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MartinlfAugust 10th, 2010, 5:32 pm
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3159
OK, time to buswhack the thread again. Somehow I missed the whole Trico rant earlier, perhaps because I've been tying up some size 26's for Gonzo. When the little bugs peter out tomorrow, though, I hope it won't be too hot to throw a beetle or two--or work a scud through the runs. After catching several 8-10" fish on trikes Monday, I doubled the catch with ants, then threw a beetle just for fun and caught the biggest fish of the day. Not huge, but a 12" fish from a small pool that I thought held nothing bigger than what I'd been catching. No tigers, though.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Shawnny3August 23rd, 2010, 1:53 pm
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
I've now spoken with hatchery personnel from three local hatcheries (Bellefonte, Benner Springs, and Pleasant Gap), and found out some interesting things. First, no area hatcheries have raised Tigers within the past three years. Some did escape from the Benner Springs hatchery in 'O4, but those would have been 4-5 inches in length. It would be hard to imagine a 4-5 inch fish in a creek as lush as Spring Creek only growing to 10 inches over a 6-year period. So my fish probably did not come from that flooding. Bald Eagle Creek is stocked entirely by the Pleasant Gap hatchery, and the last time they released Tigers in it the fish were all significantly larger than 10 inches, the last fish left over from the then-experimental and now-defunct Tiger stocking program. The best explanation for my fish that Pleasant Gap hatchery manager Bob Wilberding (who was both very helpful and very knowledgeable) could come up with was that the Bald Eagle Sportsman's Club stocked my fish several miles upstream of the Bald Eagle's confluence with Spring Creek and it worked its way down to Spring and then up into it. The BESC is known to stock Tigers in a few area streams, in particular the upper Bald Eagle for their annual spring tournament. Bob also added that he was part of a group that electrofished a few hundred yards upstream of where I caught my fish in the past few weeks, and that they caught one Tiger, also about 10-11 inches long and quite possibly the same fish I caught.

I asked Bob about fish migration, and he said that they have attached tracking devices to their fish occasionally to find out where they are going when they abandon their stocking location (apparently, they've had the problem of stocking an area only to find it completely devoid of fish just a few weeks later, with no obvious environmental reasons as to why). He said, not surprisingly, that fish tend to move more the worse the stream conditions are. If the stream is a good temperature and has little to no pollution, fish will tend to stay put. But when temps fluctuate widely or pollution enters the equation, they'll move substantial distances, typically downstream. He said they've observed that in winter fish in very cold water (40-degrees or less) sometimes let the current sweep them downstream large distances (they don't turn and head downstream, they continue to face upstream and simply drift lazily downstream). But sometimes fish migrate for no obvious reason. When I asked him how far they will migrate, he said that they once tracked a fish that had been stocked in a healthy stream with normal temps more than 100 miles downstream - it just wanted to go and go and go.

Bob added that all three hatcheries have recently installed new filters that have a very small pore diameter, and he expects that to almost completely curtail the number of hatchery escapees. He said that that likely means a virtual end to rainbows in Spring Creek. When I told him that I was pretty sure I'd caught native rainbows in Spring, he was skeptical, believing the vast majority instead to have escaped from hatcheries or worked their way up from the Bald Eagle. He said that their electrofishing data can practically be used to map out the locations of the hatcheries, the incidences of rainbows increase so dramatically near them. Still, he's hopeful that some rainbows are naturally reproducing in Spring and will continue to do so.

-Shawn
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
GONZOAugust 23rd, 2010, 2:56 pm
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
When I asked him how far they will migrate, he said that they once tracked a fish that had been stocked in a healthy stream with normal temps more than 100 miles downstream - it just wanted to go and go and go.


Although I'm not sure if any "official" record of this still exists, according to Vince Marinaro, there is a far more remarkable example of trout stocked in PA wandering very long distances. I may have mentioned this a few years back, but I'll let Vince tell the tale in his own words:

Unfortunately, the rainbow trout has one dastardly habit. He insists on going back to California! At least he makes a very determined effort to do so.

The first inkling of this 'homing' instinct came from eel fishermen who found them at progressive points down our rivers--rivers such as the Susquehanna, Allegheny, and others, which are hardly trout streams by any stretch of the imagination.

Confirmation of this disappearing act came about in a very curious way, and this is a classic in the annals of Pennsylvania fishing. Some years ago, the Fish Commission received a letter from a commercial fisherman who operated in the Gulf of Mexico. In the letter were five tags of the type used for identification purposes. Those tags were determined to have been attached to rainbow trout planted by our Fish Commission in [name deleted] Run, Cumberland County, practically within the shadow of the Capitol Dome. The letter from the fisherman who recovered the rainbows in the Gulf of Mexico may still be in the Fish Commission files.


Saying that the tiny spring creek in question is "practically within the shadow of the Capitol Dome" is a bit of an exaggeration. Aside from some indiscreet mention on a PA kiss-and-tell website, this story may be its only claim to fame.
Shawnny3August 23rd, 2010, 5:05 pm
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
If only someone would tell the fish about the Panama Canal, they wouldn't even have to bother swimming all the way around South America to get back home. So sad that the fish in Marinaro's story got stuck.

-Shawn
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
DryflyAugust 23rd, 2010, 8:39 pm
rochester mn

Posts: 133
Per the disappearing stocked trout idea, couldn't they just be fished out?

