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buzzmcmanus
02-15-2011, 10:31 AM
Did I not read somewhere that the fishery biologists for the park were going to hold a public meeting in Townsend sometime in the near future? If so, when and where?

JoeFred
02-15-2011, 11:44 AM
Buzz,

Byron mentioned it in his 02/11/11 Fishing Report (http://littleriveroutfitters.com/WEBSITE-2008/pages/fishing/021111.html) as follows
"If you are interested in the state of fisheries in Great Smoky Mountains National Park then Thursday February 17 at 7pm is a day and time that should be on your calendar.
Matt Kulp and Steve Moore - Great Smoky Mountains National Park Fishery Biologists, will present An Update of Fisheries Activities in GSMNP. It will be Thursday February 17, 2011 at 7pm at the Wears Valley Fire Department. The presentation will cover general trout biology, brook trout restoration status and future plans, acid rain update and a general comments and question session. FREE handouts, reports, and information will be available for the public regarding fish, water quality, brook trout restoration, and other Park issues."
I plan to be there.

JF

buzzmcmanus
02-15-2011, 11:50 AM
That's it. Thanks. I think I have plans for Thursday night. If not, I'm going to be there.

buzzmcmanus
02-15-2011, 04:11 PM
I checked with the better half at lunch. I have a yard pass for Thursday, so I'm going to skip out on work a little early Thursday and fish for a couple hours (around Elkmont), before heading that way. If anyone wants to join me, shoot me an email.

tennswede
02-15-2011, 06:47 PM
Buzz,

I'm thinking about heading that way. Not fishing but I would like to talk to you face to face about your past experiences and such, regarding your last few trips.

Jim Casada
02-15-2011, 08:22 PM
Buzz or one of you fellows who plan to attend--I woulod urge you to ask Steve and Matt about the potential impact of rapidly expanding otter populations on trout in the Park in general and the speckled trout restoration specifically. I can guarantee you they have thought about it and feel certain they are concerned. Whether they will feel free to talk is another story. It's a touchy issue and there may be constraints from higher up. Anyone who thinks such constraints don't exist, incidentally, is living in la-la land. I know of a couple instances where careers in the gSMNP were hurt be a Park employee being too honest, too forthright, or too willing to follow the laws as written.

Hopefully some you who do attend will give use a report.

Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors (http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors).

tennswede
02-15-2011, 08:35 PM
Jim,

You know my view on otters so I can't help you there, can't speak for Buzz. Anyhow, otters should help with the thinning of the herd so to speak. Steve and Matt has advocated for fishermen to take home some of their catch, since most fishermen inside the park don't the otters will do it for us instead. A win win situation. We have had otters in my native Sweden since beginning of time. They suffered from PCB pollution and such in the industrial era but are now coming back. I haven't heard anything about otters decimating the trout population. This was a common myth in the late 1800's and spread from there. I suppose a lot of the European settlers took the misconception with them to the new world. Until the day when the Swedish and the rest of the Scandinavian rivers are empty I will not worry about it. There are plenty of fish for them. Yellow perch, abundance of crayfish, other miscellaneous carp fishes of all sizes. I'm frankly not worried about it. I think the acid rain problem is what you should spend your time worrying about if anything.

buzzmcmanus
02-16-2011, 10:20 AM
Hans,

It's more of an adventure about risking your life and limbs than an actual fishing trip, but I'll tell you all about it. It was all about getting there and back. I also wanted to talk to you about some of your trips this spring, 2 of them were on my "must do" list.

http://i165.photobucket.com/albums/u51/buzzmcmanus/Fishing/DSCN9734.jpg

Jim,

I'm planning on asking about the otters. However, my current opinion about them mirrors Hans. Most of the streams I fish, could use a little thinning. If the fishery biologists, or any other expert, presents some information that gives me cause for concern, my opinion may change. However for the time being, I'll enjoy my otter sightings.

Crockett
02-16-2011, 01:37 PM
Thanks Buzz I would say that no matter what your opinion is of how the otters are impacting the smokies it would be worth asking the question at least if you are there since it is of concern to many on the board. Maybe Steve and Matt will say there is not a problem at all and know that cause of data they have gathered, or maybe they say it is a concern because of the data, or maybe they just don't know. In any case asking the question would be appreciated but those of us who can't attend and possibly put some other minds at ease on here like your alls.

