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View Full Version : becoming a real good fishery


lauxier
10-20-2006, 07:36 PM
a friend suggested(today)--the SMNP fishery is getting better--asked why?--he said--because of global warming--winters are shorter--growing time is longer--which means more hatches etc--I have noticed , that,maybe,the fish are largerand numbers seem on the rise---i next asked--but what about water temperature?--he replied--as long as the canopy,remains intact---the water will remain cool because the cool water,provides A/C below the canopy,which cools the water by reverse something-or-other.Is this true?

DryFly1
10-20-2006, 09:52 PM
Hey Lauxier your friend wouldn't happen to be Al Gore would he? he-he

Actually I don't have a clue. I think this is best left to the experts/scientists. But if it makes the trout humongus, the hatches more prolific and doesn't melt the polar caps or destroy the world I'm all for it!

Maybe more qualified folks here can hash this out......

troutwag
10-21-2006, 12:27 AM
We may have a little proof of global warming in 10 years. Sure looked like global warming last week across the country.

mtnman2888
10-21-2006, 06:20 AM
Sure does sound good doesn't it? :D

I've not heard anything like that, of course i'm no rocket scientist either. Maybe someone from LRO could clarify this, if they've heard anything.

Kingstonian
10-21-2006, 07:51 AM
If you go to this link

http://www.srh.noaa.gov/ssd/techmemo/sr221.pdf

You can look at the tabled data for average seasonal temperatures at various GSMNP locations in the graphs. *It is clear that there is no detectable warming trend in the data.

Any upward trend in global temperature, insofar as it has been detected, is in fractions of degrees over decades, certainly not enough to change the growing season for fish. *While there may or may not be marginal impacts, the day to day, month to month, and random year to year variation would be far greater than any shift or trend that would be due to climate.

I'm not evaluating this as a weather person, but as a person who used to evaluate statistical data for a living. *Temperature change due to the trend are overwhelmed by other random fluctuations. *This why there is so much debate as to whether there is a trend at all, and when it may have started.

Byron Begley
10-21-2006, 11:47 AM
lauxier

Your friend made some good points. *One thing is for sure, the older growth trees keep the water cooler in the summer. *Steve Moore is an old friend of mine. *He is the head Fisheries Biologist at the Great Smoky Mountains. *I've done a lot of volunteer work with him for the past 12 years and though I'm not a scientist, he is. *I have also noticed a change in the size of trout from time to time over the last 25 years that I have fished here in the park. *There are some events that seem to make the size of trout larger.

1. *After a flood our drought, which eliminates an age class of trout (usually rainbows) the fishing the year after that is better or at least seems better to anglers. *There are less fish in the streams and the same amount of food. *The trout grow bigger.

2. *Most anglers who fish in the park now release their trout. *I think Steve told me one time that the number of anglers who keep fish is around 30% now. *Back in the old days everybody kept every legal fish. *So there were less trout and the same amount of food so you had bigger fish.

3. *A stream has what Steve calls Carrying Capacity. *I think it's something like this: *A stream can only support so many pounds of trout with the available food supply. *I think, more often than not, the streams here in the Smokies are at full carrying capacity.
If there hasn't been a flood our drought that eliminates a percentage of the population, there are a lot of small trout.

4. *It's been proven that Rainbow Trout don't have long lives in the Smokies. *It's a tough life for them because of water temperature and the lack of aquatic insects to feed on. *Though we have a huge variety of aquatic species these streams are still freestone and on the acid side compared to limestone streams you find in other parts of the country. *The food supply is not as plentiful in freestone streams. *Abrams Creek is a limestone stream but most in the Park are not. *So rainbows usually don't reach a length of more than 15" and they are very rare. *Brown Trout however live a longer life and eventually become predators and eat other fish. *They grow up to about 30" in the Park. *I believe Steve told me that rainbows live 3 years and browns have been found that are 8 years old. *I tried my hand once at trying to determine the age of a trout. *I was with Steve and some of the fisheries crew. *You can put a fish scale under a microscope and count the rings to determine the age of the trout. *I didn't see it but they could. *You can also kill a fish and look in the brain cavity and determine the age and I think that is more accurate.

