Last August rain...

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corlay
Posts: 345
Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2009 4:34 pm
Location: Binghamton, NY

Last August rain...

Post by corlay » Fri Apr 26, 2019 2:12 pm

...really helped the trout population survive the Summer, I think.

Out fishing so far season, there just seems to be more trout in the water than I'm used to.

Was out on a favorite low-gradient Brookie stream yesterday.
Caught a healthy amount of 1st year "fingerling" Brookies,
so reproduction is flourishing.

Also, caught more Browns in this section than I'm used to.
A few wild, but mostly stocked "holdovers".
Miles downstream sections of this stream receive annual stockings of Browns - the headwater Brookies are stream-born, however.

I'm curious, since I didn't catch any "mature" brookies,
if the migrating Browns have pushed the brookies further upstream?
I do plan to find out, next time I can fish this stream in the coming weeks.
Wondering if the ample water supply last Fall allowed the browns to comfortably occupy this headwaters section,
and chased the Brookies away...

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Eperous
Posts: 5031
Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2010 3:20 pm
Location: Catskills

Re: Last August rain...

Post by Eperous » Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:01 am

Hi Corlay... a couple comments....

First, I believe anytime we have a wet summer/fall, it benefits trout... less stress due to low warm flows, less predation from birds and mammals, and if the flows are high enough--- fewer trout caught/killed by anglers... :o all good stuff, for the following trout season...

As for brown trout encroaching on brookies, I do think that's an issue... there are a couple/few Esopus Creek watershed tributaries that back in the 70s and 80s were mostly brook trout streams, but now browns rule the roost... maybe less acid rain, maybe warming stream temps are allowing browns to move further up into watersheds... and, for several years now I have helped USGS fishery biologists shocked the upper reaches of the Neversink watershed, both the East and West Branches which are primarily wild brook trout waters... they have been doing this for over 20 years now, so they can see and understand fish population trends... each new year the USGS folks find wild browns further up in the watershed than prior years, and I'm starting to catch them where I never did in the 90s....

I believe our streams are changing and brook trout are in retreat, and being overtaken by wild browns in places...

My 2 cents... :|

Ed

wiFlyFisher
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Joined: Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:15 pm
Location: Wisconsin
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Re: Last August rain...

Post by wiFlyFisher » Sat Apr 27, 2019 4:43 pm

Eperous wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:01 am
Hi Corlay... a couple comments....

First, I believe anytime we have a wet summer/fall, it benefits trout... less stress due to low warm flows, less predation from birds and mammals, and if the flows are high enough--- fewer trout caught/killed by anglers... :o all good stuff, for the following trout season...

As for brown trout encroaching on brookies, I do think that's an issue... there are a couple/few Esopus Creek watershed tributaries that back in the 70s and 80s were mostly brook trout streams, but now browns rule the roost... maybe less acid rain, maybe warming stream temps are allowing browns to move further up into watersheds... and, for several years now I have helped USGS fishery biologists shocked the upper reaches of the Neversink watershed, both the East and West Branches which are primarily wild brook trout waters... they have been doing this for over 20 years now, so they can see and understand fish population trends... each new year the USGS folks find wild browns further up in the watershed than prior years, and I'm starting to catch them where I never did in the 90s....

I believe our streams are changing and brook trout are in retreat, and being overtaken by wild browns in places...

My 2 cents... :|

Ed
It has been documented many times that trout move long distances. Since brown trout were already in the streams back in the 90's why now do they rule and not back in the 90s? Remember too, brook trout are part of the char family and does that have any effect on the change?

My guess is pollution, water temps. etc. have made the stream sections more suitable today for the brown trout and not the brook trout.

I have been deep into studying aquatic insects, especially Trichoptera, and many biologists are suggesting the insect populations are also changing due to changes in the local enviroment, including possibly: pollution, droughts, water temps., etc.

Brook trout were everywhere in northern Wisconsin before the logging days. They seemed to be dissappearing ever since then. Does that hold true for the Catskill streams as well?

Theroe
Posts: 702
Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2016 2:46 pm
Location: New York City

Re: Last August rain...

Post by Theroe » Sun Apr 28, 2019 2:36 am

Browns eat brookies
I witnessed this in the hatchery many times ......
“Time to go fishing”

St.Froid
Posts: 221
Joined: Sat Sep 10, 2016 9:14 am
Location: North of Caribou east of the Allagash

Re: Last August rain...

Post by St.Froid » Sun Apr 28, 2019 7:06 am

Poor logging practices certainly don't help. Northern Maine's fish population has suffered greatly because of them. Legislation doesn't help as enforcement is toothless. It's far easier for the logging companies to pay the fines for riparian and habitat destruction than it is to change practices. I've witnessed significant changes in the Brookie/Salmon dynamic here. Where once the Salmon ruled, the Brookies are now making solid inroads. Several streams I've fished since childhood were Salmon country, no trout were taken from them, ever. Then, starting about two years ago I started catching small Brookies where none had ever existed before. I was shocked.

I'm not catching any fewer Salmon than I did in the past so I can't say the Salmon population is falling off. I know, that isn't very scientific but it is an observation from someone who spends an inordinate amount of time around these waters. If I were catching Brookies in just one stream where they were never found before I might shrug it off to the whims of our piscatorial gods, but it isn't. I get phone calls now: "Hey! Guess what I just caught out of so and so stream?!" Like Arlo Guthrie suggested, it's a movement. A most welcome one, too.

Our watersheds up here are constantly under the threat of increased logging or outrageous mining proposals; to see any population increase of the Brookie is something to celebrate.

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