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View Full Version : Engineering a great trout stream? Would you support this on the Caney?


gutshot
12-05-2010, 06:13 PM
Created in the early sixties with the closing of the Greers Ferry Dam, the Little Red was carefully engineered to provide great trout fishing under federal mitigation orders. After gathering elodea, commonly called coontail, from the nearby Spring River, Arkansas Game and Fish biologists rolled the big round bales off the launch ramp below the dam, followed the next year with scuds from the same source. After all this effort the first rainbow trout from the Greers Ferry National Hatchery, just below the dam, were stocked in '65.

I had read before that the elodea was placed initially by private interests but cannot find the source, none the less a story of its placement in a river similar to the Caney Fork with results that can be easily observed in that river.

I do know that that this food source for the river has been highly productive for the trout.

elodea -
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elodea
http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wq/plants/native/elodea.html

Paula Begley
12-05-2010, 07:12 PM
I removed the last thread on this subject because it got out of hand. Please remember the site rules (http://littleriveroutfitters.com/forum/faq.php?faq=vb_faq#faq_b) and post accordingly.

Thanks, y'all.

Paula

David Knapp
12-05-2010, 11:23 PM
Personally I doubt the Caney can ever be a consistently great fishery simply because of the water flows...sure there will be some excellent years. However, the extremely high flows that come as a result of major rain events are the main culprit in keeping the Caney Fork River from attaining status as a premier trout fishing destination. The weedbeds are already there, but they need lower water conditions to thrive. We all know the river can grow large trout and do it fairly quickly given optimal flows. Unfortunately I don't think a good solution will be found to the problem of high flows. The river basin is too large and this part of the country has too many high water events resulting in the necessity of discharging large quantities of water. Once the repairs to the dam are finished I think that management of the flows will be a bit more consistent, but right now the Corps is so concerned with maintaining a narrow range in lake level so they simply release a high volume of water when necessary.

silvercreek
12-06-2010, 09:33 AM
Transplanting some weeds would help, but I'm afraid I have to agree with Plateau Angler. Silvercreek

gutshot
12-06-2010, 09:54 AM
So you guys think that the flows out of the center hill dam are substantially greater than from greer's ferry, and this is why the coontail would not do as well as it does in the little red?

Grumpy
12-06-2010, 10:29 AM
The Red has more deeper areas than the Caney, even with no flow. I have seen the Red run higher than the Caney during the 01 floods, it damaged the river bed as well.
The Caney has the grass, we just need some non flood years.

Grumpy

silvercreek
12-06-2010, 10:34 AM
Looking at the Red river gauge at Fulton and the Caney Fork guage at Stonewall which has been down a lot this year, it would appear the Caney has higher water levels this year even excluding the May rain.

gutshot
12-06-2010, 12:03 PM
The Red has more deeper areas than the Caney, even with no flow. I have seen the Red run higher than the Caney during the 01 floods, it damaged the river bed as well.
The Caney has the grass, we just need some non flood years.

Grumpy

It seems as though the little red runs much higher under "normal" generation than the caney and much closer to flood like levels on a regular basis.

While people talk about some weed still being around and differences in flows. Could the coontail increase the potential of the river and maintain itself better than the current aquatic vegetation?

One reason I ask is that scud patterns have had greatly reduced results for some, an indication they are nonexistent or largely removed?

What about transplanting scuds as was discussed in my first post? Any benefit there with the greatly reduced vegetation levels in the upper river could this aid the recovery?

silvercreek
12-06-2010, 12:15 PM
I'm not getting that stage level from the gauges I saw, but I'm not sure where that Red River gauge is located. No doubt elodea would increase bug life. The great "bug factories" out west such as Silvercreek and the Henry's Fork are full of it. Also gives trout a place to hide. The Caney does not have much bottom structure for trout to hide, and elodea would supply that as well. Silvercreek

gutshot
12-06-2010, 12:40 PM
Is the fulton gauge on the red river in fulton Arkansas?

silvercreek
12-06-2010, 01:49 PM
Red river in the Corps Little Rock district. Not sure where Fulton is though.

silvercreek
12-06-2010, 02:05 PM
Rats, wrong river. Should be Little Red River. Closest gauge I can find is in Judsonia. Which is pretty far down stream of the dam. Stages for 2008-2010 look heavy though. silvercreek

Jon
12-06-2010, 06:08 PM
The river still has a ton of scuds and sowbugs in it. The weeds are doing better than this time last year and the new regulations are starting to help. The regs have only been in place on the river since March 1st so we will really see results next spring and summer, due mainly to the growth rate of the fish that have been stocked this season. Kick the river with a buddy and a screen once it drops back down and you will be amazed at what you find. A couple of the clubs locally offer entomology classes and so does Fly South.

