View Full Version : Spawning Fish
11-04-98, 11:55 PM
I would like to hear some of your thoughts on fishing for spawning fish you can catch some of the biggest fish of the year doing it but is it ok or wrong and why?
This is probably the ONE situation in which I think C&R is a valid approach in STOCKED streams.
In the case of wild streams, I think fishing should be prohibited altogether during the spawn. If you're a good enough fisherman, you've always got a shot at the bigger fish. They're just a lot easier to catch during the spawn because they become emotional and aggressive -- a lot like some of us on this board.
I think you have a good point here as some of the trout stream back in Michigan have that reg. on them. I would even be happy with a C&R during this time, even though I do so 99% of the time. GOOD POINT!!!! Maybe even some of the streams?????
Flyguy (Version 2.6),
I hope that you didn't take my response to your previous post the wrong way since it seems it's tone could have been interpreted multiple ways. Sorry if you did. On to the present topic...
It looks like Mr. T and I agree on something after all--fishing should be prohibited on wild trout streams during the spawn. Fecundity in fishes tends to increase with age and size. Since most wild trout around here tend to be small, they consequently aren't capable of producing a big spawn. That makes each spawning fish all the more valuable. The spawning period itself tends to be stressful for fish--redd construction, competition for mates, decreased food consumption, etc. The additional stress associated with capture might be too much for a wild fish to handle at this time of the year. In the case of a female, even if she doesn't die, added stress might cause her to reabsorb her eggs--no spawn that year. (As a side note, I have read one study where decreased fecundity of brook trout, relative to rainbows, was cited as a causative agent in their range restriction. Make sure you leave those native fish alone.) I would just enjoy knowing that their are streams left that are capable of supporting reproduction of wild trout, and wait to fish until the post-spawn. In Georgia, where most of our wild trout streams are seasonal, this is a moot point since the streams are closed to fishing during the spawn.
I have to politely disagree with Mr. T on the point of fishing stocked streams during the spawn. I say catch those spawning stockers if the stream isn't capable of supporting survival of the resulting embryos. If the stream is capable of supporting reproduction, I question why it is stocked to begin with. In that case, the inferior stockers might contaminate the gene pool of any resident wild fish (but hey, I'm an extremist).
Erik -- I assume that during the spawn, eggs are laid and fertilized. I also understand that the spawn only lasts a few weeks. Why not let them lay their eggs in hopes that some of the fingerlings will survive and grow and hopefully by next season be smarter than some of the hatchery stockers of the same size. I believe you have holdovers on all stocked streams and that some of them can get quite large.
There's a three-pound rainbow which roosts in a certain area on the Tallulah and it has been caught three times that I know of, all three times about dusk.
I probably would release a fish like that, too.
Since the spawn is so short, a two-to-three week period of C&R on stocked streams would be harmless to most of us "meat" fishermen and would allow the fish to deposit their eggs. Once reopened to catch and keep most of the stockers will be removed anyway. But hopefully, their eggs will produce some wilier frye than the hatchery fingerlings and they eventually survive to be larger and smarter adults.
I always thought a hatchery trout had to be in a stream for a while before it would spawn. If that's true, then there's probably no spawning by stocked rainbows therefore the whole point is moot.
I thought that those stocked streams already had too many fish in them already, and that removing fish was good for the fishery. I think that's what you said previously anyway. If you let some fish reproduce in there, wouldn't you be adding to the problem. I mean, that would almost be as bad as practicing catch and release all the time wouldn't it.
Saying that those stream-bred fish might be a little more difficult and fun to catch than the stockers implies that you might actually be fishing for sport and not a meal. I thought you were against fishing for sport alone.
As you say the spawning period can last only a short time in some instances. I would think that the shorter this time period is, the harder it would be to predict. It could vary from year to year based on various environmental conditions. That would make a rigid 2-3 week annual C/R policy virtually impossible to implement. I'm afraid you would have to sacrifice a lot more fishing time than three weeks if you want that regulation.
P.S. Didn't mean to slam Mr. T, but was just engaging in a little debate. Let me know if I need to tone it down from this level.
*****it Erik. No wonder you stay in trouble. You could nitpick a steel ball. I almost didn't reply to this last little diatribe in view of our attempt at a kindler and gentler board. You have a unique ability not to be able understand what you read.
The whole point is a complete difference of philosphy. My main purpose in fishing is to put meat on the table. And, yes, there is sport in it along with the intellectual challenges of trying to fool the wiley trout. Flyfishing is a hell of a lot more than than just throwing in a line and pulling out a chunk of meat. If all I wanted was the meat, I could, as some of your colleages have suggested, go to the grocery store. Or, as I have done on many occasions, switch to bait and or my spinning rod.
Likewise, if all I wanted was the outdoor experience, I could go for a hike or a picnic.
Flyfishing just happens to combine some of those things in a single pursuit. I have continually emphasized that I love fishing, I love catching the fish and I love eating them. I am a predator and I believe that God put fish on earth for man to consume. I also, rightly or wrongly, consider myself a sportsman and want to give my quarry every opportunity to outwit me. But, if he's the right size and I catch him, he's gonna be in my frying pan and on my plate in short order. He won't be swimming off with a sore lip to die or to give someone else the fun of giving him another him a sore lip. And he won't get a sore lip or a fatal wound from me just because I wanted to have some fun or because I'm stimulated simply by the intellectual challenge of trying to catch him.
