Great Time of the Year for Searuns

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by miyawaki, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. Don Freeman Freeman

    Posts: 1,253
    Olympia, WA
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    In such a small sample, the only definite pattern was for spawning. It turns out that 60% of the fish in the area spawn in one drainage. That's just the kind of info that the biologists were hoping to find. It makes it pretty obvious which rivers need the most protection. And no, I won't say where it is.
    Bob Triggs likes this.
  2. daveypetey Active Member

    Posts: 274
    University District, Seattle, WA
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    Oh you only tagged them for the spawn? Not an entire year of movement?
  3. Don Freeman Freeman

    Posts: 1,253
    Olympia, WA
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    The fish were tracked until the transponders ran down, in some cases over a year. During that time many of the animals moved throughout the area independently, often covering several miles. The sampling size was limited mostly by the number of transponder units available, volunteers who could catch a range of sizes, and a biologist/vet to implant the units. ESC, WDFW and the Squaxin tribe contributed resources to make the study possible, but face it, nobody is throwing a lot of scarce dollars at a non-commercial species.

    So the trout cruised the area according to their whim in search of food much of the year. When spawning time comes around though, everyone gets the memo, and those which are going to spawn that year travel to and from their streams over several months, creating a classic bell curve.

    So what was learned included the frequency and distances of sea run travel, where they spawn, when, and how many survived the trip into fresh water. Not a bad return on investment for the resources expended. With more fish tagged over a longer period, there's probably a lot to be gleaned from what now appears to be "random" movement, but until somebody catches a leprechaun the researchers are limited to smaller studies of this scale.
    miyawaki, Mark Mercer and Bob Triggs like this.
  4. daveypetey Active Member

    Posts: 274
    University District, Seattle, WA
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    Fascinating study. Thank you for doing it.

    So movement around the sound was fairly extensive? Did they cross the sound? Or were they always withing a specified distance from the shore?
  5. Don Freeman Freeman

    Posts: 1,253
    Olympia, WA
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    When actively feeding, cutts are found along the shore where most anglers expect them to be, as well as on seams, points etc. So, people have intuited that's the only places cutthroat occur. In fact, they cross the sound, explore streams, dive deep, hold hundreds of yards from shore and pretty much go and do anything they want. If there's a lesson for anglers, it's to experiment, and don't believe everything the experts tell you. Fortunately, I'm not one so I get to catch lots of big trout by doing it wrong.
  6. daveypetey Active Member

    Posts: 274
    University District, Seattle, WA
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    GREAT INFO. Love'd this thread.

    Were you able to observe any schooling behavior?
  7. Preston Active Member

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    Don,
    Are the results of this study available anywhere? I have a Powerpoint presentation on sea-run cutthroat that I've been giving for a couple of years now and some of what you've said doesn't seem to agree with some of the things that are commonly accepted even in the (admittedly sparse) scientific publications. I'd like to make my presentation as accurate as I possibly can, so any help would be appreciated.
  8. Dipnet aka Tim Hartman

    Posts: 901
    Silverdale, WA
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    I'm not sure if this was the study Don was involved in but I found this 2008 paper from an Evergreen student which makes for very interesting reading (although my head began to swim a bit with all the data listed! ;))

    http://archives.evergreen.edu/masterstheses/Accession86-10MES/Haque_SRMESThesis2008.pdf

    I sorta enjoy reading a bit of scientific research on my favorite fish but I more enjoy prowling the beaches in search of them and thinkin' of them as a very mysterious, intriguing quarry which always seems to be one step ahead of me!! :)
  9. jemers New Member

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    Your City ,State
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  10. wadin' boot Donny, you're out of your element...

    Posts: 2,016
    Wallingford, WA
    Ratings: +1,559 / 0
    I have tied some lucky charms to a hook with no luck. Fished under rainbows and with unicorns, still nothing. Set traps in green pastures beside still waters. Nothing. Those rainbow-surfing leprechauns are sure tricky to catch. I've had the same luck catching steelhead.

    Bob Triggs likes this.
  11. Don Freeman Freeman

    Posts: 1,253
    Olympia, WA
    Ratings: +206 / 0
    These creatures are selective feeders. Try a sign hat says "Free Whiskey". It's funny when I say that because I'm 3/4 Irish.


    And yes, Sara's paper contains the data I referred to, and a whole lot more.
    Bob Triggs likes this.
  12. daveypetey Active Member

    Posts: 274
    University District, Seattle, WA
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    I've neither caught nor seen fish in many outings over the past few weeks. Anyone seeing any action?
  13. Eyejuggler Beech Nut

    Posts: 617
    Tacoma
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    Yesterday in MA 13 had an Ok session 3 hours from low slack. Squimp for the win, one SRC and some rezzies.
    BUT, it has been seriously slow, gotta be at the right place/right time deal. I have hit up alot of the local (Tacoma) haunts and I have had a dismal time, however, like you, I expect one day it will go nuts! I am patiently waiting for that day :)

    [IMG]
    Mark Mercer likes this.
  14. Mark Mercer Member

    Posts: 1,135
    port orchard, wa
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    Way to go Dave!! I've been hitting a few beaches lately, but haven't done very well either, this time of year anything I get is nice.
    Eyejuggler likes this.