The biggest issue with the Caney Fork in the future will not be weeds or bugs but will be the canoe rental places that will be throwing 100's of canoes/kayaks on the river each weekend to float from the dam to stonewall. This is my two cents on the subject.

gutshot
12-06-2010, 08:29 PM
The biggest issue with the Caney Fork in the future will not be weeds or bugs but will be the canoe rental places that will be throwing 100's of canoes/kayaks on the river each weekend to float from the dam to stonewall. This is my two cents on the subject.

I can see how this would hurt the fishing guides business, but how will it hurt the trout? I have caught rather nice trout in the prop wash of tourist boats on the little red. The bite did not go off because of boats or noise in my experience.

I appreciate your observations of the river's sow bugs and scuds. I have not had that same information. I think some pictures comparing the weed levels in the past and present may be in order also. Let me see what I can do......

It still does not address the questions related to coontail. Would you be for it or against it? And if there was in fact a decrease is scud populations in the upper river, would you support actions that have proved effective in introducing them or reintroducing them?

Jon
12-06-2010, 10:17 PM
I am not a guide so I don't know if the canoe rental places would hurt business or not. The one thing it does do is make for a miserable experience on the river. The bite shuts down somewhat due to the canoe folks playing radios, throwing firecrackers in the water, slapping the water with their paddles (sometimes on purpose) and leaving trash on every gravel bar they stop at does not help the experience or the river either. Not to mention the 45 minutes to an hour that it takes for them to load and unload on the public ramps. They also do not pay to use the river and we as fisherman do pay for the resource of trout that are stocked.

As for the scuds on the Caney they migrate. Seeing them during migration is really interesting as well.

gutshot
12-06-2010, 10:55 PM
I am not a guide so I don't know if the canoe rental places would hurt business or not.

I meant it just pushes more anglers into the sections of river that they frequent with clients. Also, there are the sections that retain some areas with vegetation, the food needed to maintain scud and sowbug populations. I will try to be more clear in the future. With the new ramp the lower sections will get hit more by anglers as they both retain more vegetation and have less of the crowds.

I was talking with a fellow I fish with tonight and he commented how he liked the canoe rentals because it cleared out most of the other serious anglers. He could smoke a cigarette between flotillas and then fish mostly alone. Too each his own.

silvercreek
12-07-2010, 09:52 AM
Jon, interesting comment about scuds migrating. I wonder if we are talking about the same thing. I use to see them traveling upstream right against the bank in slack water years ago. I have not seen that since the constant minimum flow. Is that what you are seeing? Silvercreek

Bfish
12-08-2010, 05:17 PM
No support from me. Scuds are already there as is aquatic vegetation, both populations will rebound, if conditions are right. However conditions were not right in 2010.

Additionally, it is way too easy for non-native vegetation to accidently make their way into the water when accidentally wrapped up in the bales, IMO.

gutshot
12-09-2010, 08:33 AM
I think that is a real concern but the brown trout are from Europe, the rainbows are from California, and the brook trout from Washington. So all non natives.

Should they ban felt soled waders, in your opinion? They have or are in the process of doing this around the globe as it is a major vector for invasive species?

silvercreek
12-09-2010, 09:52 AM
Invasive species are a serious concern. That is why I would only support transplanting existing elodea from existing sites upstream to jump start the Caney's recovery. Silvercreek

Grumpy
12-09-2010, 10:20 AM
I think that is a real concern but the brown trout are from Europe, the rainbows are from California, and the brook trout from Washington. So all non natives.

Should they ban felt soled waders, in your opinion? They have or are in the process of doing this around the globe as it is a major vector for invasive species?

It will never happen, there are to many places on a boot other than the felt for things to cling to, then, there are gravel guards, boats from one stream to another, what about the flies or fly lines.
Then, there's them blame birds & wildlife that goes from one stream to another:eek:
It is up to us to sanitize or completely dry our gear after use, regardless of what type it is.

Grumpy

gutshot
12-09-2010, 04:10 PM
Invasive species are a serious concern. That is why I would only support transplanting existing elodea from existing sites upstream to jump start the Caney's recovery. Silvercreek

Hadn't thought about that as an option. Are the weeds above Thayer Wilson and between Thayer Wilson and the ball fields elodea?

I hadn't looked closely enough and since they didn't grow mid stream and in the same manner as the weeds on other rivers assumed they were not the same weeds.

If they are maybe a state supported transplant to areas near the dam but away from the main flow might be a great solution and help keep the river seeded with vegetation and scuds for years to come......

I bet some 'planting beds could be made to help keep them in the rockier areas along the cliffs at the dam....

silvercreek
12-09-2010, 04:51 PM
I can't say about the weed beds that far down stream. But the ones at Happy are, and there is a very good size bed of them on the bank side just above the boat ramp. When the water is down that area is just about all weeds at their peak growth. Seen some buffaloe in them but seldom any trout as at low flow the weeds are too thick.