Also got a nice fatty. Probably the thickest SRC I've caught. Didn't even get a look until I went smaller and sped up the retrieve. Nothing like having the beach all to yourself on Christmas Eve! There's some great fishing out there right now. Happy Holidays!
Well another beautiful day in MA9 yesterday afternoon until the wind came up off shore that is. Man that was cold. Got in about 1 1/2 hrs not a single take. It was sure nice to be back out in the water after a 10 day visit from my daughter and grandson.
I don't even think about mouths of streams, rivers and estuaries. I found out a long time ago that the old saying, "searun cutthroat don't venture more than 1/4 mile from their natal stream," is full of shit.
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.
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.
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.