Question about keeping fish vs. c&r - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-07-2014, 12:26 AM Thread Starter
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Question about keeping fish vs. c&r

Ok, so I got to thinking today. I fish a local stream that is stocked two ways. The fish commission stocks the upper portion and an inflow creek with fingerlings for put-grow-take wild-style fishing. A local sportsmen club stocks over these "wild" fish with rainbows, browns, and brookies. In this part of the river I catch an excellent mix of true wild fish and stocked fish as well.

So my question is this. I always catch and release there to avoid impacting the fishery negatively. But recently I started thinking about it. Anyone who wishes to weigh in please do. Would it be beneficial to the fish to selectively harvest some of the stocked trout? The fish hold over in this water very well, but I am thinking about food competition, especially in periods of high temps and low flow. The stocked trout most likely compete for water with the more wild fish. So I am thinking about possibly harvesting some of the fish in the 10" - 15" range to try to help the trophy size fish in this part of the stream healthy.

Is there any benefit to this sort of management program? Obviously I am one person and my personal actions won't make much of a difference either way, but I am up in the air on this one. I catch a ton of trout out of this area every year and thus far have only kept one fish from there (deep hook.) Would you keep the stockies if it were you?

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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-07-2014, 12:27 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Question about keeping fish vs. c&r

BTW I asked this question here because I feel that most of the C&R guys are probably here. If it should be in the Trout forum or General fishing please move it. Thanks!

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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-07-2014, 12:32 AM
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Re: Question about keeping fish vs. c&r

Well the wild trout that are in there originally came from stock, so the potential is there for the stockies to spawn...plus the 10-15" fish will do a good bit of the breeding
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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-07-2014, 12:35 AM
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Re: Question about keeping fish vs. c&r

I will also add that of the fish are looking poor in health then maybe it is a good idea to wack a few stockies for the pan...if the fish look health then there should be plenty of food
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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-07-2014, 02:16 AM
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Re: Question about keeping fish vs. c&r

I do believe what they do at Yellowstone is fish under a certain size and over a certain size were allowed to be taken. Saw a video a long time ago don't know if that is still how it is or if it was anoher area.

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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-07-2014, 03:50 AM
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Re: Question about keeping fish vs. c&r

Intensive studies done by Dr. Robert Bachman of PSU have shown stocked trout would take over/try to take over the wild trout's feeding lanes, thereby causing wild fish to expend energy on chasing stickies away instead of feeding and thus therefore growing at a faster rate. If the PA. fish commish has elected to stock where there's a population of wild fish, then evidently there's enough stream space for both on your particular water. I believe nature has it's way of sustaining the fishery, as Attack had made a point of healthy vs. unhealthy trout. Even though I know of waters that warm up in the summer, I still practice C & R only IF the trout are handling the water temps. IF they're not doing well, I stay completely away from said stream as playing a stressed trout can be fatal. I can wait to fish there again, opting to travel to the limestone, larger or even the shaded creeks that offer relief from summer's hot sun. Another thought is to only fish at dawn until 10 or 11, then again after 6 pm until dark. It really comes down to personal preference of keep vs. release. I prefer to release to allow others to get the same joy of the catch as I had, whether or not that fish will survive the hot summer temps later on. Besides, if I wanted to eat something tasting like dog food, I'd stay home & have a bowl of Purina. It's really no fun to go to a nice stream on your day off & practice casting b/c all the fish have been taken, even legally. I'm grateful to others who have also decided to release what was caught, but have no hard feelings toward those who keep some for the table...

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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-07-2014, 01:05 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Question about keeping fish vs. c&r

Well, the fish in this particular fishery are not really wild, they are put in from fingerlings by the state. But they are still much more fun to catch than the stockies, being raised in the stream from a very small size they get smart and fight better. I am the same way Cane. I want to keep catching fish, but I do like to keep a couple for the table too. I c&r on 90% of all my trips. Thanks guys, these responses helped!

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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-08-2014, 02:37 PM
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Re: Question about keeping fish vs. c&r

What's the stream? It's pretty hard to evaluate things without knowing that.
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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-08-2014, 07:10 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Question about keeping fish vs. c&r

Stonycreek river in Somerset County

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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-08-2014, 07:57 PM
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Re: Question about keeping fish vs. c&r

It's an interesting question. If the conditions of the stream are good enough that hatchery fingerlings can live and grown there year around, maybe the stocked adult trout do the same?

If there are streams nearby that are stocked, but that get too warm for trout to survive the summer, that would be a good place to go and keep trout, especially as you get close to time when the water temps get too warm for the trout.
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