- Feb 1, 2021
Any thoughts on why there aren't more naturally reproducing wild rainbows? Why are they usually small when there are? Seems like it's all about brown, brook trout mostly. Or am I very wrong.
When fished fall stocked fish more often, I recall many of them expelling the white stuff when they were handled.All the other valid points raised aside, I wonder what percentage of stocked rainbows are actually males?
If there were more males stocked, would that make a difference? Do we even want that?
Most of the males I tend to catch are brood stock sent out to pasture in PA it seems.
But they are spring spawners aren't they? Isn't that one of the issues? And the ones that do go wild adapt to fall spawners from what I have heard.When fished fall stocked fish more often, I recall many of them expelling the white stuff when they were handled.
So I would say quite a few.
So if spring spawners were introduced more widely in PA, do you think wild bows would be more widespread? Is that the implication?The subjects of limited RT reproduction in Pa and temperature sensitivity come up periodically here. Yesterday, I happened to be doing some research and stumbled across two scientific publications that refreshed my memory. Here is the long and short of it: Primary limits on reproduction...www.paflyfish.com
Farther down in the thread you will find that I answered the NW Pa population and Smoky Mtn question as well….spring spawners.
I believe hatchery fish are fall spawners. If I am reading the other posts and linked posts correctly, wild bows in PA are spring spawners.But they are spring spawners aren't they? Isn't that one of the issues? And the ones that do go wild are fall spawners from what I have heard.
Yeah, I could def have the whole thing reversed, but I am curious what Mike says about that too. It just seems like most stocked fish and the vast majority of holdovers I catch are female.I believe hatchery fish are fall spawners. If I am reading the other posts and linked posts correctly, wild bows in PA are spring spawners.
That makes sense. Another reason to regulate club stockings more closely. In my experience, the best looking bows and the majority of males also appear to be different fish than those provided by the Commish.The reason there are few populations in PA is that the strain of rainbow raised and stocked by the PFBC is a highly domesticated strain that tends not to establish wild populations. Which is a good thing because wild rainbows can out-compete native brook trout far into the headwaters, as they do in the Smoky Mountains.
In other states, their hatcheries have different strains of rainbow trout, that can establish wild populations.
The rainbow populations in PA were mostly introduced through private stockings. A few streams in NW PA have populations that are usually attributed to stocking by a federal hatchery.
The reason there are few rainbow trout populations in PA is not because of stream characteristics. There are rainbow trout in both limestone and freestone streams in PA, and streams similar to ours in other states in our region.
I think it’s likely enough that I wouldn’t want to try it unless I was attempting to or didn’t object to creating a wild RT fishery.So if spring spawners were introduced more widely in PA, do you think wild bows would be more widespread? Is that the implication?
Given the opportunity, the “Commish” RT will look exactly like a wild RT once the fingerlings are in the stream for a few months. You will see this for yourself if fishing a fingerling stocked stream. The PFBC uses the same brood stock to produce the fingerlings as it does for the adults. When the Tully was fall fingerling stocked in the 1980’s/1990’s the fish looked to be wild bymthe time the spring fishery rolled around.That makes sense. Another reason to regulate club stockings more closely. In my experience, the best looking bows and the majority of males also appear to be different fish than those provided by the Commish.
I can’t speak with direct knowledge regarding RT in those rivers. I suspect, however, that if there is successful reproduction occurring within those rivers rather than in the tribs the RT must be finding a cold water source during the times when the rivers are warm and the productive redds must be in micro-habitats that don’t get too cold in winter.There aren't a lot of streams I fish where wild RT are possible. Mike, I read your old post and the two rivers I can think of far exceed the temperature requirements you outlined. For sure, the Delaware contains wild RT and temperatures exceed 75 for extended periods most years. The other is the Lehigh where I suspect that we have small pockets of wild RT. The temps on that system usually get into the upper 70's / low 80's during the summer.
How the streams dramatically differ is what I was find interesting. Lehigh has many more riffle sections that aerate the water all summer.
The Delaware is quite gentle in flow with virtually no riffle sections, feeders dry up in summer but there might be more spring seepages. The same rainbow strain lives in the neversink and esopus. The only similarity is that the fish were a pure strain that learned to survive in the conditions they were handed. I see most of what the PFBC stocks to be multiple generations deep in hatchery life and ill suited for survival.