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Old 07-19-2016, 05:15 AM
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plecain plecain is offline
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Default Something I've wondered about

I've often wondered about the numbers of small fish in mountains streams. In some cases there's a fish behind every rock, it seems.

Would those streams be better off with fewer fish? Would the fish grow larger with less competition?

I've seen some people's opinions in a number of threads here. Are there any studies I can look at that would discuss this issue?
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Old 07-19-2016, 06:41 AM
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Redneck_Flashaboo Redneck_Flashaboo is offline
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I don't know about anything official, but I've got a spring fed stream I've been selectively harvesting wild trout in for years.

Have I noticed a difference? I think so, in the last couple years I've managed to catch quite a few wild brookies pushing 14+

Those sow bugs turn that brookie fresh just as pink as can be, they taste real good when they have a fine diet of crustaceans.
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Old 07-19-2016, 08:09 AM
TGIF TGIF is offline
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Less competition is always good for size, but the balance is something i can't comment on. If we all had our own private creeks, we could probably manage it better than in places where 10 other people may all have the same idea.

I do think that food and habitat limit size.... i don't think the last brookie standing would be 20", if all the others were cleared out.
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Old 07-19-2016, 08:45 AM
truiteman truiteman is offline
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When trout populations are left alone, mother nature reaches an equilibrium in population density and age class. There have been many studies done that show this and we have experienced this at Red Brook.

It is when there is a liberal catch and kill like 5(NH) or 8(MA) or 12(VT) that monkeys with the population dynamics. It also messes things up when a load of hatchery fish get dumped in and overload the biomass. Plus stupid hatchery trout eat anything and everything that comes their way leaving less than optimal food sources.

And trust me when I tell you, there are larger fish everywhere we fish. The reason you don't catch them is because they didn't get old and big by being stupid.

JMHO

Steve
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Old 07-19-2016, 09:12 AM
BrookieSlayah BrookieSlayah is offline
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I do think that streams could be a managed for quality sized wild trout but you would have to be pretty careful. I think that brookies better than 14" are pretty rare everywhere so it would be difficult to manage for fish like that though. I can say that it works though, because there is a stream that I have fished and I caught very few fish but the ones I got were 8-10". I think that one would have to harvest a trout population in a stream pretty well to see any significant difference.
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Old 07-19-2016, 07:20 PM
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Genetics plays a role as well. A lot of those six inchers are mature fish. You could thin the population dramatically and all you'd end up with is a stream with a few six inch fish instead of many six inch fish.
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Old 07-20-2016, 05:38 PM
BrookieSlayah BrookieSlayah is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gone Fishin' View Post
Genetics plays a role as well. A lot of those six inchers are mature fish. You could thin the population dramatically and all you'd end up with is a stream with a few six inch fish instead of many six inch fish.
It's not like 6" and better fish are the only mature ones though. 2 yr olds (3" or 4") also spawn and reproduce just like their 3 yr old counterparts.
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