Interesting article: Why Montana went wild

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Chris Johnson, Jun 19, 2014.

  1. Chris Johnson

    Chris Johnson Member: Native Fish Society

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  2. GAT

    GAT Dumbfounded

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    It was this fish biologists study that made me wonder why the ODF&W couldn't do the same thing. It took me years and meeting a lot of biologists (one was a fishing buddy) before I realized that Oregon is dedicated to the hatchery system and harvest. They are not interested in switching to wild trout in the least.
     
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  3. Chris Johnson

    Chris Johnson Member: Native Fish Society

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    Yes, it is hard to convince people that given a chance mother nature can do it way better than us.
     
  4. freestoneangler

    freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

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    It helps that the fisheries they have do not have a huge price tag on their heads and that the state has 1/7th the number of people. Do agree with you that mother nature can do a better job... but not likely when factors like this continue to go unchanged.
     
  5. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

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    That Montana work definitely had far reaching effects. Prior to the mid-1970s planting of catchable size rainbows was a common practice through out much of Washington. Over the next decade or so that practice was ended on many waters though generally those decisions were met by resistance by many users. Some of that resistance continues to today in some areas.

    Something to remember that for much of Montana the quality resident trout stream fisheries are rainbow and brown trout based fisheries. Both rainbows and browns will wild today are exotics in those waters and in many waters have replaces or severely impacts the native trout; cutthroat and bull trout.

    Curt
     
  6. spfd jason

    spfd jason Member

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    The ODFW field office in Springfield helped sponsor the Trout Study on the McKenzie so at least some of the bios know the rivers can support wild fish. Once they stopped stocking the 5 mile study section 2010, our study results showed around a 300% increase in the number of estimated fish per mile and angler catch rates in just four years. Here is the link to the study with our wrap up results: http://www.mckenzietroutstudy.org/

    We're trying to spread the word so other agencies take note of these amazing results. Also looking to publish an article with TU and/or the local paper and/or another publication.
     
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  7. bakerite

    bakerite Active Member

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    I wish they would look at some of the rivers over here in NE Oregon. We have a number of small rivers with native redbands that could be just like the smaller Montana rivers....great fishing for nice sized fish if they would just let them have a chance to grow up. The norm here is a five fish limit with bait allowed because that's the way it's always been. When I wrote a letter to the biologist asking if they would consider changing some regulations they told me that they had no studies, so they don't know if the fish would get to a good size (isn't that their job) and that I would have to basically write a petition and get a bunch of local people to support it to change regulations. In other words...they don't know if the fishing would improve with different regulations and don't care about preservation of native trout populations.
     
  8. David Dalan

    David Dalan 69°19'15.35" N 18°44'22.74" E

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    I agree it is long past time that Oregon and Washington end harvest on fluvial trout populations. Too many people, too little good habitat. The days of little Freddy feeding the family dinner from the local creek should be over.
     
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  9. Kyle Smith

    Kyle Smith DBA BozoKlown406

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    I tried bringing this article up on a Northeast forum, and all I received was snarls. I am convinced that wild brook trout would do very well in the small rivers of the Mid-Atlantic, if it weren't for put-and-take regulations. If only the majority of fishermen (license buyers) weren't addicted to 16-22" zombie hatchery rainbows. Jersey trout don't taste that great, even in the pretty part of the state.
     
  10. Chris Johnson

    Chris Johnson Member: Native Fish Society

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  11. GAT

    GAT Dumbfounded

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    Jason, I'm aware of Ziller's study in regards to McKenzie. It simply proves that Oregon could go the same way as Montana if the ODF&
    W really wanted to replace hatcheries with wild fisheries.

    That isn't going to happen.

    Freestone is correct. When Montana curbed planting in favor of wild trout, the population was very small and anglers were more prone to go with the flow for larger trout.

    I don't believe that can happen in Washington or Oregon. The very thought of closing down hatcheries, requiring ranchers to fence cattle away from rivers and convincing the harvest folks they'll need to wait a few years before they can start killing trout again is far fetched.

    Believe me, when I first started flyfishing and read the Montana, Madison study and the results, I was all for Oregon going the same direction. So yup, the McKenzie study is great and I hope it will have an influence in regards to planting rivers in Oregon but I'm afraid it won't. I don't think it will ever go beyond a limited stretch of the McKenzie.

    Hopefully, I'm wrong.
     
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  12. spfd jason

    spfd jason Member

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    Forgot to add that I fished the section right below the study section on Sunday and Monday (nice cloudy weather after weeks of sun) and had two fantastic days with many 14-16" native redsides to hand. Lost a couple larger ones too!

    Gene, you're correct in that the hatcheries won't go away. But we may be able to convince the powers that be that some streams can be managed differently with good results. Not every river/creek has to be a kill zone.

    To our knowledge, this is also the most (only?) complete data set of its kind. Few rivers have eliminated hatchery fish in the past few decades and no multi-year studies have been done.
     
  13. Old Man

    Old Man Just an Old Man (NFR)

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    I can remember when the fish limit in Washington was 16 fish. People would follow the Hatchery trucks around when they planted fish in the streams. They would sit there with bait and catch their limit.

    I like it here in Montana when you catch fish out of small skinny water the fish are fat and feisty.
     
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  14. silvercreek

    silvercreek Active Member

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  15. GAT

    GAT Dumbfounded

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    Jason, you're probably correct in regards to the McKenzie study but for me, it was a validation of the original Madison study.

    I do believe there is some studies done in regards to hatchery steelhead having a negative effect on wild steelhead and most likely, that was the inspiration for the Mckenzie trout study.

    This subject has been around for so many decades, I'm actually surprised it took this long for a biologist to put it together.... actually, they must have.

    The Montana study convinced me. That's all I needed. And now that I think about it, The ODF&W stopped planting the Metolius years and years and years ago. I thought it was common knowledge that hatchery fish had a negative effect on wild trout. I guess they thought they needed more proof so they conducted another study on a different river.

    Anyway, I'll hope for the best but have learned that when it comes to the decisions of the ODF&W, I plan for the worse.