Quantity Vs Quality

Discussion in 'Stillwater' started by Stonefish, Mar 10, 2012.

  1. tkww

    tkww Member

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    I'm not a trained biologist, but the spawn-or-die is what I've heard as well. There was fee lake in oregon that added spawning water so the fish would grow bigger. I don't remember if they pumped water up to create the stream, or if they created a bed for an existing spring, etc.
     
  2. Stonefish

    Stonefish Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater

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    tkww,
    I'm far from being a biologist as well, lol.
    What I was told is if the fish aren't able to deposit their milt or eggs, it gets absorbed back into their bodies and reduces their lifespan or causes them to die.
    Smalma (Curt) or anyone else care to chime in on this?
    Thanks,
    SF
     
  3. pond monkey

    pond monkey Active Member

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    I'll try not to be controversial..... I could be wrong about all of this, but I'll say it anyway, just to add something to this htread, feel free to correct me .... I think that the term "kamloop rainbow" is not useful. There is no such thing per say...... just various regional strains that are from all over BC.. The Blackwater River for example is in the Cariboo region and those fish don't grow very big in that river ( a 20 incher would be about it and I believe and they are very uncommon) They will grow much bigger in a rich lake though....... All the strains are Oncorhynchus mykiss .... only with very minor differences that are not genetic..... even the scale size/count is a function of water temp (environmental) at least that is my understanding....
    BC has been using more and more all female triploids (AF3N) in recent years as the female trips do not go through any physical changes as they "ripen" ( no eggs are produced). Males develop sperm (though sterile) and change color and maybe develop a kype too..... all of which zaps energy and erodes the overall quality of the fish .... females remain looking real pretty...so the AF3N are a considered a more primo fish.....living the longest ect... Producing AF3Ns is a significantly more costly as I understand......
    my two cents.....PM
     
  4. bakerite

    bakerite Active Member

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    Hey Mark: last move for Phillips is to add Tiger Trout, hoping they will eat some of the perch. It is a real shame what was done to that lake. The difference in 5 inches in a trout is huge. Last year my son and I were fishing in Theif Valley reservoir, a high dessert reservoir that grows big fish here. It has bass, perch, bluegill and cats too, but they drain it every few years when we have a poor snow pack years which keeps the spiny ray population low. They dump in a 30,000 rainbows in the fall and some come in from the river. Any way we had kept a couple of the typical 18 inch footballs which are they two year old fish in this lake when I got a big one on. It was about 24 or 25 inches long and was probably 4 times the weight of the other fish. I would love to find a "quality" lake where you had a honest chance at a fish like that every few couple of days of fishing.
     
  5. Stonefish

    Stonefish Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater

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    Pond Monkey,
    Good info and no concerns about being controvsial if you are referring to my personal distain of the current WDFW triploid program.
    I understand the states desire to have people catch bigger fish. In a put and take lake I have no issue with it.
    If they are going to plant them in selective or quality lakes, I'd like to see them at least try planting some of them as fingerlings. I understand predation can be a problem, but I'd like them to at least try it in a few lakes. Those that do survive and grow up in the lake will turn out to be a far superior to the concrete tank raised fish they are producing and planting now.

    I'm assuming the female triploids they are planting in BC are planted as fingerlings, correct?

    SF
     
  6. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

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    Stonefish

    Good topic! To see more quality fish I think looking at 3 factors might be of value - the stock of rainbow planted, the stocking straty, and management/rules on the water.

    When it comes to production type waters I not much of a fan of the triploids. When they have to "fight" to make a living they don't seem to grow or survival well. At least in western Washington generall so very low carry-over rates for them. For decades the largest fish I have seen in various public lakes have been "normal" rainbows. It is those carry-overs are the back bone of any trophy waters. So the first step to more quality fish is moving away from the triploids. The Kamloop trout were mentioned. In the 1970s the State experimented with them in the Crab Creek qualtiy lakes and found they did no better than the standard "game department rainbows of the day. It seemed in that environment conditions negated any advantage that stock might posses.

    The cold reality is that in Washington it is the rare exception that the lakes will be single species waters. There seems to be bass and other spiny ray fish in most wate. This resuls in the need to change in planting strategies from the old spring fry planting programs. That means planting larger and more expensive fis On many of our lakes the sping period is the time of year that we see the greatest growth. As a result planting high densities of new fish in the spring slows or stops the growth of the older fish in the lake. Planting a lighter densities of fish in the spring and perhaps following up with a second fall will result moe consistent growth of any carry-over fish. Such a strategy will result in fewer fish but more of those larger fish - it will always be a balancing act. As folks have seen with brown trout adding another species (and cutthroat are another) to the lake often will produce a few exceptionally large fish though again over all catch rates will go down.

