FFIM

FFIM is a non-profit organization devoted to promoting and preserving Maine's fisheries
It is currently December 10th, 2017, 10:03 pm

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 30 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2
Author Message
PostPosted: November 3rd, 2017, 4:27 pm 
Offline
FFIM Addict

Joined: October 13th, 2002, 12:00 am
Posts: 3310
Location: Sidney, Me
Old Guide was an old guide from Montana that used to post here regularly and even came to one of the conclaves. He said most of his neighbors kept their catch.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: November 3rd, 2017, 6:35 pm 
Offline

Joined: December 5th, 2001, 1:00 am
Posts: 5130
Location: Manchester, ME
My western experience is limited to a total of 13 days in September inside Yellowstone National Park, and a lot of conversations with friends and coworkers who live and fish in the West. So take this for what it's worth and no more.

The difference--both in the rules and in people's attitudes--is that out West, native fish are highly protected (and generally rarer than brook trout are here in Maine), while harvest of non-native trout is tolerated and even encouraged. Harvest and consumption of non-native brook trout is actively encouraged and in fact required in some areas. Rainbows, too in some watersheds. I have a photo someplace of a group of TU, Idaho Fish and Game, and Forest Service employees on the South Fork of the Snake with a stringer of big rainbows that would rival anything you've seen from Rangeley or Greenville "back in the day". It's something like 3 dozen rainbows, most over 15 inches. At the time they were working hard to reduce hybridization between rainbows and cutts on the South Fork by killing cutts. Don't know how that worked out. Browns don't seem to get the same treatment--I'm not sure why.

I don't think there are a lot of people filling the freezer with native cutts. In part that's due to fishing regulations that would make it tough to do. In Montana, depending on what part of the state you are in, the daily bag limit on cutts is either 1 or 3, and you must release all cutts over 12" in the Western district.

In Wyoming, it's three trout total (plus 16 brook trout!) on streams, only one over 16". It appears that neither state has a minimum length limit--a sensible policy, I think.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: November 3rd, 2017, 7:01 pm 
Offline
FFIM-aholic
User avatar

Joined: October 16th, 2006, 12:00 am
Posts: 1322
Location: Harrison
Good points made by Hunter. In response to his question, I would offer this simple answer: the reason we would protect the salmon which drop into the river is so we can catch them again, and more often. Improves the fishery in both numbers and sizes caught.
Why not the S-22...and then all salmon must be released alive at once after Sept.30. Those later fall drop downs would then be available to anglers in the spring, prior to trout stockings, improving the fishery for all. Would there really be a public outcry over that?

_________________
"It gets late early out there" - Yogi Berra


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: November 3rd, 2017, 9:15 pm 
Offline
FFIMer

Joined: March 16th, 2013, 11:04 pm
Posts: 560
Good point about the drop downs holding over until spring Maineangler. I would question the efficacy of the S-22 based solely on the limited number of anglers on the water throughout the winter months. I'm not arguing against the suggestion, just wondering what effect it would have. Certainly couldn't hurt.

Now to address Jeff's point about harvesting to control hybrids, and to kill two birds with one stone (maybe), the merits/demerits of reading stocking reports.
This fall I noticed a couple of Splake stockings. I haven't really thought much about Splake recently considering I haven't caught one or fished areas they have been stocked historically for a long time. I remember seeing big numbers of Splake 15-20 years ago and then they seemed to drop off. Jeff, what's your take on this, and is the state going back to stocking numbers of Splake, and if so why?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: November 4th, 2017, 4:42 am 
Offline

Joined: December 5th, 2001, 1:00 am
Posts: 5130
Location: Manchester, ME
Good question on splake. I noticed the same thing. If I was the czar of all things fish, I wouldn't spend a nickel on stocking splake. I have no interest in fishing for them. From a conservation perspective, if you start with the assumption that we are going to stock non-native fish, I'm not sure it matters much whether that's splake, rainbows, browns or those godawful palomino/golden trout you see in places like Pennsylvania and West Virginia. My question would be whether they are going into places where they are likely to interfere with wild, native trout.

When splake were stocked in Sheepscot Lake, I used to see an awful lot of them in the Sheepscot River, which has a nice little wild brook trout population. I once caught one on the Magalloway that probably dropped out Sturtevant Pond when they were stocked there. I believe those two stocking programs have been stopped, and I'd be upset if either was going to start up again.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: November 4th, 2017, 5:54 am 
Offline
FFIM-aholic
User avatar

Joined: October 16th, 2006, 12:00 am
Posts: 1322
Location: Harrison
How do you know it's a splake when you catch it?
Someone once posted pics here of what were claimed to be large brook trout, from a pond which was chemically reclaimed. Several posters pointed out that it would be impossible to tell if they were bkt or splake, using that to contest the picture-poster's stance that a trophy bkt pond had been nuked without warrant. So what details are you using to determine you were catching splake on the Sheepscot and Magalloway and not larger bkt?
I always thought splake were stocked primarily to prey on invasive warm water fish? Key advantage being their rapid growth?
Pretty far off the original subject of the incidental salmon population, which is fine with me even as I'm surprised there isn't more interest given that river's popularity. We've done well not to name it though.

