Keeping Brookies?

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by 10incher, Jul 22, 2013.

  1. 10incher Active Member

    Posts: 210
    Coupeville, Washington
    Ratings: +92 / 0
    I'd like to get individual opinions about this. On the one hand it's a real pretty fish that would be removed from the stream. On the other hand it seems like a goal of the WDFW to cull them in order to help native species. I personally have trouble killing fish in streams in general. But my father in law, who is in my care in my home, would love to eat some trout. I could only do it if I thought it was the ethical thing to do for environmental reasons though. Any opinions?
  2. Rick Todd Active Member

    Posts: 1,859
    Ferndale/Winthrop
    Ratings: +236 / 0
    Where legal, I occasionally bring home a trout as my Mom, who lives on our property, really likes trout. Brook trout tend to overpopulate a stream and are small as a rule. I don't see that you are doing anything that will hurt the trout population, and in fact, you might be helping the remaining trout in the ecosystem have a little less competition for existing food and prime holding lies. Rick
  3. 10incher Active Member

    Posts: 210
    Coupeville, Washington
    Ratings: +92 / 0
    I just couldn't bring myself to kill a native fish in a stream. That's why I specified Brookies. The math is really easy. Suppose there's six good pools per mile on skinny water. And there are five catchable trout per pool. The rest are in from a lake or river for spawning or just dinks. One good fly fisher could empty a mile of stream in a few trips if they were keeping them. Now consider the sheer numbers of fisher persons on our streams. Poachers alone already keep too many fish.
  4. zen leecher aka bill w born to work, forced to fish

    Posts: 3,136
    Moses Lake, WA
    Ratings: +959 / 1
    If the brookies looked to be well fed it means there's limited spawning access. If they are snakey and have big heads.... break out the frying pan as there's too many fish for the food source. I do not discriminate against brookies but if there's a lot of them I'm in favor of a fish fry. Same as if there's a lot of rainbows and cutts.
  5. Evan Burck Fudge Dragon

    Posts: 6,438
    Duvall, wa
    Ratings: +1,616 / 2
    I would. They're invasive and are harmful to populations of wild cutthroat and rainbows.
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  6. Brian White Recovering Bugmeister/Troutlandish?

    Still do a few fish fries every summer when we're at the MT property - some creeks around that are filled with brookies. I'll admit that strapping on the ole wicker creel feels a bit weird, but the population of brookies is really healthy and has sustained over the years. And they taste good....
  7. Old Man Just an Old Man

    Posts: 21,594
    Dillon, Mt
    Ratings: +1,648 / 0
    I used to keep fish. My dad liked to eat trout, so when I went fishing I would keep what I caught. Since he passed away over ten years ago I don't keep fish anymore.
  8. Jim Speaker Active Member

    Posts: 2,210
    Mill Creek, WA
    Ratings: +507 / 0
    I give a resounding thumbs up to taking brookies. Help out the native cutties and rainbows. Nothing wrong with bonking a fish, as long as it's not a wild, native fish, and of course assuming the regs allow it.
    Tony Abaloney likes this.
  9. 10incher Active Member

    Posts: 210
    Coupeville, Washington
    Ratings: +92 / 0
    I know your talking about "open" waters. The WDFW clearly wants them returned to water via the sewer system. The bag limit for brooks is five of any size It's been so long since I killed a fish in a stream though. It's going to be weird. And tasty.

