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Re: PFBC Commissioners and Tailwater Wild Trout-Article

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I think that smallies prefer water less than 80 F. In my experience with lakes in Maine, they're much more active in shallow water when the temperature is around 75 degrees.

Colder water holds more oxygen (unless it's really cold), and that's a major benefit for smallmouth habitat overall, even if the releases would push their preferred range downstream from the source for a few miles. It's also good for the invertebrates.

I fished the Potomac around Seneca for a short while last evening, wading wet. That water is warm (and very low, with a lot of exposed weed beds). I didn't have my thermometer with me, but it had to have been well over 80 degrees. I did notice some surface activity that seemed to be from adult-size bass, but not that much. I think smallmouth bass prefer deep water and shade when it gets that warm, and they're active in the shallows mostly at night and in the early morning. To the extent that they show up there at all. That's been my experience, anyway.

Posted on: 2012/8/9 13:56

Edited by barbless on 2012/8/9 14:24:51


Re: PFBC Commissioners and Tailwater Wild Trout-Article

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Quote:

rrt wrote:
I can't really answer your questions, though smallies around here seem to favor water that gets into the 70's and 80's, water that is too warm for trout. I just wonder what the warmwater enthusiasts in Huntingdon and elsewhere who frequent the warm, running water below the dam will think and how they'll react. We trout enthusiasts aren't the only fishermen out there. This could open a can of worms that might be pretty unpleasant.


For river smallmouth I think when temps get into the 80s that's quickly moving out of their optimal comfort zone. I think the 70s are more optimal for them and they're still very active in the 60s. On the Lehigh I think you would have a great mix of fabulous wild trout water along with great smallie fishing, just as almost exists now. The trout would dominate the upper area of the gorge but as you moved downriver you would get a great mix of trout/smallies and then eventually giving way to predominantly smallies. The economic impact of an optimal wild trout fishery here would be outstanding and fit exactly within the increasing recreational lean of most of the local towns economies now. If you add a very good year-round wild trout fishery to the hiking, biking, and rafting that already exists you would really see a very robust, diverse and sustainable economy From a water recreation aspect by basically just catering to the rafting enthusiasts these towns are missing out. Trout anglers, expecially flyfishers, tend to stay for several days to a week per trip and spend money locally where they're fishing. Rafters are typically here for a day, some may visit a restaurant when they're done but I think most head right home, maybe getting gas/food at a convenience store or fast food joint.

I'm not exactly sure of the price tage but I think the cost to modify the release tower at the dam would likely pay for itself within 5-10yrs.

Posted on: 2012/8/9 13:58
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Re: PFBC Commissioners and Tailwater Wild Trout-Article

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Quote:

Swattie87 wrote:
In regards to the concern over the Smallies...there is always a lot of talk of their optimum temperature being in the mid 80's for activity/metabolism, and that is probably likely the case. IMO however, Smallmouth fisheries tend to be healthier at lower maximum Summer temps...say in the upper 70's/low 80's. Less DO issues, less algae blooms, less baking of the YOY in the shallows. Sure the fish may grow a little slower, but I think that is overcome by higher survival rates from year to year due to less stress/disease and less freqent DO related small scale fish kills.

Smallmouth are still very active at 75 deg water temp, plenty active to chase and pursue flies or lures aggressively. Heck, the biggest Smallies every year are pulled out of the water prespawn in March/April it seems like. Granted they're not chasing top-waters then, but they still fish pretty well in cooler water.



Related to this theme that moderate temperatures may be better than extremely warm for smallmouth. A friend of mine takes trips to Maine for the smallmouth fishing, which he says is terrific. I imagine it can get pretty warm up there in the summer too, but surely the water temperatures in the rivers that far north must be lower than in our rivers. And the smallmouth thrive there.



Posted on: 2012/8/9 14:03


Re: PFBC Commissioners and Tailwater Wild Trout-Article

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I took the temperature of Maine's Androscoggin River at Leeds a few days ago (just a brief stop, no fishing). 78-79 degrees. The fishing has supposedly been excellent there.

I was fishing nearby lakes- the water there was a little cooler, 74-77 degrees. Got fish nearly every outing, most of them on top. Did most of my fishing from 1 hour before sunset to dark-thirty, and predawn to 7am (before 6am was best.) Just casting off the bank, over rocky drop-offs. I liked using a big Shenk's Sculpin fished dry the most, but everything I put on got action. Biggest hassle was the little sunnies pecking at my flies. I can't help thinking that they tip off the bass that the lure is a fake.

Posted on: 2012/8/9 14:17


Re: PFBC Commissioners and Tailwater Wild Trout-Article

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2006/9/9 22:44
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High 70s-low 80s for smallies I am sure is thriving water for them when it is clean. But those once-preferred temps and the toxic soup that seems to now be the norm on some of our once former 'world-class' fisheries is a whole 'nother story.

Posted on: 2012/8/9 14:22


Re: PFBC Commissioners and Tailwater Wild Trout-Article

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Quote:

vcregular wrote:
High 70s-low 80s for smallies I am sure is thriving water for them when it is clean. But those once-preferred temps and the toxic soup that seems to now be the norm on some of our once former 'world-class' fisheries is a whole 'nother story.