In my part of the world stocked trout are there for people to keep. The downstream migration idea is to more of an old wives tale trying to explain why there aren't any rainbows around. Stocked trout just don't last that long.
Shawnny3August 24th, 2010, 4:53 am
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
I can't comment on all cases, Dryfly, but in this case the stocked trout were not getting fished out, at least not legally. They were being stocked several weeks before the beginning of the season and were no longer there when the season started. As a result, Bob said they try to wait until the latest possible date to stock fish there (some areas I'm sure hold onto their trout better than others do). This was an isolated problem and not representative of all their stockings, but it does happen to them from time to time, sometimes unpredictably.

-Shawn
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
MotroutAugust 24th, 2010, 6:23 am
Posts: 319
The whole "migrating" rainbow idea, is interesting... Around here, stocked rainbows tend to pretty much stay where they are until the bait guys fish them out.
"I don't know what fly fishing teaches us, but I think it's something we need to know."-John Gierach
http://fishingintheozarks.blogspot.com/
MotroutAugust 24th, 2010, 6:23 am
Posts: 319
The whole "migrating" rainbow idea, is interesting... Around here, stocked rainbows tend to pretty much stay where they are until the bait guys fish them out.
"I don't know what fly fishing teaches us, but I think it's something we need to know."-John Gierach
http://fishingintheozarks.blogspot.com/
MotroutAugust 24th, 2010, 6:23 am
Posts: 319
The whole "migrating" rainbow idea, is interesting... Around here, stocked rainbows tend to pretty much stay where they are until the bait guys fish them out.
"I don't know what fly fishing teaches us, but I think it's something we need to know."-John Gierach
http://fishingintheozarks.blogspot.com/
OldredbarnAugust 24th, 2010, 6:52 am
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Per the disappearing stocked trout idea, couldn't they just be fished out?


Dryfly,

How about food for pike or resident big-boy Brown trout lurking under a big old log taking a nap with a satisfied grin on their faces...:) Burp!!!

Spence
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
SlateDrake9August 24th, 2010, 7:25 am
Potter County, PA

Posts: 144
Several years ago I assisted in a pre-season stocking on a stream here in Potter County that was part of this fish movement study mentioned. Instead of the usual pull over and stock certain points and move to the next spot, we would pull over and count out a specific amount of trout, I believe it was 120, and stock them in a specific spot that was then recorded via GPS by the WCO. We stocked something like 9-10 miles of this stream like this. The next phase happened about 10 days later when an electo fishing crew from PAFBC went in to the exact locations (and some standard yardage up and down from the spot-maybe 100 yards I believe)to look for those fish. In this particular stream the results were mixed, but they didn't find even half of the trout from what the WCO told me. This was done in early March when water levels and temps were excellent, no high water or low water events happened from the time the fish went into the stream until the electrofishing happened and the fish were put in places that they should have held. Also no known pollution events in this stream and this stream isn't known to have much poaching.

This same thing happened all over PA that spring. The results of this study are what the PAFBC is using to determine pre-season stocking time frames on many streams. The streams that are stocked closest to the opening day are the ones that they couldn't locate the fish in during the electrofishing and the streams that get stocked well before the season opens are the ones that showed good retention of trout or weren't studied like this. The streams (and some stream sections) were choosen due to angler complaints of not being able to locate fish. I also remeber hearing or reading that statewide, recapture rates in this study were under 50%.

As a side, brook, brown, rainbow and golden rainbow (bananna trout) were stocked for this study, not just one species of trout.

And, for Spence, I don't think you'd find a pike in any of the streams this study happened in Potter County. Big browns, probably, but enough to eat 120 trout out of a single location in multiple locations in a 10 mile stretch in a 10 day period, I'm doubtful, but would like to fish there if that was happening. :-)
Fishing with bait is like swearing in church.
-- Slate Drake
OldredbarnAugust 24th, 2010, 8:01 am
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
And, for Spence, I don't think you'd find a pike in any of the streams this study happened in Potter County. Big browns, probably, but enough to eat 120 trout out of a single location in multiple locations in a 10 mile stretch in a 10 day period, I'm doubtful, but would like to fish there if that was happening. :-)


B.J.

Well if he does exist we know he's not interested in Tony's size 32's! :)

Spence
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
Shawnny3August 24th, 2010, 1:07 pm
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
And, for Spence, I don't think you'd find a pike in any of the streams this study happened in Potter County. Big browns, probably, but enough to eat 120 trout out of a single location in multiple locations in a 10 mile stretch in a 10 day period, I'm doubtful, but would like to fish there if that was happening. :-)


This would a be a stream I'd be very careful about wading in.

Thanks for sharing that, Slate.

-Shawn
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
BbellSeptember 9th, 2010, 6:24 pm
West Chester Pa

Posts: 1


Interesting discussions on Tiger Trout gentlemen.One of my co-op clubs here in Chester County has raised Tigers for years, some we hold
back until they reach 16-20 inches and then stock for our trophy trout
rodeo each year.We received these fish as fingerlings years ago from the PF+BC.

Also,I caught 2 Tigers in 2006 in northern Centre County,One was a stocked fish,about 10 inches from Black Moshannon creek near the mouth
of Benner Run.The other was a much darker green wild fish of 7 inches
in Six Mile Run south of RT504.If you ever get up to Black Moshannon
State Park ,you can view pictures of each fish at the Park office.

Tight lines to all.

-Bob
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