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Thread: becoming a real good fishery

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    irvine ky
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    Default becoming a real good fishery

    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?

  2. #2
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    Oct 2006
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    Nashville,TN
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    Default Re: becoming a real good fishery

    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......

    "Great things are done when men and mountains meet." William Blake

    http://www.mtff.org/ (For general interest in the Middle Tennessee area)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    26

    Default Re: becoming a real good fishery

    We may have a little proof of global warming in 10 years. Sure looked like global warming last week across the country.

  4. #4
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    Hendersonville, NC
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    Default Re: becoming a real good fishery

    Sure does sound good doesn't it?

    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.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Kingston, TN
    Posts
    66

    Default Re: becoming a real good fishery

    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.

  6. #6
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    Jan 2006
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    Townsend, Tennessee
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    Default Re: becoming a real good fishery

    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


  7. #7
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    Oct 2006
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    Nashville,TN
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    Default Re: becoming a real good fishery

    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....
    "Great things are done when men and mountains meet." William Blake

    http://www.mtff.org/ (For general interest in the Middle Tennessee area)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: becoming a real good fishery

    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

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Asheville
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    212

    Default Re: becoming a real good fishery

    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"

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    irvine ky
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    444

    Default Re: becoming a real good fishery

    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---

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