Jim Casada
02-16-2011, 02:14 PM
Hans--We will have to disagree on this. Crayfish aren't available several months of the year (too deep in the ground). Otters are wreaking havoc in N. C. streams, and even NCWRC biologists acknowledge as much. The one factor you seem to be overlooking is that in your native country, as in the Smokies in yesteryear, trappers and other approaches (I have a journal of one guy who actively hunted them) kept populations in control. That control does not exist in the Park and I am by no means the only one concerned about this. Even if I'm flat-out wrong (and I'll need considerable scientific evidence, as opposed to opinion to convince me), it is a question well worth asking.
I've actually talked to Matt about this a bit, and at that point (18 months or so ago) he didn't have much hard research evidence to indicate otters wouldn't be a problem. On the other hand, I know of a goodly number of fishermen who have grown increasingly concerned, and a couple of streams in Graham County, notably upper Big Santeetlah, have deteriorated so dramatically that they are scarecely worth fishing--and this has happened in just the last four or five years. I don't think acid rain, although unquestionably a significant problem, has had that dramatic an impact in that short a period.

BigMax
02-16-2011, 02:52 PM
Hey buzz is that the calderwood dam?

i have spent many nights up above that dam camping and fishing but never below id like to know a little more about it as i plan on getting there this spring!

buzzmcmanus
02-16-2011, 03:45 PM
Shoot me an email and put LRO in the subject. It may be a day or two before I can get back to you, but I have some info I can give you.

ramappraisals@yahoo.com

tennswede
02-16-2011, 05:11 PM
Jim,

No hunting for otters has been takig place for generations. They are a threatened species in most of Europe. They are protected as far as I know in Sweden since 1969. Probably the same status in the rest of the nordic countries. The point is that they were never a threat to any trout streams in scandinavia.

whitefeather
02-16-2011, 09:30 PM
Jim and Hans,

From my continuing research on the otter I respectfully submit these statements concerning otters.

Hans, the otter about which you have spoken in Sweden and Norway is the European or Eurasian Otter. (Lutra Lutra)

The otter in the park is the North American River Otter (Lontra canadensis). They appear to have some differences in their dietary choices as noted in the quoted text. (From Wikipedia search: North American River Otter, and Otter.)

Two very different species, but with some commonalities.

This might be a plausible explanation for the disagreement about their proliferation vs. their predatory pressure on the fish of the two different regions. (North America vv North Europe).

"The European Otter's (Lutra lutra) diet mainly consists of fish. However, during the winter and in colder environments fish consumption is significantly lower and the otters use other sources for their food supply. This diet can include birds, insects, frogs, crustaceans and sometimes small mammals, including young beavers.

"North American river otters (Lontra canadensis), like most predators, prey upon the species that are the most readily accessible. Fish is a favored food among the otters, but they also consume various amphibians, turtles, and crayfish. There have been instances of river otters eating small mammals as well."

It would seem to me that the most readily available food source in the Park's streams (specifically in winter) would be the trout because of its preferred habitiat and abundance (in schools). The trout are easier to catch in the winter because they are more densely populated.

Just wanted to share this information as I found it!

Jim Casada
02-16-2011, 09:55 PM
Whitefeather--That's useful information and something of which I was unaware. I would also note that in addition to being a different subspecies, we are talking about two decidedly different climactic situations. The Smokies aren't Scandanavia. I would add one further thought to your information. Trout, as cold-blooded creatures, are slowest and most vulnerable in winter, precisely the time of year when otters, as warm-blooded creatures, need more food and find their food sources more restricted. In other words, they are going to turn to what is available, and that's fish. I've simply seen too much, had too many first-hand reports from others, and received too much input from professional wildlife biologists to accept the fact that otters, left to their own devices (and that's the case in the Park), won't damage trout populations. As to suggestions that there are too many trout, I consider that virtually ludicrous--numbers are probably at the lowest level, in some Park streams, that I've seen in my entire lifetime.

There's a great deal of anecdotal evidence to suggest they already are, and don't try to tell old-time mountain trout fishermen in Graham County, or managers of state fish hatcheries in North Carolina, or Chris Holler (who manages a mile-long section of Armstrong Creek near Marion, N. C.), or a fellow named Bonner who retired as a N. C. Wildlife Resources Commission biologist and has related multiple examples of otter problems, or any of the dozens of folks with ponds or intensively managed streams, that there isn't a problem. Also, why do you suppose the NCWRC is issuing otter depredation permits?

