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View Full Version : Harvesting Brown Trout?


MadisonBoats
11-14-2011, 09:54 PM
I was just curious on what the opinions of LRO Members would be in regards to harvesting brown trout.

It is well known that the South Holston is the only tail-water that brown trout can adequately reproduce without extending stocking of fingerlings.

However; all of the other TVA tail-waters need significant stocking of brown trout to retain their catch-ability in tail-waters. From my 200-350 fishing trips in the last five years on the Clinch; I have noted that brown trout consist of 5-10% of my catches on a fly reel.

In contrast; I have observed numerous catches of brown trout on live bait and bait imitations. Many of these catches consist of significant sized brown trout.

From my observations and experience; I think brown trout should be limited at one-fish per day regardless of size and non-take rule established from October-January 1.

I welcome others opinions and I would like to read the pros and cons from anyone that wants to reply. I am not trying to inspire a debate. I just want to elicit opinions on how we can make our trout fisheries more sustainable and beneficial to all that participate.

Regards,
SM

waterwolf
11-15-2011, 09:15 AM
I am not for killing of any trout, unless they are the pellet head stocker rainbows with no fins.

The ironic thing for me is I have no issues killing deer, turkeys, grouse, doves, crappie, sauger, and walleye. I kill tons of stuff each year, but for some reason I have a soft spot for trout.

MadisonBoats
11-15-2011, 09:43 AM
I am not for killing of any trout, unless they are the pellet head stocker rainbows with no fins.

The ironic thing for me is I have no issues killing deer, turkeys, grouse, doves, crappie, sauger, and walleye. I kill tons of stuff each year, but for some reason I have a soft spot for trout.

Maybe it is that you subconsciously appreciate their struggle to survive in most of our local stocked waters and that they cannot adequately reproduce to maintain the take/death rate in most TN tailwaters(?):cool:

WVfish72
11-15-2011, 10:49 AM
I don't normally kill any trout. I also think that if someone wants to eat one every now then they should be able too, provided they have a fishing license and they follow the slot-limit regulations.

I also was wondering why the only place trout adequately reproduce is in the South Holston? I am also wondering why the TVA and TWRA don't establish minimum flow rates on the tailwaters. It seems to have worked on places like the Frying Pan, South Platte and the San Juan, just to name a few. My guess is that answer is money.

FlyAddict79
11-15-2011, 06:21 PM
If you want trout for dinner theres a nice place in Bristol called the troutdale

psnapp
11-15-2011, 06:27 PM
Haven't harvested one in many years, so I guess I'm in the live and let live category.

Phil

WVfish72
11-15-2011, 08:04 PM
Everyone should be able to do as they please, this is America.

FlyAddict79
11-15-2011, 08:28 PM
Everyone should be able to do as they please, this is America.
Oh yeah im sure that would work out well.

5xtippett
11-15-2011, 11:02 PM
I generally keep the fish the biologists and mortality studies tell me won't survive; the ones that bleed, and the ones that are hooked in the gills. Everything else goes back unless the biologist over the stream tells me otherwise. I can't throw one back that I know will die unless it is illegal to keep him, any more than I can shoot a dove and not make an effort to find him. I majored in biology in college and the only time I get to use it is in my hobbies, hunting and fishing. As a result I get along with most biologists quite nicely. If I am going to fish a stream a lot, I am going to talk to the biologist over it and see what he wants me to do. Most of them are nice as they can be and they know what is in their streams and what is in there. Most people don't realize it, but approximately 5% of what we catch dies no matter how careful we are. I am a little funny, but I have a problem with throwing something back that I know has little chance of surviving.

I am new to this board, so I was a little hesitant responding to this, but what the heck. I am good friends with two trout biologists, one in SC and one in Virginia. I called them the first time I ever started fishing their streams seriously. That was years ago and now I can call them with any question I might have.
One of them explained to me that a body of water can only support so much poundage of fish. You have to decide whether you want a whole bunch of little fish, a small number of big fish or a happy medium. ----- I only fish the South Holston a couple of times a year and I have never talked to the biologist, but I know people who have. I would suggest somebody who fishes up there call him and ask him what he thinks. If you are fishing any river a bunch I would suggest talking to the biologist over it and see what he says about how he wants you to fish it. Most of the limits are set for a reason-- so the biologist can manage his stream for the overall health of the river. I don't mean to sound like I am preaching, but it never, ever hurts to talk to a biologist about his river. You can learn a lot and they appreciate it to.