I, like you believe that the fishing lately has been very good. *There may be other reasons that I'm not aware of and your friend may be "right on". *Lately I'm hearing about a lot of 13" and 14" fish being caught. I know of several 24" to 27" browns that have been caught this year and I've seen the pictures. *But that's really normal. *One of my best friends, Jack Gregory caught a 25 inch brown a few weeks ago but he caught one that measured 28" several years ago. *He says he is not seeing as many big (over 25") browns this year. *He thinks some of the "old guys" have died and won't be replaced for a year or so. *

Like I said, I'm no expert but I believe everything I wrote above is true.

One thing I forgot to tell you. *Steve opened around 130 miles of Brook Trout streams to fishing. *These streams had been closed for around 30 years to protect the native brook trout population. *Steve opened them to fishing and allows harvesting brookies because he has proven that anglers don't have much of an effect, if any on fish populations. *It's the floods and droughts that change the populations. *Some people think the otters have ruined the fishing here in the Smokies. *Other people think the fish are smarter because there are more anglers fishing in the Smokies. *I know that the fly fishing industry as a whole is not growning because there are not as many young people getting into fishing. *I also know, like you that the fishing this year has been excellent, compared to past years.

Byron

DryFly1
10-21-2006, 12:11 PM
Thanks Byron for the very insightful commentary..

I know there has been alot of discussion here in the past regarding numbers of FF *and the Fly Fishermans impact on the mountain streams regarding fish population and size. *

* In regards to the younger generation: I have a 4 yo son and he will be "wetting a fly" in the mountains long after I am gone....

Timz
10-21-2006, 08:50 PM
lauxier

Your friend made some good points. One thing is for sure, the older growth trees keep the water cooler in the summer. Steve Moore is an old friend of mine. He is the head Fisheries Biologist at the Great Smoky Mountains. I've done a lot of volunteer work with him for the past 12 years and though I'm not a scientist, he is. I have also noticed a change in the size of trout from time to time over the last 25 years that I have fished here in the park. There are some events that seem to make the size of trout larger.

1. After a flood our drought, which eliminates an age class of trout (usually rainbows) the fishing the year after that is better or at least seems better to anglers. There are less fish in the streams and the same amount of food. The trout grow bigger.

2. Most anglers who fish in the park now release their trout. I think Steve told me one time that the number of anglers who keep fish is around 30% now. Back in the old days everybody kept every legal fish. So there were less trout and the same amount of food so you had bigger fish.

3. A stream has what Steve calls Carrying Capacity. I think it's something like this: A stream can only support so many pounds of trout with the available food supply. I think, more often than not, the streams here in the Smokies are at full carrying capacity.
If there hasn't been a flood our drought that eliminates a percentage of the population, there are a lot of small trout.

4. It's been proven that Rainbow Trout don't have long lives in the Smokies. It's a tough life for them because of water temperature and the lack of aquatic insects to feed on. Though we have a huge variety of aquatic species these streams are still freestone and on the acid side compared to limestone streams you find in other parts of the country. The food supply is not as plentiful in freestone streams. Abrams Creek is a limestone stream but most in the Park are not. So rainbows usually don't reach a length of more than 15" and they are very rare. Brown Trout however live a longer life and eventually become predators and eat other fish. They grow up to about 30" in the Park. I believe Steve told me that rainbows live 3 years and browns have been found that are 8 years old. I tried my hand once at trying to determine the age of a trout. I was with Steve and some of the fisheries crew. You can put a fish scale under a microscope and count the rings to determine the age of the trout. I didn't see it but they could. You can also kill a fish and look in the brain cavity and determine the age and I think that is more accurate.

I, like you believe that the fishing lately has been very good. There may be other reasons that I'm not aware of and your friend may be "right on". Lately I'm hearing about a lot of 13" and 14" fish being caught. I know of several 24" to 27" browns that have been caught this year and I've seen the pictures. But that's really normal. One of my best friends, Jack Gregory caught a 25 inch brown a few weeks ago but he caught one that measured 28" several years ago. He says he is not seeing as many big (over 25") browns this year. He thinks some of the "old guys" have died and won't be replaced for a year or so.

Like I said, I'm no expert but I believe everything I wrote above is true.

One thing I forgot to tell you. Steve opened around 130 miles of Brook Trout streams to fishing. These streams had been closed for around 30 years to protect the native brook trout population. Steve opened them to fishing and allows harvesting brookies because he has proven that anglers don't have much of an effect, if any on fish populations. It's the floods and droughts that change the populations. Some people think the otters have ruined the fishing here in the Smokies. Other people think the fish are smarter because there are more anglers fishing in the Smokies. I know that the fly fishing industry as a whole is not growning because there are not as many young people getting into fishing. I also know, like you that the fishing this year has been excellent, compared to past years.

