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Byron Begley
08-27-2007, 11:39 AM
Joe Swann just called me. He told me about this article that appeared in the Knoxville News Sentinel yesterday.

http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2007/aug/26/natives-are-getting-restless/

Byron

ijsouth
08-27-2007, 09:30 PM
Definitely food for thought, to quote a bad pun...I read an article on a blog somewhere a few months ago on this very topic; the author made the argument that C&R was more of a marketing ploy than anything else. I don't know about that, but I have thought that it wouldn't be a bad idea to keep a few fish once in a while - if one of the girls tied into a nice one, to go ahead and keep it. The problem, as has been mentioned on another thread, is that most of us don't want to lug a cooler, etc along with us - that is one advantage of boat fishing.

ttas67
08-28-2007, 01:04 AM
ian, I'm a little the same way. I would like to keep some trout occasionally to eat (hey, free food, kind of at least). particularly stockers. however, I just don't ever feel like lugging them around on a stringer while I'm trying to fish.

ijsouth
08-28-2007, 08:09 AM
Yep...it's hard to break out of the mindset of C&R. Certain fish you associate with keeping, like bream or, down here, speckled trout (saltwater); those fish reproduce in vast numbers - in the case of speckled trout, they spawn from May to September. It's a little different in the small streams in the mountains, plus the brookies are just now making a comeback - it would be hard for me to keep one, even if it would benefit the stream. It would be a little easier with the rainbows, as they aren't native. Of course, the challenge is that 7 inch mark - I seem to get a lot in the 6 inch range.

Brian Griffing
08-28-2007, 08:17 AM
however, I just don't ever feel like lugging them around on a stringer while I'm trying to fish.

What about building a small cairn as you move upstream. This wouldn't work in some places, too many people, etc., but it is a great way to keep fish fresh while you fish. Find a spot on the stream with shallow, moving water, and arrange a few rocks into a circle to keep the fish from floating away. When you come back downstream, pick up the fish and put them on a stringer or a forked branch and destroy the cairns. The only problem I have ever had with this is the occassional kingfisher stealing the smallest fish.

Paula Begley
08-28-2007, 01:18 PM
What about building a small cairn as you move upstream. This wouldn't work in some places, too many people, etc., but it is a great way to keep fish fresh while you fish. Find a spot on the stream with shallow, moving water, and arrange a few rocks into a circle to keep the fish from floating away. When you come back downstream, pick up the fish and put them on a stringer or a forked branch and destroy the cairns. The only problem I have ever had with this is the occassional kingfisher stealing the smallest fish.


Brian

That is a great idea, in theory, but it is illegal to move rocks in the streams in the Park (not that people pay attention to the rule).

Paula

ttas67
08-28-2007, 02:24 PM
you could put them in a creel as well. mmmmm

Brian Griffing
08-28-2007, 03:09 PM
Paula,
Thanks for the heads up. I didn't know. Anyway, with all the traffic along streams in the Park, I have taken to bringing a stringer with me on all my trips, even though I have kept a total of two fish over the last year. When I did keep a fish I carried the stringer along and placed it in the river when I was casting, with the rope end under my foot, under a rock, or up on the bank so that it wouldn't float away.
Also, it was nice talking to you and Byron yesterday. The gentleman that spooled that old reel for me was helpful and courteous. The store has very friendly feel to it; just a plug for anyone reading that hasn't stopped in.
-Brian

fishlicker
08-30-2007, 09:56 AM
I break the law every time then, cause I'm pretty sure I move quite a few as I stumble and bumble my way upstream! :)

btw - speaking of this, I was at Bradley's Fork this last weekend( where, btw - a green weenie KILLED THEM - uh, so to speak) and it looked like a log ride had been set up by the people that camped there this summer. But, it made me think...if they set up the rocks to increase the speed of the water, which in this case increased the whitewater on most parts of the "flume", couldn't that increase the oxygen, which would be a boost in summer, or no?
although it does make the stream look very unnatural which is a bummer.

Troutman
08-30-2007, 10:18 AM
Those little dams and rock channels people like to build on the streams cause sediment to build up and disrupt the natural flow of the stream bed. Alot of these are built in prime fall spawning areas such as metcalf bottoms. Several years ago while we were taking our last water samples at metcalf for acid deposition, Some local idiots were building a large dam and channel just upstream of the wooden bridge. We talked to them about it and let them know it was illegal and distructive to the streambed and the fish. They flipped us off, used some foul language and told us to mind our business. Luckily, we had a park service radio and they quickly had a ranger marching them out of the water and passing out fines!!! Sometimes diplomacy just doesn't work for knuckleheads.

ijsouth
08-31-2007, 09:08 PM
More on fish survival in this drought. I read a report of an interview with one of the park's biologists - it seems that, while adult trout are definitely suffering, the younger fish seem to be holding their own. Also, the fatality rates are still right in line with what a "normal" year would bring.

One thing to keep in mind...there really is no such thing as a "normal" year, only averages. Droughts and floods are part of the normal climate, and over time tend to average out. It's hard for us to watch, though...we want to help the fish, but unfortunately we can't. It does look like the worst of the heat/no rain is over, and of course there is still the very real possibility a decaying tropical system could move over the mountains.

UTKFlyFisher
09-05-2007, 09:25 PM
I have to write a special topic paper in one of my wildlife and fisheries classes. This forum has pretty much made my decision. I will be writing about drought effects on wild trout populations. I will be lookin at it in depth, looking at many major scientific articles. Ill let everyone know what I find out.

Gerry Romer
09-05-2007, 11:59 PM
I read a report of an interview with one of the park's biologists - it seems that, while adult trout are definitely suffering, the younger fish seem to be holding their own. Also, the fatality rates are still right in line with what a "normal" year would bring.


That sounds a lot like a report I read yesterday. If so, it's important to point out that he was talking specifically about Brook Trout populations. There is a critical distinction here. While the upper elevation streams did, indeed, suffer from the lack of precipitation in certain parts of the park, they didn't suffer from the extreme heat that the lower elevation streams did. Consequently, the streams in the higher elevations likely did not heat up as critically and might have been better able to sustain greater populations throughout the drought.

The real pressure of the heat/drought problem was on the mid and lower elevation streams. If it was the same article, I believe he went on to say that they still had hundreds of miles of lower elevation streams that they hadn't gotten studies back on yet and that it would be a while below they could offer an opinion.

It should also be noted that the Brook Trout matures quite quickly(under three years, I think) and that a 7" Brook is considered a large adult fish.

Gerry