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Old 01-30-2007, 02:15 PM
Bob Page Bob Page is offline
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Default stocked trout

How smart are stocked trout? Most of my trout fishing is in W. Pennsylvania. Most of the trout you'd encounter are recently stocked. How long does it take for these trout to get accustomed to hatches and natural sources of food? I'm sure some instinct takes over, but how soon. When fishing for these fish I'll keep some to eat. Their stomachs are sometimes stuffed with sticks, small pine needles etc.-Any thoughts. Bob Page
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Old 01-30-2007, 02:23 PM
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mtnman2888 mtnman2888 is offline
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Default Re: stocked trout

I don't fish for stocked trout that much so i don't know too much, but here are my thoughts. I think that it doesn't take too long before fish smarten up about things if they are in a delayed harvest area where it is catch and release for a bit. However, fish in gatlinburg and cherokee don't have that opportunity because the first time they are caught they end up in a frying pan. It is my experience that during the cold weather like we are having now, when wild fish wouldn't eat anything if it hit them on the nose, you can catch pleny of stocked fish. I'm not really sure why, maybe it's because they are bigger and therefore they have a faster metabolism which means they have to eat more, i dunno. As for how long it takes them to start eating bugs, i don't really know. I would assume that it would happen pretty quick because they are used to getting food regularly and then all of a sudden they don't, they would have to do something for food. I guess that's part of the reason why you have found pine needles and sticks in their stomachs before, they've never really had to eat insects before so they are just grabbing whatever they can.

However, if you are in a catch and release stream where the fish were once stocked but they have been there for a long time, these fish can be very picky and extremely intelligent. I've fished some c&r streams before where it seemed like the fish not only knew what fly i had on, but who tied it! This can be extremely difficult and precision fishing, definitely a challenge at times.

Don't really know if this helps clarify anything but it will be interesting to hear what others think.
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Old 01-30-2007, 02:32 PM
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DryFly1 DryFly1 is offline
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Default Re: stocked trout

Hey Bob,

I think you hit it on the head with "instinct takes over" I have fished many stocked streams and due to poor hold-over and non-creel limits,or enforced ones anyway, many tout probably don't make it to that point. However, in the stocked tailwaters the trout seem to adapt well and flourish. In regards to how long? I don't have a clue. But If I did, I would be fishing that day! Maybe, someone here has some scientific data or approximate data.
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Old 01-31-2007, 10:32 AM
one more cast one more cast is offline
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Default Re: stocked trout

Good question,

I understand that all trout are naturally curious concerning food. * It seems that fresh stockers would be both confused and curious about food. *As far as how long it takes to adapt to natural food, I think that may depend on what is hatching. * If more bugs are on the move, trout will probably learn much quicker. * If not much bug movement is going on around stocking time, it will probably take longer for the trout to scout out food sources. Just my opinion.
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Old 01-31-2007, 11:13 AM
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RuningWolf RuningWolf is offline
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Default Re: stocked trout

Quote:
How smart are stocked trout? Most of my trout fishing is in W. Pennsylvania. Most of the trout you'd encounter are recently stocked. How long does it take for these trout to get accustomed to hatches and natural sources of food? I'm sure some instinct takes over, but how soon. When fishing for these fish I'll keep some to eat. Their stomachs are sometimes stuffed with sticks, small pine needles etc.-Any thoughts. Bob Page

I do not recall the date exactly but it is a short period of time. It may depend on size as well

If you was to go to the TWRA website and email them the question they will forward it to the appropriate biologist (probably Frank Fiss) and he will generally respond in a timely manner
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