Byron



Byron,

Can you provide some additional information or reference regarding item #1 that you mentioned: drought and flooding? I curious as to how significnat a flood has to be before it causes an impact. Is it basically the young fish that are lost?

Thanks

MTN_TRT
10-21-2006, 09:28 PM
Just wanting to know-- how many people think Global Warming is real? I mean its sounds good (or bad or er yall know what i mean) but there is also evidence that Earth is just coming out of an IceAge. Right? Well, whatever the case, I know my children will cast dries to wild rainbows in the mtns- long after i cant wade anymore!

MTN_TRT
"LIFE IS GOOD"

lauxier
10-21-2006, 11:22 PM
byron --i hope you are right--i tend to panic a bit when the streams i like so much , become the subject of wanna-be scientists and enviromentalists.i think the smnp ecosystem is holding pretty good and i beleive the fishing is better than say 15 years ago--in 1973 i wetted my first line in the park---the line was attached to a little spoon on one end and a zebco 101 on the other end.You could catch lots of fish on little spoons,mepps,panther-martins etc.--soon--i started fly fishing--it was h....in the beginning--after about a million bad casts,hang-ups,wind knots,broken rods,fixed rods-then broken again,i caught a little rainbow on Abrams close to the campground--would like to say it was good to finally catch a trout--but--the fish was small-about 6 "--i wanted more--i was fresh from vietnam,enrolled in college,and if that's not enough--i was hopelessly addicted to fly-fishing and the streams flowing out of the smokies- became a pharmacist.The enviroment,ecosystems,and the such ,i leave to those bold enough to study the ways of the natural world---i belive there is indeed global warming--the effects of which we will never see in our lifetime--i wonder what will become of these excellent streams and of the stream's inhabitents---

Kytroutbum
10-22-2006, 12:48 AM
If you have a copy of Ian Rutter's book- Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Angler's Companion- it is explained on page 11. I've heard that similar data from several other sources. I've decided that next year, I'm going to start keeping a 7-8 inch 'bow for the pot- releasing larger fish to keep their genes in the "pool" ;) I haven't killed a trout in the park in almost 25 years.

I, also, think WE'VE BECOME BETTER FISHERMEN! More sophisticated, better flies, techniques, etc. are being used on the more heavily fished lower waters. There are "tons" of fish in the streams and we are doing a better job of getting to them.

As a retired HS Science Teacher, I'll tell you the Global Warming stuff scares me. CNN today said Greenland lost enough of its Icecap this past year to cover the entire state of Maryland with 10ft. of water. A lot of people want to look at a specific location or incident to prove or disprove it. You CAN'T do that!! But still it scary..I've heard speculation that the pattern will increase dramatically over the next 10+ years to where it could be irreversible, before we really notice widespread problems. Politics aside, what Al Gore has been saying makes sense.

lauxier
10-22-2006, 01:54 PM
kytroutbum--that was a good post--they say the earth is the ultimate ecosystem--I'm sure THEY are right--I suppose I am too shallow minded and selfish to be concerned with the big picture---MY big picture is Appalachian--was born and raised here--buried my Mom and Dad here-- My parents buried my grandparents close by--it goes on 3 more generationsMy kids will bury me here--when I was somewhere else,I thought of home,these hills and mountains,the seasons,each one special in it's own way,and the people,who talk and live lives born in the hills and mountains of Appalachia--that's why iI feel close to the streams and the life,abiding,and prospering in the Smokies--The trout,bears,mayflies,are as we are ,part of an ecosystem.Our survival will depend on our care of these mountains.

TOPPER
10-22-2006, 10:45 PM
I'll tell you what scares me...CNN and ALGORE! Both of them have too much time on their hands...they just seem to sit around and MAKE the news. I don't pretend to know anything about "global warming" but I do know that you can spin anything into a story to fit/help your own agenda. All scaryness aside, we really should give 'ol Al props for inventing the internet.

TOPPER

DryFly1
10-22-2006, 11:07 PM
I like your style topper!

