FFIM

FFIM is a non-profit organization devoted to promoting and preserving Maine's fisheries
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PostPosted: June 1st, 2010, 6:17 pm 
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Joined: December 27th, 2001, 1:00 am
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Location: Portland
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Q: Would the MIDFW consider any kind of mitigation or closure to protect the trout during this vulnerable (sucker spawn @ mouth to PITR) time? Is there any biological reason to do so?
A: White and longnose suckers utilize several locations in the Rapid River for spawning, including the inlet to Pond in the River and adjacent to the remnants of Lower Dam. Brook trout are attracted to these sites to forage on sucker eggs and other organisms that are also drawn to this seasonal food source. The “sucker spawn” attracts a frenzy of fishing activity in some locations, as anglers gather to take advantage of foraging trout. Department biologists monitor this fishery very closely, and there is no evidence that this activity negatively impacts the river’s trout population. This is likely related to several factors. Water temperatures generally range from 45° to 55° during this period, so trout are not stressed thermally and recovery from hooking occurs rapidly if they’re handled carefully. Also, trout range widely during this time on foraging forays, and individual fish associated with the sucker run represent only a fraction of the total population
. For example, only 14% of our radio telemetry contacts were from fish utilizing the inlet to Pond in the River during May. Finally, terminal tackle regulations for the Rapid River are highly restrictive and provide maximize protection to hooked fish. For these reasons, we would not support an “area closure” during the sucker spawning season.


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