It is a situation which, in my view, cannot be ignored. I've fished the Smokies (a lot) for 60 years, and I've seen various manifestations of problems. These include mistakes the Park made in stocking northern strain specks, failures with early stream poisonings in both the Park and outside of it, extended droughts of the kind we had a few years back, exposure of Anakeesta rock in a number of locations, acid rain, and more. In my view, none of these come close to the otter threat. For what it is worth, most of the folks (at least on the N. C. side of the Park, who are the ones I talk to regularly) with decades of experience in fishing Park waters share my concern. I long ago learned that to ignore the widsom, common sense, and observational abilities of mountain old-timers is to travel a path fraught with pitfalls.

Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com (http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com)

tennswede
02-16-2011, 10:45 PM
Whitefeather,

I am fully aware that the Eurasian otter is a subspecies. However, I don't buy in to the notion that they are that different from each other. It's kind of the same as the relationship between Northern Pike and Muskellunge. Both are voracious predators, both are on top of the food chain, both look very similar in appearance. Yet they are not the same fish, but both prefer the same habitat and eat the same preferred food. The main difference is that muskies like somewhat warmer water. I think that's a pretty fair comparison to the otter dilemma.
Jim,

I don't intend on going on about this. I don't have to have the last word and I am smart enough to realize that I'm not going to win you over. I just want you to know that not everyone believe the same as you do and frankly, neither you or I might be correct on this issue. Opinions are divided as you know on many issues. As for your statement that the Smokies is not Scandinavia (note it's Scandinavia not Scandanavia), well that's not exactly a good defense. Higher elevation in the Smokies are very much similar to the fauna and flora in Scandinavia. As you know, Canadian type of vegetation and trees, shows up at around 3000 ft and up. I'll end her with an agreement of disagreeing with you and to be honest most people are probably tired of this otter thread anyway.

David Knapp
02-16-2011, 11:03 PM
As to suggestions that there are too many trout, I consider that virtually ludicrous--numbers are probably at the lowest level, in some Park streams, that I've seen in my entire lifetime.


Out of curiousity, are you saying this simply off of personal observation or do you have another source? Park biologists have been saying for years that they wish more fisherman would keep a limit. If you talk to old time fisherman here on the Tennessee side, they support the idea that the trout numbers need thinning. According to them, it was easy (years ago) to catch a limit of 10-12 inch rainbows (all wild fish) on Little River whereas now there are too many small rainbows competing. Why? Because years ago, catch and release was not the norm. Those caught trout were removed from the stream. With less fish competing for the same amount of food, the remaining fish grew faster and thus reached larger sizes.

Here on the Tennessee side at least, I know we have plenty of trout and could in fact use some thinning of their numbers. I've seen huge pods of wild rainbows feeding in the pools on Little River here in TN and Deep Creek just inside the Park in NC. In both of the pools I'm specifically thinking about, I have watched otters play and in the case of Deep Creek, the otter apparently lived in a hole in the bank. Still, good numbers of wild trout continue to inhabit these pools. Perhaps if the otters take a few of the wild trout, the remaining ones will have the ability to grow larger since the competition for the food will dwindle...

tennswede
02-16-2011, 11:12 PM
David,

You are simply forgetting that the Otters only get the big browns, Abrams Creek remember!
All jokes aside, thanks for being a voice of reason.

Jim Casada
02-17-2011, 09:27 AM
Plateau Angler--My comment is based primarily on personal observations but is "seconded" by a number of others. It applies almost exclusively to N. C., and I know from my experiences this past year that there are plenty, perhaps too many, trout in the WPLP. On the other hand, I have had three different fishermen, all of them folks who have fished Deep Creek for decades (and I'll give names--Mac Brown, who has done guiding off and on over the years; Jim Estes, a skilled angler who does some guiding for Rivers Edge; and Jim Mills, a veteran rodmaker and angler from the Whittier area) indicate their feelings that this fishery has declined appreciably. A posibly bigger concern lies outside the Park and is the focus, along with Deep Creek, of a good bit of my personal observation. This is streams in Graham County, notably Big Santeetlah (the upper end was once a prime brown trout fishery but isn't any more). Marty Maxwell and Mack Bridges, two of the best fishermen in the mountains, both of whom live in Graham County, both have serious concerns.

None of this is scientific, but all these folks are exceptional fishermen and I'm a decent hand myself.

I'm a staunch proponent of keeping fish and realize some streams have long been overpopulated. Incidentally, I might also note it took Park biologists decades to acknowledge this, and to stir the pot a bit more, if the streams are so overpopulated, one has to wonder why the limit isn't seven or even ten fish (both figures were, at one time, the limit in the Park).

