The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,569 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yet another topic:

As we get into mid June when water temperatures often start to become a concern, I wonder how many of us carry a stream thermometer and use it.

If so, how often do you typically take the water temperature?

I always have a thermometer in my vest and use it on every outing. I take the temperature in at least every section I fish and may take it multiple times if fishing one section for a prolonged period.

I typically take the water temperature at the beginning of the day after I've caught my first trout, but have also taken it before I even start fishing a section if I'm concerned the WT may be too cold or worse, too warm. There have been occasions where I have waded in, took the water temperature, and then left because the stream was too warm.

How about you? Where do you stand on stream thermometer use?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
12,829 Posts
I use one and carry it...sometimesiI start fishing and forget..

Curious...at what temp do shut it down and let the fish be???
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
388 Posts
I carry one with me at all times. In the colder months I might only check the temp 3 times, But when the water warms I start to check it alot more often. If I record a temp of 70 I am either done for the day or find cooler water to fish elsewhere.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,569 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
mauser06 said:
I use one and carry it...sometimesiI start fishing and forget..

Curious...at what temp do shut it down and let the fish be???
If I see water temperature 68 or higher, I wade out and either quit or go elsewhere.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
12,829 Posts
Good info to know!


Will definitely have to start paying attention..


If we don't start getting some rain I won't be able to fish though!!
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
20,166 Posts
I have one at all times but to me honest I rarely use it unless I feel I need to. I've been doing this a long time so I usually just put my hand in the water right away and know if it needs a reading. I also know that very few of the creeks I fish have any thermal issues so I know I'm not in the danger zone. If it's really hot and I know I'm on a fringe stream I will take the temp right away. Also once the night time temps get below 50 or above 70 I will take a temp immediately. But in June I hardly ever use it as long as the water feels appropriate. I would call it a very useful item when I need it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,616 Posts
At the recommendation of members here I recently picked up a thermometer. I have been checking before I begin fishing any section of stream. Based on what I have gathered anything above 68* and I am not fishing. Last weekend I had fished a stream that was at 68* and I got sunked so I may make 68* my cutoff.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,877 Posts
I carry a thermometer and agree that 68F is a good cutoff.

But I prefer fishing in colder water than that.

There are streams that run much cooler than others in the summer. By checking with the thermometer you can learn which streams those are, and fish those when the weather is warm.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,569 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
troutbert said:
I carry a thermometer and agree that 68F is a good cutoff.

But I prefer fishing in colder water than that.

There are streams that run much cooler than others in the summer. By checking with the thermometer you can learn which streams those are, and fish those when the weather is warm.
I don't like to fish water that warm either. 65 and below is my preferred temp.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,407 Posts
mauser06 said:
I use one and carry it...sometimesiI start fishing and forget..

Curious...at what temp do shut it down and let the fish be???
I carry a thermometer and use it BEFORE I start fishing a stream. Depending upon the reading and how close it is to 68-69 degrees I may or may not check it again in a couple hours. Also depends on the type of stream, spring creek or freestoner?

No matter what I don't fish for trout if the water temperature is 70 or higher. In most cases I tend to quit when it reaches 68. As water temperature reaches those temps, trout become increasingly stressed. Water temperatures over 70 can become lethal to trout and when caught, even if they swim away fine when released, will have difficulty recovering and may die later.

Trout (and trout fishing) thrive in water temperatures between 55-65
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,335 Posts
Yep, I've carried one for years , and use it regularly , but after this many seasons under my belt, you learn when it's too
warm, and to just leave the trout alone, and look elsewhere.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,262 Posts
I take the WT at or near the time I start to fish a stream and when I quit on that stream. If I'm concerned about the WT hitting 70-degrees I will take it more often. I only ever recall doing this a few times over the years.

I keep mine on a long string so that I can drop it in the water while fishing, thus saving time.

If you don't have a stream thermometer and decide to purchase one, I'd advise buying one that goes below 32-degrees so that you can use it as an air thermometer during cold weather.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,787 Posts
FrankTroutAngler said:
I take the WT at or near the time I start to fish a stream and when I quit on that stream. If I'm concerned about the WT hitting 70-degrees I will take it more often. I only ever recall doing this a few times over the years.

I keep mine on a long string so that I can drop it in the water while fishing, thus saving time.

If you don't have a stream thermometer and decide to purchase one, I'd advise buying one that goes below 32-degrees so that you can use it as an air thermometer during cold weather.
So you will know if you are cold?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
I measure as often as I remember to measure. While some of the comments here are about stressing the fish when the water temperatures are high, I find simply that I don't stress the fish when temperatures go up, so much as the fish are simply in survival mode and will not feed and it's simply not worth fishing for them. It took me a few times of encountering a pool of dozens of brookies hugging the bottom of a stream, and them expressing zero interest in whatever I threw at them to realize that they were hunkered down in survival mode, probably sitting on some colder spring seeps.

Also, water temperature is not actually what does the fish in. The dissolved oxygen content is a function of temperature and generally, as the water temperature rises, the amount of DO it can hold goes down, eventually reaching a lethal point for trout. I imagine trout could survive in higher temperature environments, if there was a good source of DO available, but I can think of few natural environments where this actually exists. For instance, in a tumbling stream, the plunge pools and even the riffles capture some oxygen. But, as water levels and flows fall, there's less oxygen mixing in, and even if you held the temperature constant, the fish would eventually flee, or die. So its generally safe to use water temperature as a proxy for DO content.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
332 Posts
I check when I start and sometimes when I finish, but during my one shot every year in either late May or early June in McKean Co the water is somewhere in the 50s nearly 100% of the time. Don't think I saw anything over 60 a couple of weeks ago during my trip.

Another big issue in several of the areas I fish is acidity, both from AMD and other factors. There are a few streams I have fished up there that have great flows and holes and not a trout to be seen - and I can promise it isn't from someone recently fishing it. Even some of the stocked streams will have trout disappear days to weeks after stocking even though they get minimal fishing pressure. I am giving serious thought to getting something that can check stream pH. I haven't even started to look at how, but remember friends with swimming pools that had those small kits that would check pH so figure I could look there. If nothing else I could dust off the cobwebs of my undergrad degree in chemistry I haven't really used in 24 years, lol.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
895 Posts
FrankTroutAngler said:
I take the WT at or near the time I start to fish a stream and when I quit on that stream. If I'm concerned about the WT hitting 70-degrees I will take it more often. I only ever recall doing this a few times over the years.

I keep mine on a long string so that I can drop it in the water while fishing, thus saving time.

If you don't have a stream thermometer and decide to purchase one, I'd advise buying one that goes below 32-degrees so that you can use it as an air thermometer during cold weather.
Which one do you recommend ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,893 Posts
When I was a bit younger and fishing a lot, I'd always carry a thermometer with me and use it each time out.

Now with my son and wife in the mix, I just don't fish like I used to. I'm almost always done by late June anymore and there are never temp issues where I fish except in the hottest of years so I don't even bother carrying a thermometer anymore. I don't adjust my fishing days to suit conditions, I just fish when I can regardless of conditions so it is what it is for me.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
20,166 Posts
I agree completely Salmonoid. When it comes to water temp I don't stop fishing until the trout stop biting and they will as some point as the water temp goes up. I've absolutely smashed trout in 71 degree water and the second it hit 72......done. Gradient has a LOT to do with how fish respond to higher water temps. If there are a lot of falls and rapid the O2 content will be much better at 70 then it will be on a low Gradient stream at 70.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top