    My father in law is a big Viking with a thick Scandinavian accent. He would like to have trout lightly smoked and served along side baked apples, a smelly, soft cheese and Danish pumpernickel... I'm in!
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  10. golfman44 Coho Queen

    Posts: 1,639
    Kirkland
    Ratings: +987 / 0
    I've heard from people on this very forum who just throw them on the banks to die.
    Kent Lufkin likes this.
  11. 10incher Active Member

    Posts: 210
    Coupeville, Washington
    Ratings: +92 / 0
    That's a shameful waste! And possibly illegal. It certainly is in California. I haven't run across that rule in the Washington regs yet, but I'm going to look for it now.
  12. Brookie_Hunter aka Dave Hoover

    Posts: 1,346
    Phinney Ridge, Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +117 / 0
    I should whack more brookies than I do which is hardly any...I might keep one or two a year but I'm all for harvesting them whenever and where ever they are. But for those who fish the SF of the Snoqualmie, they've got to be 10 inches to keep and the bag limit is just two there unless you get them in a trib that has them then the above applies. But not too many 10"+ brookies running around up there from my experience so not too many to keep even if you wanted.
  13. scottr Active Member

    Posts: 446
    Chasing trout and birds
    Ratings: +104 / 0
    Bonk and eat. The native rainbows and cutts will thank you.
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  14. Mike Munro Member

    Posts: 67
    Bellevue, WA
    Ratings: +30 / 0
    Wow, I didn't even know this was an issue to consider. Personally I think brookies are some of the more beautiful trout, regardless of whether they're native or not, so I'd have a hard time bonkin' them. That being said, I can understand the bigger picture argument in favor of culling. I was thrilled to bring a few of them to hand the other day, and tried my hardest to unhook and return them to the water as quickly as possible. As Brookie_Hunter points out, they'd have to be at least 10 inches in order to keep. So until I land that monster, I'm going to keep appreciating and releasing them. But maybe now with just a smidge of doubt in the back of my mind...
  15. Daryle Holmstrom retiredfishak

    Posts: 2,572
    Mount Vernon, WA
    Ratings: +105 / 0
    Brook trout aren't trout but Char
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  16. Pat Lat Mad Flyentist

    Posts: 1,042
    Des Moines
    Ratings: +764 / 0
    Our brook trout may be wild, but not native. so take a break mid day and throw them in a foil package on the fire and call it lunch
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  17. Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

    Posts: 7,136
    Not sure
    Ratings: +1,224 / 0
    Kudos to all who quite rightly recognize that brook trout were introduced prior to a full understanding of their extremely negative impact on native species. WDFW forbids brook trout from being stocked in any public waters for good reason. Brookies outcompete native coastal cutthroat and rainbows for available food and outreproduce them thanks to their wider tolerance of available spawning conditions (primarily in lakes).

    Lakes full of 6-7 year old brookies that are the same number of inches long with big heads and snakelike bodies are a testimony to wrongheaded decisions almost a century ago to introduce them into our waters. While in some fisheries, native species (particularly coastal cutts) are able to retain a toehold against the brook trout onslaught, some fishers I know do indeed toss them up on the bank to die. It's not illegal and there's a sound ethical justification for doing so.

    K
  18. Mike Munro Member

    Posts: 67
    Bellevue, WA
    Ratings: +30 / 0
    Eeesh, the plot thickens. Thanks for the input, Kent. I guess I'd bonk a brookie if it was the right thing to do for conservation, so here's my question: do I have an ethical obligation to remove a little 6 inch dink that I pull out of the SF regardless of whether the regulations state that I can't "keep" anything under 10 inches?
  19. Brookie_Hunter aka Dave Hoover

    Posts: 1,346
    Phinney Ridge, Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +117 / 0

    You might have an ethical obligation but it's against the law unfortunately. :eek: I've been wanting to recommend to WDFW that they set a no size limit on brook trout anywhere they inhabit and rid the conflict that's in the regs for the waters like the SF.
    Kent Lufkin likes this.
  20. scottr Active Member

    Posts: 446
    Chasing trout and birds
    Ratings: +104 / 0
    My favorite western river (the best river I have ever fished & no I'm not going to name it) used to have 16"-20" bows and cutts that you could sight fish to all day with attractor patterns. Recently it has gone downhill as the stream gets less angler pressure now so the brookies that were introduced in the 1900s by a group of Boston fat cats have taken over and the native fishery is in major decline.

    Brook Trout are a gorgeous fish but don't belong in the west.
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