I am neither a scientist nor expert in the field of global warming. But it is and has been a hottly debated subject with no clear concenses. *I have heard numerous "experts" pontificate by radio and TV and I have never heard any of them categorically state that the world is warming! *I have even heard oceanographers state that the ocean is NOT getting warmer. As of now, I think it is a theory without supporting date. If it is true-all i want to know is,can we reverse it and will it hurt the Smokie Mountain trout fishing ? *(I had to keep this about our beloved trout fishing and mountain ranges)

Byron Begley
10-23-2006, 02:16 PM
timz,

It's my understanding that the timing of a flood or high water event can wipe out an age class of trout if it occurs during the early stages of development from the egg to an adult fish. If eggs are layed and fertilized and a gully washer comes through, the nest can be disturbed and the eggs washed out. Also, after trout hatch the fry are life supported by an egg sack and they live in the gravel until they are large enough to come out and fend for themselves. Again, a flood or high water could wipe them out. I believe that the larger the trout the less likely a flood will cause a high mortality rate. This is natures way of keeping everything in balance. A drought with high water temperatures can cause a fish kill if the temperature goes beyond the trout's tolerance or the disolved oxygen drops below their tolerance. This can kill all sizes of trout. I've never seen this in the Smokies. Again, I'm not an expert but I've hung around a few. When I was in a TU Chapter in Nashville we had a project that we did for a two or three of years in a row. We would buy Brown Trout eggs and place them in metal boxes in the Piney River near Dixon, Tennessee. We hoped the eggs would hatch and we would have a brown trout population there. We learned this method from a guy in Mountain Home, Arkansas. Every fall when we did this a flood would wash the boxes away or damage them. We did get some browns to hatch but the high water in the fall took it's toll. We finally gave up.

Byron

eastprong
10-27-2006, 10:00 PM
For all of you that think global warming is just another liberal weenie conspiracy, see the excellent synopsis at the NOAA site, which has been under Republican rule for almost 7 years now:

http://lwf.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/globalwarming.html

In the short-term, it's not so much the temperature change itself, but the effect that even a small temperature change has on the systems that determine weather patterns. As in more frequent and severe storms or drought. Let's hope it's not drought for the Smokies, because it's probably too late to do anything about what's already been set in motion.

--Rich

Kingstonian
10-28-2006, 08:22 PM
All we really know is that the earth has been warmer in the past and it has been cooler in the past. *The Sahara was once lush, and the midwest was once covered with glaciers. *I've found seashell fossils in the Rockies at 8000 ft. *You could once walk from Russia to the US. *In the geological span of time, the temperature and the fishing in the Smokies will change, whether warmer or cooler. *But the last 20 years worth of data didn't show a temperature change, and I have trouble associating fishing differences to global warming when the local climate didn't show any detectable changes over the time.

Nature is dynamic, the sun burns hotter and cooler, glaciers grow and recede... it is the changes in the world that make it work. *Is the earth getting warmer? *We are told it is. *We are also told that Mars is getting warmer. *We aren't sure why in either case, but there are lots of models that fit the data. *Maybe we have the right one. *But the probabilities are against it.

We owe our descendants our efforts to give them a world that is beautiful, natural, and habitable. *But we can't control the tides and we can't control the sun. *Despite its impact on regional weather, we don't even know what causes El Nino, but we know there have been similar events for hundreds, if not thousands of years. *It is speculated that changes in the weather is what wiped out the Mayan and Anastasi cultures, way before Europeans even knew they were there.

Things will change, given enough time. *But I think for the next few generations, we can pretty much expect the overall climate in the Smokies will be what it has been for the last few. *A stable average temperature for earth for a couple of centuries would be a true aberation.

Those brookies were there and survived in a lot worse climatic conditions than we will see in our lifetimes. *I agree, we need to be good stewards of what we have. *We also need to understand our limitations. *I for one refuse to panic over events I don't control, and the average temperature of the earth is one of those events.

"...and the wisdom to know the difference."

troutwag
10-28-2006, 10:40 PM
We have nothing but hypotheses regarding what caused the iceage(s) or the warm period which gave rise to the dinosaurs, a period which seems to have lasted ~ 150 million years minimum. How long has man ruled the earth?........ This is a political football, one more fear tactic on the part of politicians (my opinion) and many of you are taking the bait hook, line and sinker. We are better stewards of the planet now than we were 30, or 60 years ago. Look at all of the streams which now sustain fish which were once dead, some literally burned for months in Pennsylvannia and Ohio. Look at the fisheries the Great Lakes are now versus the fisheries they were 30 years ago. Things are getting better at least in the US, who knows about China or the Pacific rim, they won't give out any money to lesser advantaged countries so the lesser countries gang up on us. It all comes back to politics, power and money.
This is not a political website, so I hope this thread will end or be ended.
Tight lines,