_________________
"It gets late early out there" - Yogi Berra


Last edited by maineangler on November 4th, 2017, 6:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: November 4th, 2017, 6:04 am 
Offline
FFIM-aholic
User avatar

Joined: October 16th, 2006, 12:00 am
Posts: 1322
Location: Harrison
Roundabout, to respond to your question about S-22. I throw that up there for two reasons, the first being that it only allows for one salmon per day. At the very least, the limited numbers could be spread around to more freezers, improving odds for all. As is, two salmon may be taken with a 14" minimum per general law for rivers and streams. Imagine seeing someone walking up the bank carrying two 20" salmon. You would see them because these fish are too big and heavy to fit it in the ubiquitous plastic grocery bag that typically transfers fish from shore to kitchen.
The second reason an S-22 makes sense is that the salmon population in the related lake are managed under that provision. There are other S-codes on the lake, but the S-22 is the easiest and most logical extension into the river, IMO.
I would also prefer to see The 16" minimum on the lake extended to the river. Smaller lake fish which might drop down would have some room to grow, improving quality for all.

_________________
"It gets late early out there" - Yogi Berra


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: November 4th, 2017, 10:02 am 
Offline
FFIMer

Joined: March 16th, 2013, 11:04 pm
Posts: 560
Jeff, The Sheepscot was what I was referencing in my post when I said I used to catch a fair amount of them. I'm guessing the last time I pulled a Splake out of there was maybe 8 years ago. I agree that it doesn't make much difference if we're stocking non-native, I was surprised to see that Splake stocking has reappeared this year. Not seeing them stocked for a few years had me thinking maybe we were going the right direction and getting away from that. I guess not.


Maineangler, Splake have a noticeable difference in the caudal fin, it being much more of a "V" than a square tail.
A lot of the heads are narrower and elongated.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: November 4th, 2017, 12:42 pm 
Offline

Joined: December 5th, 2001, 1:00 am
Posts: 5130
Location: Manchester, ME
Splake can look a lot like brook trout, but USUALLY have a somewhat forked tail; OFTEN are slimmer for their length; SOMETIMES are colored more like a lake trout; and don't seem to have the blue halos around spots that brook trout too. When I was seeing them on the Sheepscot a lot, it was common to catch something I thought was a brook trout in the water and then have it in hand and just think, "That looks kind of funny." Then I saw the stocking list and that they were stocking them in Sheepscot Lake. Splake seem to be pretty susceptible to moving a long way from where they are stocked.

My understanding is that DIFW stocks them in lakes where neither brook trout nor lake trout will thrive. They are more tolerant of marginal water quality than either parent species, grow faster, are easy to grow in the hatchery, have relatively high "return to angler", and seem to be popular with some ice anglers.

But they sure are ugly, and the last thing I want when fishing is a reminder that the "wild creature" I just caught wouldn't exist under any natural conditions. A lot of people were upset when they were showing up in the Magalloway and even the Rapid after dropping out of Sturtevant Pond. YMMV.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: November 5th, 2017, 8:06 am 
Offline
FFIM-aholic
User avatar

Joined: October 16th, 2006, 12:00 am
Posts: 1322
Location: Harrison
ah well. I guess it's become a splake thread.
The only way to definitively tell a brown from a salmon is by looking at the vomerine teeth.
Only way to definitively tell a bkt from a splake is:
"misidentification as either parental species is common. Splake may be positively identified by
counting the number of pyloric caeca, small sac-like structures in the stomach/intestine area:
Brook trout (23-55), splake (65-85), lake trout (93 or more). "
Anything else is pure speculation.
But please don't perform either of these inspections unless you are sure the regs allow harvest of your catch.

_________________
"It gets late early out there" - Yogi Berra


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: November 5th, 2017, 9:05 am 
Offline
FFIM Addict
User avatar

Joined: December 4th, 2001, 1:00 am
Posts: 5157
Location: Near the tying bench
maineangler wrote:
Those later fall drop downs would then be available to anglers in the spring, prior to trout stockings, improving the fishery for all.


Maybe, maybe not. River systems can be tough places for salmonids post-spawn. And for landlocked salmon, unless there is deep, slow moving holding water and lots of smelt dropping out of the lake above- they may not survive well. Even at places like GLS, they have trouble surviving the winter- and flows above a certain level (~960 cfs) can really wreak havoc with how many fish survive through the winter to be available for the early spring fishery.

maineangler wrote:
Would there really be a public outcry over that?

I suspect more than you imagine, depending on how popular the existing fishery is.

