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  #11  
Old 03-28-2010, 01:56 PM
Speck Lover Speck Lover is offline
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Listed below are excerpt's from "Fish" in the Great Smoky Mountains that the National Park Service has provided.

Fisheries staff have been monitoring fish populations in both high elevation (>3,000 feet) brook trout streams and low elevation (<2,500 feet) large stream systems through the park since 1986. Long term monitoring surveys indicate that fishermen play little to no role in the population dynamics observed in park streams. Major spring floods and summer droughts are the driving forces behind fish population fluctuations seen both in the park and outside the park.

Although most streams in the park are very clear, cold and pollution free, they are not very productive in terms of growing big trout. Most trout in the park grow relatively fast, live only about 4 years, and die due to a lack of food resources. The diversity of aquatic insects in park streams is quite high, but the density of each species is fairly low making food resources for trout scarce. In fact, only 4% of brook trout and 30% of rainbow trout reach 7 inches. Less than 1% of brook trout and 17% of rainbow trout reach 8 inches. Only brown trout, who switch to a piscivorous (fish) diet at around 8 inches, have the ability to live beyond 4-5 years and reach sizes of nearly 30 inches!


Here is the site's address for further reading on the subject:

http://www.nps.gov/grsm/naturescience/fish.htm
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  #12  
Old 03-28-2010, 01:58 PM
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Clean them streamside in a small eddy. Flick the guts and head (sorry - I'm a wuss and can't eat them looking at me) into some faster moving current. The current will disburse what you don't keep and by the time you're ready to walk away, all you'll see is your footprints.
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Old 03-28-2010, 02:11 PM
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Quote:
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Clean them streamside in a small eddy. Flick the guts and head (sorry - I'm a wuss and can't eat them looking at me) into some faster moving current. The current will disburse what you don't keep and by the time you're ready to walk away, all you'll see is your footprints.
So, do you do this after catching each fish, or, do you catch your limit and then clean them? I just want to do what is best to preserve my catch. I'll be fishing in the backcountry and hope to take some fish back to camp for dinner.
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Old 03-28-2010, 04:39 PM
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We generally don't start keeping anything until after lunch. Then we fish until we're done, usually late afternoon. Dunk the creel every now and then to keep them as cool and wet as possible. Cleaning fish is probably the least fun thing of the entire fishing experience, so we only do it once - at the end of the day. I've never had a bad experience eating a trout six hours after it was caught.

Hint - If you're in the backcoutry, be sure to clean them before you dip into the small batch bourbon.
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Old 03-28-2010, 05:04 PM
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We generally don't start keeping anything until after lunch. Then we fish until we're done, usually late afternoon. Dunk the creel every now and then to keep them as cool and wet as possible. Cleaning fish is probably the least fun thing of the entire fishing experience, so we only do it once - at the end of the day. I've never had a bad experience eating a trout six hours after it was caught.
Great tip on the timeframe and method. That's what I was looking for. Thanks!
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Old 03-28-2010, 05:40 PM
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Can I ask what you base that statement on?
I believe Jim meant that the taking of fish is not bad for the fishery. Steve Moore (the head Fisheries Biologist at Great Smoky Mountains National Park) has backed this fact up several times.
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Old 03-28-2010, 06:52 PM
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If you ever get a chance to hear one of Steve Moore's presentations, such as a TU meeting or such, by all means make it a point to attend. Most of us study trout fishing as a hobby - Steve has done it for 30 years or so for a living. He's the one who finally convinced me that it was perfectly okay to keep a few fish a couple of times a year.
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Old 03-28-2010, 07:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrouseMan77 View Post
I believe Jim meant that the taking of fish is not bad for the fishery. Steve Moore (the head Fisheries Biologist at Great Smoky Mountains National Park) has backed this fact up several times.

Thank you for your response.

Guess you can't top it when the Parks Head of Fisheries states it.
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Old 03-28-2010, 08:22 PM
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old tom makes a great point about Steve Moore's presentations. He is a really nice guy and obviously has a tremendous amount of knowledge about the park. I have heard Mr. Moore speak and have been able to pick his brain on a few occasions while volunteering the park.

Zach Matthews has a great podcast interview with Mr. Moore on his website (www.itinerantangler.com).
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Old 03-28-2010, 11:35 PM
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After fishing this weekend in the back country, I seen fish after fish boiling the water I could see where taking a few now and then could help, the few I have kept and eaten I just carried a plastic zip lock and while fishing I'd store the fish inside and then clean it after fishing it has been on the cool side though both times I did this.
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