I wonder why we don't have Brown Searun Trouts here in the PNW.

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by Alexander, Nov 26, 2013.

  1. With all the "non-native" fish we have intermingled in our streams and lakes I wonder how come there aren't any Sea-run Browns round these here waters. Does anyone know of a good explanation? Is it food source? I take it our climate is good enough no? Maybe our river systems don't support their spawning habbits? Been curious about this.
    dfl likes this.
  2. I think there are just not many rivers with browns in WA that drain into the salt. It is likely a good thing since the habitats are barely supporting the native fish.
  3. Just a matter of time before the Elwha gets a stocking of brown trout.

    Go Fish and Irafly like this.
  4. And I hope they never happen
    Andrew Lawrence likes this.
  5. Really? What makes you say that?

    Also, Evan why do you say that?

    I'm neither pro or con, just generally wondering.

    Think they are too voracious and would decimate other fish populations even SRC populations?

  6. I would suggest being con (anti).

    They aren't native. We don't need to introduce a species to compete with our native fish. And they'll compete in lots of different ways. Simple as that.
    Bagman and Greg Armstrong like this.
    Bagman likes this.
  8. Even more interesting is why we don't have confirmed, sustained populations of Atlantic salmon. With the rates of losses at net pen operations in Washington and off B.C., there have been hundreds of thousands/millions of introduced fish, but I haven't heard of a multi-generational population that have appeared. I had read that there were some Atlantics found spawning in a Vancouver Island river, but I have not read if the breeding was successful, if the juveniles survived, or if any of the smolts made it back.
    Onto the bigger question, I share the view that we should not introduce non-native species. Not only are there concerns with introduced diseases, etc., but they can disrupt co-evolved ecosystem relationships in unpredictable (usually negative) ways.
    triploidjunkie likes this.
  9. Once upon a time, millions of juvenile Atlantic salmon were stocked all over BC. Between that and the pen escapees, there have been very few sightings of what appear to be adults returning form stocking or juvenile fish that resulted from breeding. The Cowichan seems to come up.

    Here is a timeline, not verified by me, but seems in accord with what I have read before.

  10. We have them -- we just call them bull trout!!

    With our variety of the native anadromous stocks there just may not be much room or niches for a sea-run brown to take advantage off. As pointed out by Cabezon in spite of several efforts going back some 50 years efforts to introduce Atlantic salmon (whether with the direct release of smolts or the inadvertent release of net pen fish) to the region have failed. It is probably a good thing. Adding a fish like sea-run browns (and without a doubt their co-existing resident forms) would be at the expense of one or more of the native species. The fish they would most likely compete directly with (those with the similar life histories and habitat requirements) would be steelhead, bull trout and yes sea-run cutthroat.

    I for one am thankful they are not here; I would not be willing to trade them for our steelhead, bulls and sea-runs.

  11. I wasn't looking to take a pro or con stance, I was simply chillin' in my couch after a hard day at work reading up on flies for Sea-run Browns and wondered why we didn't have any here. We have many non-native species here that we're planted/introduced many years ago and it got me thinking if they were ever introduced and simply didn't make it or if it never really came up in someone's mind to bring searun browns to US waters.

    I thoroughly enjoy the SRC action in the salt, I just wish they would be even more strict on SRC regulations. Maybe the average fish would grown even bigger if they did. The whole 14" is a keeper rule in the rivers is a bummer when I think about it.
  12. Sorry i seem to have diverted from the OP. There are sea run browns on the West Coast, but like the OP noted, nothing I ever read about them being in WA. I don't think they are particularly abundant on the few west coast rivers they seem to exist.

    What is really odd, is that one of the sea run populations that probably exists is just to the north of us in BC. It's interesting that they could gain a foothold there, but not in WA. I assume that browns were planted in WA coastal waters at some point.
  13. Hi Alexander,
    It is not a bad question. The literature on introduced species is full of cases where some species was repeatedly accidently or deliberately introduced to an area before it finally got established (including the devastating European rabbits to Australia). There is some hypotheses about what criteria are necessary for establishment, but they don't lend themself to experimental treatments very easily (let's release snow leopards in Olympia National Forest and see if they survive....).
    Certainly, brown trout and Atlantic salmon have established self-sustaining runs in Chile and brown trout and rainbow trout in New Zealand (not sure if they are anadromous in NZ). They can make the jump from their natal waters to invade new habitats. It could be (pure speculation) that our native salmonids still maintain enough of a toe-hold to outcompete/outpredate the Atlantic interlopers.
    Edit. Did a bit more research and one can add Argentina and the Falkland Islands to the range of searun brown trout and there are searun browns in NZ. The evidence for searun rainbows (i.e., steelhead) in New Zealand is a bit more problematic.
    Alexander likes this.
  14. I've also read about possible searun browns in some river in california, but they hadn't verified it yet. I believe it was in a NW flyfishing mag.
  15. The only river on the west coast that I know of that may have a small population of sea-run browns is the Trinity River in California. They have some monsters in that river.
  16. I don't know about sea runs, but there many places to get lake run browns in eastern Washington. They grow pretty big in some of the lakes. I know of some some runs that average well over six pounds.
    Jeff Dodd likes this.
  17. Dmmitall! If we had searun browns here in Western Wa, then there would be no reason to travel elsewhere to find them. Moss would begin to grow on the north sides of our bodies. Not needing to leave this dismal soggy clime, we would all just stay here and mildew!
    In fact, I fear that I am mildewing as I type this!
  18. J
    Brown trout can't HANDLE the mildew
  19. While I would like to chase sea trout (sea run browns) some day, I would not trade them for the NW locals. Not ever.

    I know it is purely a personal choice, but I would take even a lowly "North Fork Firetruck" over any sea trout, if I had to pick one to catch the rest of my days.

    But I am diseased.

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