Regarding splake- I've never had trouble identifying one. They're shaped more like a togue, and generally have the forked tail of a togue. I'm surprised splake were once stocked in Sheepscot Lake though, as I thought there is a wild togue fishery there.

_________________
"You never miss the water until the well runs dry" - traditional blues


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: November 8th, 2017, 12:44 pm 
Offline
FFIM Addict

Joined: January 24th, 2002, 1:00 am
Posts: 2306
Location: Lyons, CO
People out west whack and stack plenty of fish. The water is just more productive for the most part. On my walk-from-home stream, the year they switched to C&R through town, the typical size of fish went from 8-12 to 10-16 in just one year. Our bigger problem is lack of sufficient water in fall/winter (as in lack of even a trickle of water at times), but on the front range, where the people live, if there's water, the primary thing holding back the fishery is angler harvest, the same as a lot of places in Maine. We certainly have the angler density -- I know there are at least 3 guys just on my block who fished more than I did this year and there are three rafts parked or stored within 100 yards of my house, even though we don't have a good raftable fishery within 2 hours drive.

What you see a lot more of out west is flyfishers who kill plenty of fish. The water is just more productive and conducive to growing fish because of the geology and the snowpack keeping the streams cool enough most summers. With global warming destroying our snowpack, it'll be brutal on the farmers, the fish, and the ski industry. Maybe we'll wind up getting stronger summer rains that will help, but I'm apprehensive it'll be different by the time I retire.

In Maine, I do think you could have a more significant limit on the keeping of larger fish. There already is one for bass: two fish, only 1 fish over 14. Why not extend that same sort of reg to all species of fish? Yeah, you could only keep one big fish a day per angler, but most anglers in Maine would be quite pleased to take home 1 good salmon or trout or togue per day. When you have issues with overpopulation, you let people start keeping more short fish, or you have a special reg to increase harvest.

That sort of thing would help protect wandering big fish, especially if they pile up, and you'd provide a certain amount of protection to migrating fish without calling out their presence in the rule book. I'd argue that there's no reason why you need to keep more than 1 fish over 14 per day per angler. I'm sure there's a small group of anglers for which it would be a problem, and my guess is that a significant number of them would try to cheat it, but you might as well try to keep it in check. This sort of thing helps protect spring holes, spawning pileups, etc. It takes a larger group of anglers a longer time to clean them out.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: November 8th, 2017, 1:39 pm 
Offline
FFIMer

Joined: March 16th, 2013, 11:04 pm
Posts: 560
I agree Pushaw. Too often people blame angling method on harvesting over the limit. In fairness, that's often true because it's the easiest most available method for casual fishing. And I think the casual element is the one that would scream the loudest about increased limits.There are Hardware fisherman and fly fisherman that would understand and agree to larger length limits and understand why. Let's face it, most folks who post on forums and the like have a bit more interest and understanding in and of the fishery and it's management than the tourist or person who buys a licence to only fish a couple times a season and wants to catch "a lot of trout"
I suspect these folks are in the majority when it comes to license revenue. So how do you educate folks who may not understand why less will eventually be more through a different management approach?

Edited to add that some stocked rivers here just won't support a holdover fishery, but maybe could if the focus was on improving them so they might. But that's a whole other issue.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: November 9th, 2017, 7:45 am 
Offline
FFIM-aholic
User avatar

Joined: October 16th, 2006, 12:00 am
Posts: 1322
Location: Harrison
RoundaboutCaddis wrote:

Edited to add that some stocked rivers here just won't support a holdover fishery, but maybe could if the focus was on improving them so they might. But that's a whole other issue.

I tend to think any river/stream with suitable spring contribution(in Maine, where aren't there springs?) and riparian buffer (again Maine, the most heavily forested state in the nation) will host a holdover trout population. Maybe not multiple-year class holdovers, but if we use holdover definition as making through the winter, a lot of fall-stocked fish and migratory fish will be available in the spring.
I watch stocked browns enter an inlet stream near me in Late November. This is a tiny stream which flows very low but steady all winter. Come April, those browns and salmon are found in the same areas.
The incidental salmon river in this thread is large and occasionally very deep. No doubt some of the drop downs holdover.
We could improve things significantly from a C&R perspective with tougher (or, any)regs.

_________________
"It gets late early out there" - Yogi Berra


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: November 9th, 2017, 3:59 pm 
Offline
FFIM Addict

Joined: January 24th, 2002, 1:00 am
Posts: 2306
Location: Lyons, CO
To be clear, I wouldn't try to stop people from keeping a mess of 7 inch brookies in northern Maine. I just want to make sure they don't take home more than 1 over 14 in a day. I think that might have a chance of getting past opposition. There are very, very few fishermen who take home more than 2 14 inch trout and salmon in a day each year in Maine and almost all of them are ice fishing or trolling in the spring. It's a simple rule change, easy to enforce and has no practical impact on 95% of fishermen in Maine.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 30 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Yahoo [Bot] and 6 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group