AL trout bum
11-16-2011, 02:27 PM
I generally keep the fish the biologists and mortality studies tell me won't survive; the ones that bleed, and the ones that are hooked in the gills. Everything else goes back unless the biologist over the stream tells me otherwise. I can't throw one back that I know will die unless it is illegal to keep him, any more than I can shoot a dove and not make an effort to find him. I majored in biology in college and the only time I get to use it is in my hobbies, hunting and fishing. As a result I get along with most biologists quite nicely. If I am going to fish a stream a lot, I am going to talk to the biologist over it and see what he wants me to do. Most of them are nice as they can be and they know what is in their streams and what is in there. Most people don't realize it, but approximately 5% of what we catch dies no matter how careful we are. I am a little funny, but I have a problem with throwing something back that I know has little chance of surviving.

I am new to this board, so I was a little hesitant responding to this, but what the heck. I am good friends with two trout biologists, one in SC and one in Virginia. I called them the first time I ever started fishing their streams seriously. That was years ago and now I can call them with any question I might have.
One of them explained to me that a body of water can only support so much poundage of fish. You have to decide whether you want a whole bunch of little fish, a small number of big fish or a happy medium. ----- I only fish the South Holston a couple of times a year and I have never talked to the biologist, but I know people who have. I would suggest somebody who fishes up there call him and ask him what he thinks. If you are fishing any river a bunch I would suggest talking to the biologist over it and see what he says about how he wants you to fish it. Most of the limits are set for a reason-- so the biologist can manage his stream for the overall health of the river. I don't mean to sound like I am preaching, but it never, ever hurts to talk to a biologist about his river. You can learn a lot and they appreciate it to.


I'm with you. I majored in biology too (albeit molecular) and talking to someone who knows the intimate details of the river/stream is the best bet.

Knothead
11-16-2011, 03:27 PM
I don't keep trout. I get trout in a restaurant- twice in about 15 years. If I'm going to eat fish, I'll get a mess of bluegill or early season crappie. Crappie taste best in water temps of under 40 degrees. Like someone said- fish don't grow bigger doing the backstroke in Crisco.

cockeye valdez
11-16-2011, 03:35 PM
Before I complete your survey Shawn, I want to know how much enforcement is place for regulations we already have. I know there are those who mistrust t.w.r.a. (please don't see this an invitation to make your argument) but I assume the limits and slot regs are based on biologist recommendations.
How is enforcement qualified ? I would like to know how often officers are on the stream checking stringers. How many fishermen were checked and results ? How many citations written each quarter.
I never take a trout, if it bleeds I say a short prayer and ask forgiveness then release him to return to his home.
I'll take your survey now Shawn but I think you know my response.
c.v.

MadisonBoats
11-16-2011, 08:38 PM
Before I complete your survey Shawn, I want to know how much enforcement is place for regulations we already have. I know there are those who mistrust t.w.r.a. (please don't see this an invitation to make your argument) but I assume the limits and slot regs are based on biologist recommendations.
How is enforcement qualified ? I would like to know how often officers are on the stream checking stringers. How many fishermen were checked and results ? How many citations written each quarter.
I never take a trout, if it bleeds I say a short prayer and ask forgiveness then release him to return to his home.
I'll take your survey now Shawn but I think you know my response.
c.v.

From my knowledge; I know that TWRA in Region 4 is doing the best it can to address huge budget cuts with the same amount of responsibilities. I am a big fan of protecting breeding size fish (slot). However; I would like to see more restrictions on brown trout harvesting.

I can assure you that TWRA has been more active on the Clinch this year than many of the past years combined.:cool: I have been supporting this as well. Ask around and you will find that many people have been checked by TWRA on the Clinch.

The big issue for the state is funding cutbacks. TWRA has been hit hard with this as well. We need to voice our opinions for increased funding and conservation with our government. Also, TWRA gets a miniscule percent of any fines it issues. Most of the money goes to the county/court. I find this ridiculous and something that needs to be changed. So; what happens is that agents have to balance their time for conservation work and enforcement to address as many issues as they can with reduced funding.

The main reason I posted this topic was to get input on brown trout being creeled. I personally do not harvest brown trout; unless it is mortally wounded, etc. Also; my position is primarily based on the Clinch River. I think protecting browns would allow them to grow in size and it would create a huge opportunity for catching trophy sized fish with regularity on the Clinch.

whitefeather
11-22-2011, 09:30 PM
Shawn,

I won't express an opinion on this subject because quite frankly I don't have enough experience or knowledge to adequately do so. And when I fish TN waters I try to conduct myself as a guest and follow the rules that are status quo. I will however respect the opinions of all who are neighbors and residents down there and support what ever you much more knowledgeable folks have to say.

I most generally release the bigger fish myself because that is what I feel is the right thing to do in most cases, unless of course the fish is in doubt of survival. But if its a slot situation, I stay within the legal boundaries as required by sportsman ethics and the regs.