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> > How to tell wild trout from hatchery trout, Page 2

GutcutterMay 12th, 2012, 6:51 am

Posts: 470
on Valentine's Day, 2007, Martinlf wrote:
I have heard repeatedly from sources that I trust that the Little J's bed is generally too "cemented" to provide good habitat for spawning. These sources acknowledge that there is some spawning in the stream and in tribs, but not enough to sustain the J's fishery at the numbers we all appreciate.

Isn't it interesting what five short years have determined. There is ample natural reproduction of brown trout in the LittleJ, and there is growing evidence of rainbow trout reproduction as well (in the river, not just the tribs).
We now have "redd counting" events.
The is a growing number of fishermen and sportsman's groups that want all stocking (including fingerlings) stopped.
Oh, and the sulfurs aren't hatching this year. DON'T GO!
All men who fish may in turn be divided into two parts: those who fish for trout and those who don't. Trout fishermen are a race apart: they are a dedicated crew- indolent, improvident, and quietly mad.

-Robert Traver, Trout Madness
MartinlfMay 12th, 2012, 1:51 pm
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3231
Yes, and I'm delighted to have my previous sources proven wrong. For several years I've been saying that I'd be happy to see stocking end on the J.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Jmd123May 12th, 2012, 1:55 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2610
I actually have a river, well a stream that is, nearby that receives NO stocking, at least not from the MI DNR. Most of the drainage is in the Huron National Forest, and though I have seen some habitat improvement, I doubt they stock it. It's not big water and the fish don't get very big but they're all beautiful, wild fish with nice bright colors and well-formed fins that you can tell have never seen a hatchery raceway! This stream doesn't have many browns in it, mostly brookies and rainbows.

The Rifle River is stocked fairly heavily, yet the fish I catch out there are beautiful, the red spots on the browns so bright they look like they came off of brook trout! So, it can be hard to tell...

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Reelin_goodAugust 13th, 2014, 11:43 pm
Latrobe Pa

Posts: 1
I agree as well with the colors of the fish. A rainbow is tough because the longer it's In the creek the more color it will get (darker, more rainbowish). Brooke's are easily identifies if they are wild also, even the fingerlings. One distinct way to tell a stocked trout to a wild trout is next time you catch a full blown stocked trout take it's jaw and gently open it to it's full extent. It will not open very far. A wild trouts mouth opens up a lot more it will extend far much further down below it's stomach, that's how I can always tell. Take a good look next time your out on the creek.
Instagram @reelin_good

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