    While on the surface quality lake management would seem to be a no brainer experiecne does not seem to support that approach if the goal is to produce the largest trout. Yes quality management will produce a fishery with good catch rates of decent sized fish the vast majority of really nice rainbows I have seen or caught have come from regular management waters. The surviving fish in those waters have little competition as a reult continue to grow. A classic example was Lone lake prior to become a "quality" water. Once the open dy crowd left pressure drop and surprising numbers of very nice fish were being caught by those few anglers the fish it. Good numbers in excess of 20 inches with 5 to 8# fish being taken by the regulars. It was not unheard of to take a couple of fish in excess of 24 inches in an outing. With the regulation change the season catch rates increased but at a cost of those big studs. That is the classic dilemma for the managers and the anglers themselves. This is less of biological issues and more of a social one that has some very real bilogical side boards on what is possible.

    The question goes back to the angler - how many fish in your catch would you give up to catch a larger fish more often? An what do you consider to be a large rainbow?

    Tight lines
    Curt
     
  7. Tim Lockhart

    Tim Lockhart Active Member

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    Good discussion and some great factual stuff presented so far. I'll speak in more editorial terms here since there's sort of an end game to consider in all of this. First off, I'm an advocate of fewer stocks when it comes to most places I fish. I won't back this with any scientific evidence, but from a lot of hours out there angling and observing it's painfully obvious that smaller populations would greatly benefit both the quality of stocks and fishing. Again, not everywhere but in surprisingly many lakes and ponds. I've also spent a bit of time pursuing and fishing in "understocked" and lightly pressured waters and there's no comparison. You'd laugh at the difference, and there's quite a bit of it for anyone wishing to do research and spend time exploring (that's not many). Furthermore I have sought out trophy sized fish that were stocked small and properly aged in their environment. That involved even more research, more rolls of the dice and a lot of faith but the fish were there and I wouldn't trade the experience for anything.

    So my concern surrounds the meaning of a trophy sized fish and what it takes to hunt one. If we manage toward more mainstream attainment, such that anyone can put in at a known "trophy hole," and yank one out for having made the drive, aren't we just endloading our bats to pump up the home-run count, or making everything a par 3 so virtually anyone is capable of a hole-in-one? What then does a 27" brown become? I'm not necessarily calling it wrong to manage a fishery that way, just encouraging some thought about what it means to take one of those fish when it's that difficult vs. something more contrived. After some of the experiences I've had there's no way I want one of those handed to me. Understood if it's not a popular sentiment around here but I think there's merit in reserving certain rewards for the few willing to go the extra mile for them.

    That may sound like I don't want anything to change but I'm more in favor of smaller stocking count, as mentioned above, along with a massive quantity of C&R/restricted waters vs. building a trophy rich fishery. But as I see it that speaks more to "decent" sized fish that take just a little more to connect with than showing up in April, hurling a bugger or buzzer out there, and hanging on. Decent might mean 15, 18 or whatever, but I like having something well over 20 remain well out of reach so that actually taking one is a legitimate cause for celebration. Just my selfish opinion.
     
  8. Drifter

    Drifter Active Member

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    Baker I have spent some time at thief valley also but mostly 4x4ing down to the river below! I've heard in the last 5 years or so that the res. is doing very good and am trying to plan a trip in may to fish it. The last person I know that fished it - fished with his dad and uncle from baker and trolled, when my friend caught about a 15 incher that was hooked by the lip he threw it back ;-o yikes did he get his ass chewed for it and was told that's not what they were their for. they were their to kill they're limits! I have spent many years in the La grande baker area from work since 1980. And love the area.

    I also have read about the tiger trout for philips and ODFW using Idaho's nets to net the perch while they are in spawn to help the res. that lake used to be my favorite in the early 80's off social security beach!

    As far as genetics go here is a brood stock cranebow hatchery fish, that I think is only in it's second year at crane. the fall planting so they can live through a winter and be 16 to 20 inches the first year they are fished over makes them very good fish in just 2 years. these two fish are around 24 to 25 inches. the smaller fish would be a first spring fish!





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  9. pond monkey

    pond monkey Active Member

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    Hey Stonefish,
    Yes they would be planting those AF3Ns as fingerlings...I have seen the stocking program change a lot over the nearly dozen years that I have been been going to a particular lake in BC.... They have reduced numbers by nearly one half and half of those are AF3Ns. The result has be "lots of happy anglers."
    Seems like you guys (Wa.) have quite a few "selective " fisheries.....I am envious...I think that if you keep pressuring the State that they will keep experimenting. I don't see much willingness to do that Oregon...
    We are to be moving to Portland area in the fall and I will be joining the "Oregon Fishing Club".... mainly for access to a number of quality, well managed private ponds in the outlying area. I'll need to get a pram....