As is true with my doubts about the long-term efficacy of the speck restoration, I hope I'm completely wrong about the otters. However, as a cautionary note, I will simply mention that I have had two different people with inside information tell me that rainbows have shown up in one of the supposedly complete speck restoration streams (and they weren't talking about the big bows some fool put in Lynn Camp Prong). I don't know that this is the case but it was always a key source of doubt for me. That's precisely what happened in an earlier restoration attempt in Indian Creek (the one which feeds Deep Creek), although the poison was not antimycin.
Jim Casada

Jim Casada
02-17-2011, 09:39 AM
Hans--This is my last post on this issue, but your insistence on the two otters being strikingly similar flies directly in the face of what Whitefeather found as regards their feeding habits.

Likewise, I think you are way off base in suggesting that Scandinavia (and yes, I do know how to spell it but in a forum like this I never felt the need to proofread everything--if we are going that route, there are at least half a dozen stylistic errors, mostly in the arena of subject-verb disagreement, in the post where you take my spelling to task) is quite similar to the Smokies.

The ecosystem in the Smokies is far more diverse than that of Scandinavia; in fact, it is the most diverse in the Northern Hemisphere, with hundreds if not thousands of species of flora and fauna not found in Scandinavia.

Finally, you indicate your comment about the browns in Abrams Creek may have been made in jest, but to date neither you or anyone else has offered me much of an explanation to remove the remarkable coincidence between otter introduction there and the disappearance of brown trout there. The one thing which seems certain is that they are gone. Why?

Jim Casada

buzzmcmanus
02-17-2011, 09:48 AM
...one has to wonder why the limit isn't seven or even ten fish (both figures were, at one time, the limit in the Park).


This is one of the issues I was intending to question this evening. Why have a size limit, and increase the creel limit for fish.

JoeFred
02-17-2011, 10:04 AM
... I have had three different fishermen, all of them folks who have fished Deep Creek for decades (and I'll give names--Mac Brown, who has done guiding off and on over the years; Jim Estes, a skilled angler who does some guiding for Rivers Edge; and Jim Mills, a veteran rodmaker and angler from the Whittier area) indicate their feelings that this fishery has declined appreciably. ..Jim Casada

Jim, I'm just curious if you think a staffed satellite office of Fisheries Management near the Oconaluftee park entrance might be beneficial to observing/analyzing relative population densities, and possibly other differences, between the TN & NC sides. There may already be a continuing presence over there, but I am not aware of it.

JF

silvercreek
02-17-2011, 10:59 AM
Hans, if otters are low in number in most of Europe then it would follow they are not much of a threat to trout. They are not a threatened species in North America. I'm not sure the European situation has any bearing here. Regards, Sivercreek

tennswede
02-17-2011, 11:32 AM
Silvercreek,

They have never been much of a threat to trout in Europe. Also, I know the Otter in the U.S. is not a species of concern for conservation. However, it is not as widespread and have had huge habitat loss, therefore reintroduction is taking place.

I still don't believe the river otter in the U.S. to have much different feeding habit than the European one. I respectfully disagree with you.

Jim Casada
02-17-2011, 11:39 AM
Fred--I really don't have an answer, although I do suspect that the N. C. side of the Park gets a bit of a short shrift here as in so many other areas (Park headquarters on TN side, almost all key personnel historically based on TN side, historically more expenditure of funds on the TN side, etc.). That isn't going to change, although I can assure you it doesn't sit well with local residents.
I would be keenly interested in knowing when the last scientific stream survey (general, as opposed to focusing specifically on specks) was done on the N. C. side, and I would likewise love to know what is going on with Deep Creek. Something is amiss there.
Interesting point.

Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com

tennswede
02-17-2011, 11:41 AM
Dr. Casada,

I was merely showing you and others who are supposedly very well versed in the english language that it's sloppy to keep insisting that it's Scandanavia. No harm intended. I guess I just hold you in a higher regard, especially since you have a distinguished academic background and a Phd. I on the other hand, can barely write and speak the american english. I am the first one to tell you that it is not easy to write and speak in a foreign tongue. I'm sorry for my lack of proper grammar but you know, I flunked college here in the states and went fishing instead.