Having said that, I think it qualifies why I feel C&R during the spawn is reasonable. If it ain't workable, so be it. But the purpose there for C&R was not to eliminate meat fishing altogether or even to increase the fishery. It was simply to perhaps improve the quality of those few who do hold over.
I think I made the point quite clearly that I assumed the stockers would be removed anyway and also that if the stockers cannot spawn the whole premise was moot.
It was all a matter of conjecture and discussion -- really not an argument or even a point for debate. The line between your position and mine is VERY thin and almost not worth the argument and debate that has preceded.
The major difference I see is that you would have no hesitation in imposing C&R on me and I say that if C&R is needed to protect the fishery, then we need to stop fishing altogether. What's better for the fishery?
Why don't you save the slamming for a real issue rather than one you create. Aologies don't change the fact that this was a slam.
Gotta believe this Mr. T would argue with a sign post!
An individual I ran into on the Chattooga last year sums up fishing during the spawn for me. He was standing in the middle of a spawning bed, and he asked me where all the fish were and asks if I thought the fishing has deteriorated over the last couple seasons.
Catch and release during spawning season really doesnt matter when we are dealing with idiots.
Point #2.....go to Arkansas and fish the Little Red, Norfork, or below Bull Shoals on the White right now thru Jan...... If you could see the monsters that move up to spawn you would wet your waders.. But below bull shoals to the end of Gastons Property it is catch and release for spawners.. artificials only...
On Cow Shoals on the Little Red. Catch and release.. artificials only between nov and end of Jan.
McClellans Boat Dock are on the Norfork...same conditions as mentioned above...
Here are 3 places that do practice catch and release in Designated areas during the spawn. Yes both rivers have incredible food supplies to generate HUGE fish,,,,but I am sure that the fact none of the spawners are killed on the main redds helps out a bit/
I see that your skin is thin, and will attempt to go even a little easier on you in the future. I realize that our stance on this issue is not that far apart. I was merely pointing out a few incongruences between some of the statements in your recent post and previous statements that you made pertaining to catch and release. That was the debate to which I was referring.
Your present statements seem to imply that you are doing a service to the trout by taking them home to the frying pan. As you say, the trout won't be "swimming off with a sore lip to die or to give someone else the fun of giving him another sore lip." It seems to me that even the highest catch mortality rates are much less than the chance you are offering that fish at survival (as previously stated by another subscriber). The fish probably won't receive a fatal wound just because you are stimulated by the challenge of catching him, but it will definitely die if your aim in fishing is to eat him! What's a greater injustice to the fish, and what's wrong with giving someone else a shot at catching that fish?
Erik -- You're picking at straws. I'm getting bored. End of discussion.
Tom -- Kiss off!
Jeffg -- Right on! and that's where I cut my teeth on trout fishing.
Darn it! Why is this happening again. I have read this thread over and over again, then I read it again, and again, and Erik, although your techniques for argument are quite good - you make no valid points in my opinion. You make a statement, then don't bother to back it up in your rebuttals, instead you "press the buttons" of your opponent. Mr. T has earned his respect here by providing useful valid input, it is not too late to earn yours too.
Your response dissapoints me. Firstly, I don't quite understand it. What statements have I not backed up? I know that I have pressed Mr. T's buttons as you say, but I think that all of my statements have been justified. I am just trying to figure out what his, and people with similar views, stance is on the subject of catch and release. When some of things that I hear don't make sense, I question them. I realize that some of those questions are tainted with sarcasm, but that's in my nature. I don't mean any harm by it. Secondly, have I not provided useful and valid input on this board? I feel that I have, and numerous others who have responded to my posts through this forum or via e-mail seem to agree. If you don't, then remove me from the position of moderator. I'm beginning to not care either way. It's your board and your decision to make.
P.S. This reply might have been better expressed in the form of a personal e-mail, but as you chose to make the topic public, I followed suit.
I would have to side with Aaron here. Although you have toned down your replies I too find no value in your points most of the time. I think what you put across in your posts are for the most part true and worth while, but its the same thing over and over...You are big on catch and release and we all know it. I looks like your point has been well taken by those who wish to observe your opinion, and those who have not jumped on your side of the line probibly won't... no matter what you say.
Mr.T has been on the board from the start and I know he likes to push buttons too, but I have gathered alot of valuable input from those buttons over th last few years. Plus (no offence) I find the wording and structure of your post a little hard to understand sometimes. I'll admit it....I am an average high school graduate and when it comes to fancy words and things I am one of those head scatchers. Not to take anything away from you or anyone eles with a degree, but if I don't understand it, then how can I make sence enough to form an opinion?
I say lets move on to another subject.
Perhaps I have over-reacted, and it may be because, since I don't agree with your stance on C&R, I fall victim as others to do to my emotions. You HAVE provided some valuable input here but at the same time I think your sarcasm may be mis-interpreted for attack. I guess if you were not a moderator it might be different. "Moderator" = "Moderate"
Please stay on - lets just move on.
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