I think you're on the mark. We recently had a warmwater jam on the North Br. Susky and the water was very warm, like bathwater, and visibilty was very poor due to the green stain of the water from I guess was a typical summer algae bloom. Not a smallie to be had amonst 9-10 anglers pounding the water for 6 hours. Whereas on the Lehigh and the Delaware the water is much "cleaner" and smallies hit vigorously in the mid-70s water temps.

Having fished NH quite a bit in college and I fondly recall we did quite well on smallmouth in water temps from the 60s to the upper 70s.

Posted on: 2012/8/9 14:29
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Re: PFBC Commissioners and Tailwater Wild Trout-Article

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Higher water temps than 80 degrees almost certainly make things worse for smallmouth bass when the water is polluted. More oxygen demand, algae blooms, and bacteria and fungal epidemics. And lower resistance to combating infections and parasites on the part of the fish.

The bass in the North Susky were probably in thermal refuges and shaded deep water, if they were anywhere. They may have sought out cooler and cleaner tribs, in fact.

I've always thought of water temps over 80 degrees as more along the lines of largemouth bass habitat. Which is all good with me up to a point, although I prefer smallies. But there's plenty of largemouth habitat around already. And they seem to like approximately zero gradient in rivers, so they almost always keep to the frog water.

Posted on: 2012/8/9 14:31


Re: PFBC Commissioners and Tailwater Wild Trout-Article
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Good news.
I'm an avid bass guy who would like to see the PFBC try out cold water releases from Raystown and the establishment of a trout fishery. There's nearly 100 miles of the Juniata River downstream for us WW guys not to mention the lake itself, Frankstown Branch and LJ upriver. Sure, there's likely to be some protest from local anglers but I'd imagine the enthusiasm statewide from the trout community would be much greater. Definitely worth a try (at all the lakes).

Posted on: 2012/8/9 15:58


Re: PFBC Commissioners and Tailwater Wild Trout-Article

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From aliquippa
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I,second what bingsbaits said about controling the kinzua tailwater , wow what a fisherie that would be, maybe rival the white river in ark ??

Posted on: 2012/8/9 16:17
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Re: PFBC Commissioners and Tailwater Wild Trout-Article

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Wish they would look at the Allegehny res.


Yeah. There's obviously questions there about what the needs of the power station are. It's gonna be pulling water anytime the grid needs it, and I don't think we're gonna have much say over that. And when they get that thing running, they pretty much totally shut down the dam outflows and send it ALL through the generator.

I'm just not close enough to the situation to know details on whether there's any adjustment that could be made. It's not listed in the candidate list. It already IS a tailwater trout fishery. But I think it could be perhaps improved, and the cold water extend much further downstream.

Yes, I think it could potentially rival the White River in Arkansas. It's huge. The lake is huge too and has lots of cold water. It has good fish structure. And there's a ridiculous forage base rivaling lake Erie.

Posted on: 2012/8/9 16:27


Re: PFBC Commissioners and Tailwater Wild Trout-Article

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The Allegheny could be one of the top tailwaters in the world.

Posted on: 2012/8/9 16:35


Re: PFBC Commissioners and Tailwater Wild Trout-Article

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If they try it, I hope you guys are correct, that it will not cause fighting among fishermen. I imagine new "hog troughs" (what they call tailwaters out West) would appeal to many fishermen: fly-fishermen, lure fishermen, and live bait fishermen alike. Anyhow, I hope you people are correct in that it might be a positive thing and would not negatively affect the upper Juniata, which is still a wonderful smallie "factory," according to some guys I know who like to fish there.

Posted on: 2012/8/9 17:37


Re: PFBC Commissioners and Tailwater Wild Trout-Article

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A few guys would complain, no doubt, but I think the impact on bass in the main Juniata would not be so bad. Raystown is only one of the three branches that feed the main J. It won't have as big of an impact on temps as it otherwise might. Currently the Raystown dam is releasing 200cfs, compared to about 300 cfs in the main Juniata at Huntingdon (above the confluence). We certainly won't lose the bass fishery...

Posted on: 2012/8/9 18:08


Re: PFBC Commissioners and Tailwater Wild Trout-Article

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2009/2/11 13:14
From Lehigh Valley
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I have to agree about the Kinzua/tailwater my sister at present resides in Warren right around the corner. It is my understanding that they catch some pretty big Trout below the dam in the tailrace. I have yet to fish it, this fall for sure.

Posted on: 2012/8/9 18:53


Re: PFBC Commissioners and Tailwater Wild Trout-Article

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2006/9/13 10:18
From LV
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Just what we need more invasive fish where they could be creating fisheries that hold large brook trout. A couple already hold them.
Many of the Maine Rivers and Stream get too warm for summer fishing for trout, or at least early morning and late evening fishing at best. There are places where the smallie fishing is good in Maine, but I wouldn't go there to fish for smallies in Maine. That's not why I go there.
Msallies have been introduced by bucket biologiests all over Maine, and there's no getting rid of them, they are a threat to the trout and salmon.

Posted on: 2012/8/9 21:48
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It's time to stop stocking all wild trout streams no matter what Classification they are, and time to eradicate brown trout in some of our limestone streams and re-establish brookies in them.



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