As for my comment on Abrams, just a little jab at you, since you seem to take yourself very seriously to the point of becoming frustrated with opponents . Lighten up, it's not the end of the world if someone disagrees with you. Have a good day and lets hope we both are wrong, so Otters can coexist with the trout.

whitefeather
02-17-2011, 12:08 PM
Here's a link to the "Otter Family Tree". Information (short version) obtained at Wikipedia, under search for: Otter

http://www.myphotos.yahoo.com/s/20yakcy0osufoi4rslo4

silvercreek
02-17-2011, 12:16 PM
Silvercreek,


I still don't believe the river otter in the U.S. to have much different feeding habit than the European one. I respectfully disagree with you.
Hans, no disagreement. I never said anything about feeding habits. Just that with few otters in Europe, it would follow that they would not be a threat to trout or to much of anything for that matter. You took my comment further than its content. No problem, just setting the record straight. Regards, silvercreek

whitefeather
02-17-2011, 12:42 PM
If the pro-otter side of this issue is correct, then we don't have anything to worry about. How will that be determined? By opinion? Don't think so.

If the con-otter side of the issue is correct and nothing is done, then we can look forward to a future for trout fishing that will be in steady decline. If they are wrong, then let science prove it and we can all breathe a little easier.

Just because something is not "up in your face" right away, does not mean it isn't a serious problem festering in the background. Without any natural otter predation, save for environmental pollution, the problem may be irreversible for a long time before it's eventually stopped and reversed, just like the man made pollution of a by-gone era that eventually destroyed speck trout habitat and otter habitat.

Otter presence in great numbers is a "barometer" for environmentally sound waters. They are highly susceptible to pollution, but then again so are trout. Acid rain may be eventually change this, but as for now, it doesn't appear to be contributing to watershed pollution directly.

To continue to ignore a potentially disastrous situation without adequate scientific attention is fool hardy in my opinion. This is not fear mongering, it is a shared concern of many that something is amiss. Using "clinical" evidence from a totally different region of the world to dispute there is a problem, is not in the best interests of our fishery.

So let's continue to play a part, voice our concerns and encourage biological science to intervene and make an educated, scientific analysis of the situation and a final determination as to what does or does not need to be done.

We owe that to future generations who may one day want to fish for trout in GSMNP.

tennswede
02-17-2011, 01:00 PM
Silvercreek,

No problem, I got carried away.


Whitefeather:

" Using "clinical" evidence from a totally different region of the world to dispute there is a problem, is not in the best interests of our fishery"


We need to remember that the Brown trout is European by origin, they should be somewhat used to predation from Otters. But if the american otter is so different from the european as people on here suggests then that might be a moot statement.

whitefeather
02-17-2011, 01:48 PM
"We need to remember that the Brown trout is European by origin, they should be somewhat used to predation from Otters. But if the American otter is so different from the European as people on here suggests then that might be a moot statement."

Hans,

I would agree that the Brown trout had its origin in Europe. But, the Brown trout that exist in the park now are many, many generations removed from their European ancestry, and were never exposed to the European otter.

Animals are instinctively programmed to react to situations which key their survival instinct to avoid predation. Case in point, many "stockers" succumb to both predators and the fishing line, never to be heard from again. "Close calls", when they escape, reinitialize that programming which gradually bring them to a wild state with a respect to their wild environment.

Although I do believe that all animals have the ability to alert others of their species to danger, I don't think they get "used to it." That implies a "human" characteristic to them which they absolutely do not have. They either escape or die. If they escape they are more wary the next time, and the next.

Someone mentioned the C&R practice earlier and I just want to say this practice has its downfalls as well. One of the things I don't understand is the limit on trout in the park. If I catch 5 legal fish on a given day, and put them in my RV freezer to take home to enjoy, then technically I can no longer fish the park waters, no matter how long I stay, because that bag limit is the total for possession one can have, period, and must cease fishing upon reaching it. Not just for a day!

Is it well enforced? Absolutely not, as far I can know, but I wish to remain legal in the good graces of the park rules and not risk a fine or the seizure of any of my property.

So I would have to eat all of them to be legal to fish again on another day. It's in the regs, I am not making it up. With that hassle in mind, now how many people (who want to be legal) are going to keep their fish. Many don't even like fish to eat.

The larger specks are absolutely the best fish I have ever tasted in all the world, and I have sampled my fair share. I usually keep a pair, for my wife and I, to eat on those days we wish to dine on "wild food". There is a tradition among the Cherokee native Americans to "go to the river, the renewer of life" and bathe in it or eat of its bounty to renew ones spirit and well being. I practice this in the manner I mentioned.

