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Thread: Big Trout Dead!! Please Help!!

  1. #1
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    Mar 2008
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    Default Big Trout Dead!! Please Help!!

    It's really killing me but i was on the Elk River with some buddies yesterday and stumbled upon a 25inch, probably about a 9-10 pound brown trout. It was dead on the bottom of the river bed, so i picked it up to. That fish was pretty cut up so im guessing something might've got a hold of it, but it can't be a coincidence that 30 yards downstream there was another 21 inch brown dead at the river bottom, this fish with no marks. I cut it open and nothing was found but rotting insides. Two huge browns that i can't stop thinking about. How did those big fish die? They havent been generating much just doing a 100cfs, but i can't see how thats enough. Is it the algea? What killed these monsters someone please tell me

  2. #2
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    Sad news indeed, it's chemical time on the Elk for farming, there are a # of factors concerning that river.
    I'd like to think they died of age, that's just wishful thinking though.

    Grumpy

  3. #3
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    This used to happen on the Battenkill and we were told by by the state that it was a liver disease. It only seemed to be in the very large(older) fish. This also was back when some still used DDT even after it was banned.

  4. #4
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    More than likely those are seed fish that the hatchery released after their egg producing days were over. Since they're born in captivity and lived their entire life getting fed, they sometimes don't last long when put in the wild!
    "even Jesus had a 12 man recon team"

  5. #5
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    High pockets could be right. Although I've read somewhere about ag chemicals and trout. There are some chemicals that are found in legal pesticides and herbicides that are poisonous to trout. At certain levels these chemicals are fatal but normally take a long period of time to accumulate. That's why you saw in such large fish. Depending on the chemical it causes liver disease and failure and other times it has to do with the gill tissue and oxygen absorption. I don't know much about it but it certainly sounds viable.

  6. #6
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    I would tend to look at the stocking schedule. I think the post that said they were seed / breeding stock from the hatchery is probably more on the mark than the chemicals. It's also possible they were on someone's stringer who later changed his mind and "threw 'em back" and they died later down stream.

    Could be a lot of things, but I don't know if I'd be overly concerned about two dead fish. Now, if you saw 20 or 30, then it would be cause for arlarm (OK, even 5 or 6), but two dead fish in a river that is stocked and fished could just be normal.

    I see dead fish from time to time in our local tailwater. I saw about a 24" walleye last time I was out floating belly up. I've seen dead trout from time to time and always just chalked it up to normal mortality in a stocked and rather heavily fished stream.

    Jeff

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    East TN
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    Default Elk river CSI

    Was there any DNA collected?

    Seriously it could (and without malise to start some big fight) as simple as a deep hooked fish. Go and swallow a hook, rip it out, and tear your esophagus, or tear into the major vessels in the mediastinum (area around the heart, major vessels, lungs on a human of course), and see how long you last. You get released or break free only to bleed internally or develop sepsis ("rotting insides"). Ever wonder why big stripers caught on big shad have higher mortalities than artificially hooked fish?

    Picture below was taken from a dead trout on the Clinch years ago. Note the scuds and the bait hook.

    Just a theory. But stay tuned for the next episode of CSI-Elk River

    Last edited by Flat Fly n; 05-12-2008 at 05:56 PM.
    I am a great admirer of spectator sports, especially on television; it keeps the riffraff off the trout streams.

  8. #8
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    After I wrote that about the seed fish I started thinking about a bad catch and release. Now all I want to do is meet the guy/gal who caught two fish that size. HA

    Where I fish on the Elk there are two browns that I would guesstimate are 16-20' long. I see them about every other time I go. They like a certain run and deep pool. I have attempted to remove the handle from one of my fly boxes and throw that at them because nothing else works. I think they're picky, smart and probably want something big! I have threatened to go back at night and throw something like a big muddler until my arms fell off but never have. I think I would miss them if they weren't there one day but this shows that it's possible!
    "even Jesus had a 12 man recon team"

  9. #9
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    Well, if you see 2 such a small distance from one another, couldn't there be more elsewhere in the river? It's not like they're all floating around and easy to spot. Or have they all been foul hooked and and/or thrown back and died? Are they all feeder fish? Is it a combination? Who knows. Unless you examine the fish, there's no way to tell for sure.

    CSI-Elk River is right. That's funny

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by golfballs03 View Post
    Well, if you see 2 such a small distance from one another, couldn't there be more elsewhere in the river? It's not like they're all floating around and easy to spot. Or have they all been foul hooked and and/or thrown back and died? Are they all feeder fish? Is it a combination? Who knows. Unless you examine the fish, there's no way to tell for sure.

    CSI-Elk River is right. That's funny
    Some folks will probably kill me for this, there are big browns in the Elk I do some gigs with TWRA & talk to the biologist, especially the shockers problem is, they only give me a general location that's all i got

    Grumpy

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