    PM
     
  10. Drifter

    Drifter Active Member

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    The first year of the brood stock fish they planted 50,000 brood stock plants in the fall to see what would happen. It worked very well so the next year they planted 75,000 then the following year 100,000 and over. the lake is almost 5 miles of prime habitat with it's shallow water - not much over twenty feet. the bass counts and weight went down fast. large mouth before the planting averaged 4 to 6 pounds, when the trout started taken over the bass weigh ins of tournaments went to an average fish of 1 1/2 pound to 2 1/2 pounds and total weights were much - much - lower. even with this many brood stock plants you don't just go to this lake and catch tons of trophy fish! It takes knowledge of the lake and insects and areas to fish to be consistant with catches of big fish. sattelite images-gps-knowing where the rivers dump in and they're channels in the middle of the lake. correct hatch matching, the right weather. It is by far easy! If I had a choice I would rather catch a ton of these fish then pick through a bunch of planted 10 to 14 inch kill fish any day. sorry ford but this is what "TROPHY FISHERY" means to me. there are plenty of other lakes to fish that are not managed correctly. a true trophy fishery should have trophy fish and lots of them - but that is just IMO and respect yours!
     
  11. Irafly

    Irafly Indi "Ira" Jones

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    Lone in the glory days! Back when bass guys would hook up with 26" fish throwing rapalas. I do remember fishing it once pre selective, and I did hook up with one monster, but lost it. That day I ended up with one 13" fish. Now either do to my increased skill or the change in fishery, I catch many more fish, but the biggest I've hit out of there was probably 22". I can't speak for the locals, but I love that fishery now.

    I'll throw one more concept here, what about the Ford? Now granted i know that several of those fish were thrown in there big, but others have grown absolutely massive after being stocked as 6 inters. I guess that goes back to scuds again and a year round growing season.
     
  12. Irafly

    Irafly Indi "Ira" Jones

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    Ford, I like your ideas of people earning their fish or for that matter lucking into their fish. I know that in lakes, I have never landed a huge brown, because I have never put in the effort to catch one. Therefor I don't feel like I deserve one.
     
  13. Drifter

    Drifter Active Member

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    I have fished the surrounding lakes you mention in the portland area and they are not what you would think. they plant them early and most die the next winter because the lakes are not that big. most times they buy larger trout to stock with from private hatcheries. The portland and mt. hood areas are not good fishing areas for large trout, but central oregon is 4 hours away with many trophy trout lakes.

    EAST LAKE- just 2 years ago started a no browns over 16 inches may be kept. they also started planting klamath rainbow brood stock to help with chub problems and these fish should grow large fast and take hold in the lake.

    crane prairie rainbows to 20 pounds

    wickiup browns to over 20 pounds with large rainbows to 8 and 10 pounds also present.

    for numbers the restored diamond lake further south is kicking out thousands of fish. they also started planting klamath brood stock fish just encase the lake gets another warm water invasive fish.

    lava lake is now being planted with cranebow brood stock.

    I wouldn't forget about the famous klamath lake region either!

    the portland area sucks though for trout but you can always fish for those pesty steelhead and chinook or silvers in almost any river that surrounds the area. you might want to start studying about the summer steelhead in stillwaters off the columbia in late july through oct. nothing like throwing intermediates for 5 to 15 pound chrome summer runs in stillwater only 8 or 12 feet deep above bonni. when it is 75 to 100 degrees out! it's terrible-----;-)~

    I don't know everything oregon is doing and could be wrong about some of the plantings but know I'M pretty close and that oregon is making a change right now for the better!
     
  14. pond monkey

    pond monkey Active Member

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    Mark,
    I appreciate your input regarding PDX area ponds....I would mainly be in need of winter opportunities, that's all .....PDX area has some good river fishing but I am just not interested anymore... I used to fish rivers a lot, being from Eugene I have fished the Mac and the Willamette hundreds and hundreds of times ..... I have floated the "D" many times and it is a great one but I switched to still water nearly twenty years ago... and haven't looked back.... not sure why....maybe because I grew up in the midwest and lakes were the norm..... Anyway, I appreciate your input.Moving to PDX will require that I go to C.O. for two or three days at a time ....no more day trips.... My fav now has been Diamond as I like all the action.....I fished it about ten times last year and also I fished Sheep Bridge(Wickiup) about six times... Crane only once last year we....I haven't fished Lava for about four years ..... it does kick out a few big fish.... but Tui chubs are a problem..... Too bad they don't poison Davis. I have fished it many times but not in the last 6-7 years......back in the 90s when it came back after being down(low) for a number of years, they overstocked it IMHO and the fish weren't growing that fast year to year.... they should have small heads and deep, thick bodies...

    PM
     
  15. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

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    Mark K -
    If the average size of the bass continue to decline it could be a very big red flag about the continued survival of the trout plants. While there is always some predation on trout by those large bass generally the biggest impacts on the survival of the recently planted trout is food competition from young of year and fingerling bass - they are essentially eating the same things as the trout. Ifthere are bass in the water the best hedge against impacts on the trout is having a balanced bass/spiny ray population where the larger adult fish keep the juvenile spiny ray numbers in check.

    Tight lines
    Curt