I have much respect for all who post here and Hans, that includes you also, my friend! Let us continue to exchange ideas on this forum, disagree if we must, continue to try to see the merits of the other point of view, and hope to do what we can to keep the park in the best possible condition we can humanly do.

tennswede
02-17-2011, 02:16 PM
That implies a "human" characteristic to them which they absolutely do not have. They either escape or die. If they escape they are more wary the next time, and the next.

My way of saying that they have adapted to a life of avoiding predators. I was using every day speak. Thanks for your kind words. It's not easy to be on the defending end most of the time. I don't buy in to a lot of hype and the internet message boards have done a lot of good, but they can also become your worst nightmare.

No more from me about this, I promise. I won't even defend my point anymore, since it won't change anyone.

Crockett
02-17-2011, 05:15 PM
This has been a very entertaining thread. If Steve and Matt are half as good as many around here say they are then I expect we will get a pretty good explaination of their thoughts and observations on this you guys can share with us tomorrow.

pineman19
02-17-2011, 07:16 PM
This has been a very entertaining thread. If Steve and Matt are half as good as many around here say they are then I expect we will get a pretty good explaination of their thoughts and observations on this you guys can share with us tomorrow.

I'm glad some people consider these threads entertaining. Myself, I am ready for the Quills to start hatching and the tailwater action to heat up. Debating this stuff isn't my cup of tea. I'll leave it to the experts and locals.

Neal

501
02-17-2011, 10:32 PM
Whitefeather,
Perhaps the phrase "human characteristic" might be better referred to as a "natural characteristic." Watch a large group of deer on a food plot sometime. If one gets alarmed he will "blow" and sound off. This warns the others and its hard to believe this is only for his benefit and not to alert the others. Just a passing thought..................

Lee

whitefeather
02-17-2011, 10:51 PM
"they (referring to trout) should be somewhat used to predation from Otters."

This is the statement I was referring to when I wrote "human characteristic" and again I say that animals do not get "used to things". "Getting used to things" implies some complacency in the thought process and only humans can be complacent.

Anyway, Hans explained his statement and I accept his explanation, so my point is moot.

Byron Begley
02-22-2011, 02:29 PM
Hi folks,

I can offer my opinion about the brown trout in Abrams Creek. Back in the early 90's I helped with the large stream samplings each Fall. We captured a few browns over a 2 or 3 year period. One I remember was a 28" or 29" fish. But, there were not many. One time we captured around 500 trout in 200 meters, almost all rainbow. The fisheries biologists would have that data since we all remember that day. They remember that day because Joe Bogle and I fished through that section before everyone arrived and did not catch one trout.

Most people around here believe that the man who did the stocking, (we know who did it but I can't remember his name), did not stock enough of them. I don't ever remember seeing or catching any young of the year browns in Abrams Creek. I started fishing that creek in the early 80's so there may be more anglers and better anglers who remember catching small brown trout. And, maybe I did and forgot.

I'm not an expert and this is my humble opinion.

Byron

Bran
02-22-2011, 03:25 PM
Does Abrams have a lotof silting now? Would that contribute? Just wondering.
As a side note, I was on a popular stocked stream in VA last year and saw a Northern Water snake with a small Rainbow in his mouth! I was kinda jealous since I hadn't got the skunk off yet that day.

NDuncan
02-22-2011, 03:37 PM
Yeah I felt like that on a day when I got skunked above metcalf, to see a small snake (maybe 14-18inches long, JayB may remember the length better, his son forst spotted it) with an 8 or 9 inch brown in his mouth. There was NO WAY that the fish could have ever fit that trout in his mouth, but he swam off downstream with it before we could get a camera out because there was also no way he gonna let someone steal his prize from him. The snake could have been a northern water snake, but I recall thinking the head made it look more like a copperhead. The brown was ghostly white except for the spots, it was pretty creepy.

Bran
02-22-2011, 03:41 PM
Yuck, I can picture it! I did get a pic of this one but I have no idea where it's at right off the top. I'll have to look for it.

mayday
02-24-2011, 08:57 PM
Everywhere I look I find this Adam Beal guy....he's everywhere!

Crockett
02-24-2011, 11:05 PM
Everywhere I look I find this Adam Beal guy....he's everywhere!

Jeff I even make it over to Oxford Hills sometimes visiting my friend Bill Milam. Will have to keep a look out for you when I am in there :).