View Full Version : brown trout spawn..

11-30-2010, 10:02 PM
Well, the Little is rolling at 5230 feet per second... I hate to say it, but I believe all the spwaning done up untill now has been in vain. I can't see where any young could possibly survive these water levels, and any recent red with eggs would abviously be blown out. Its a real shame, because last week with the full moon, I saw alot of fish in the tails, and I saw alot of reds... Sure hope there are enough late spawners to still have a semi successfull fall. I guess we will find out in the years to come..

12-01-2010, 09:26 AM
It is unfortunate, especially in some of our Cherokee national forest streams where their populations are becoming almost non-exsistant. I guess it's just nature running it's course.

Makes you wonder how Rainbows can ever be successful as they deal with heavy spring rains nearly every year.

12-01-2010, 10:23 AM
It is unfortunate, especially in some of our Cherokee national forest streams where their populations are becoming almost non-exsistant. I guess it's just nature running it's course.

Makes you wonder how Rainbows can ever be successful as they deal with heavy spring rains nearly every year.

That is an interesting thought about the rainbows.... How much flow does it take to blowout a spawn? Is it more due to how quickly the water comes up or total flow, and how much can it go up before it decimates next years young? I don't know if anyone has thoroughly studied this or not.

12-01-2010, 10:31 AM
I'd be interested if you went back to the same places you have witnessed the redds to see how they look once the water subsides. I would guess that nature will do it's thing and alot of the redds are in areas where gravel accumulates naturally behind obstructions. As most of you know when water rises and gets really fast, the water on the bottom rarely changes. It is only the upper water column that is really raging. Those redds that are behind natural obstructions like small boulders etc. are probably for the most part unharmed. I could and very well maybe wrong but it would be interesting to get some first hand knowledge of to what happened to some of the known redds that ya'll have seen.

12-01-2010, 08:31 PM
I would think they are a little more resiliant than we're giving them credit for. A fall spawning fish has evolved over tens of thousands of years and hard rains and high water this time of year is not that unusual.

I may be 100% wrong, but something tells me that they are a lot tougher than we think.


12-02-2010, 01:01 AM
Ditto jeffnless1. Spot on.

12-02-2010, 01:30 AM
I wish someone with some real expertise would speak to this. At some point these fertilized eggs have to be washed away. I know one of my favorite rivers in WNC had a flow briefly of almost the same amount. Remember, the brown trout and brookies have just spawned. I was still seeing females guarding the newly laid eggs.

12-02-2010, 09:35 AM
Ian Rutter posted over on SEFF about working over on Lynn Camp after the brook trout restoration and how their was plenty of high water during and after the spawn last year and shocking studies performed this spring/summer showed that the fish did well.

12-02-2010, 09:40 AM
Yeah it seems like some biologists could test this in a simulated tank with rocks on the bottom. Put some eggs in there and then increase the flow to x amount and see what happens on the bottom. Like with anything I would guess "it depends" some spots would be just fine where others would get more churn from the layout of falls, rocks, etc and be more at risk. There was 3 inches of rain in the smokies (at newfound gap) over the recent 2 day period. To me that isn't uncommon at all in November up there. You are right Greg about the high water last year it seemed like the rain never stopped. Anyway I hope you are wrong and it wasn't all in vain 2weight but maybe only time will tell.

12-02-2010, 10:13 AM
Low water is more of an issue than high water, generally speaking.

Think about where they are laying the eggs, in gravel. And then they move more gravel on top of the eggs. More gravel on top is just more protection. Silt from high flows can be an issue but most trout streams in the Mtns that is a non-issue.

12-02-2010, 10:54 AM
I don't know if we had enough rain the other day to do too much damage, or just how much events like this actually effect the out come of the spawn. Just don't underestimate the damage and size of objects that can be moved during these high water events. Most of the time it scours the bottom and will blow out gravel and small rocks. I've seen boulders the size of trash cans and refrigerators rolling down the mountain before:eek:

Honestly I'm not sure either way how much of an effect it has on the spawn or population:confused: I would be interested to hear from someone with some expertise on the topic though.

12-02-2010, 11:56 AM
In the spring of 1994 there was a significant rainfall event in the Tellico River watershed that was a 25-50 year flood. It washed out foot bridges and generally rearranged the streambed. I remember sampling the river in the fall of 95 and 96 and finding the rainbow and brown populations healthy and with representation from several year classes.

In January or February of 1998 there was a 100 year magnitude flood in the Doe River watershed near Elizabethtown. Sampling that same summer found reduced numbers of young of the year rainbows only if memory serves. The adult population of rainbows and browns seems to have weathered the flood fairly easily.

It seems that adult trout especially are able to find sheltered spots in even the worst of floods, but that young of the year fish often get washed out. Thankfully, there are usually lots of young of the year fish and it does not take a large percentage of survivors to keep a year class viable. Similarly, it does not take very many successful spawners to replenish a year class in a given stream. Spawning success has never been a significant limiting factor in Southern Appalachian freestone streams. Late summer water temps and food availability have always been the limiting factors. Thus, severe drought is much more devastating to trout populations than severe floods. Light to moderate flooding should have little or no impact at all.

12-02-2010, 07:35 PM
My concern would be for the area down stream of Metcaff Bottoms. The reason for my thinking on this is that there seems to be more "man-made" dams in that stretch of river, due to all the swimmers and such. These dams appear to give silt/gravel a good place to collect, where otherwise it would not. I noticed several the past month that had a "run" blown out in the middle of them with a brown setting on a redd just a tad up stream of the run. With this flood being the strongest of the season, wouldn't it make sense that the rest of the dam/dams would be washed out, thus letting the silt/gravel give way.

I'll go out on a limb here and say that the Herons do more damage than a flood, darn things are a killing machine.

Just my 2cents........ doubt it's even worth that. :rolleyes:

12-03-2010, 02:44 PM
Thanks TnBigBore. Hopefully our drought years are somewhat behind us for a while. Speaking of which, I hear Townsend and the whole TN NC area up there are looking at maybe having an early blizzard in the near future. But, that's just pure speculation from the weatherfolks. ;)