years ago now, I believe. There was a lot of ice jams on the streams, and then some sudden warmups that caused some flooding.
And the hatches were lousy that spring

Posted on: 3/7 8:15


Re: Winter Mortality

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2006/9/13 10:18
From LV
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Right now I have no concerns, because the trout move. As for insects with a slow thaw I don't see anything impacting bugs.
Anchor ice is extremely rare in SEPA.

Posted on: 3/7 8:56
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Re: Winter Mortality

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2006/11/10 8:32
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Average annual mortality in Pa trout streams is 60-65 percent. Some streams have shown 30-40% annual mortality. This occurs with or without fishing and the populations naturally compensate for these losses. The streams will be fine over time. Year class strength in freestoners being lower than average is what I would expect, but this remains to be seen in the summer surveys.

Chaz, anchor ice is an annual event in SE Pa depending upon where you go and whether or not you are out early enough in the morning to see it. As Dr Robert Butler used to say at PSU, buy the time most people finish their morning coffee the streams are back in their channels and the anchor ice is gone. Haycock Run, Bucks Co, for example, is locked up with anchor ice every winter without fail. Even the much larger Jordan in Whitehall had anchor ice this year. The creek bottom was covered with it in most riffle areas, yet there was no surface ice.

What else do I expect? Could be a good year for gizzard shad and alewife die-offs in large impoundments and private pond total fish kills in ponds that have large amounts of settled leaves, algae blooms in summer, or other lush aquatic vegetation.

Posted on: 3/7 10:17


Re: Winter Mortality

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2006/9/13 10:18
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Quote:

Mike wrote:
Average annual mortality in Pa trout streams is 60-65 percent. Some streams have shown 30-40% annual mortality. This occurs with or without fishing and the populations naturally compensate for these losses. The streams will be fine over time. Year class strength in freestoners being lower than average is what I would expect, but this remains to be seen in the summer surveys.

Chaz, anchor ice is an annual event in SE Pa depending upon where you go and whether or not you are out early enough in the morning to see it. As Dr Robert Butler used to say at PSU, buy the time most people finish their morning coffee the streams are back in their channels and the anchor ice is gone. Haycock Run, Bucks Co, for example, is locked up with anchor ice every winter without fail. Even the much larger Jordan in Whitehall had anchor ice this year. The creek bottom was covered with it in most riffle areas, yet there was no surface ice.

What else do I expect? Could be a good year for gizzard shad and alewife die-offs in large impoundments and private pond total fish kills in ponds that have large amounts of settled leaves, algae blooms in summer, or other lush aquatic vegetation.

Since we're on the subject, what is the root cause of anchor ice? And how would you characterize anchor ice?

Posted on: 3/7 10:39


Re: Winter Mortality

Joined:
2010/11/24 13:19
From Perkasie PA
Posts: 957
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I've been fishing the EB Perk in Perkasie/Sellersville as much as possible all winter. It hasnt been stocked since the beginning of October and most of it has been frozen solid all winter. That being said, I've still managed to pull a few fish here and there out of iced out riffle sections and after the melt, I walked it last weekend and saw about half a dozen stockies still darting around above the DQ bridge. Kids were playing hockey on that water for most of the winter, and it's only about 20 inches deep, but the trout still made it.
Plus there was a lot of midge activity. I'm not too worried about it.


Posted on: 3/7 11:14
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