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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I ask this because I have mixed feelings about disturbing wild trout durring their spawn.
I have fished the Weber before in November and it was like fishing at a fish farm.
I felt guilty and wondered what dammage I may be doing to the fish and their reproduction.
I didn't wade in any of the redds, but I'm sure that I stressed a lot of fish.
Now to somewhat answer my own question,
If it isn't illigal, is it alright?
Should some waters be closed to fishing durring the spawn?
I have fished at the Green River in the spring, durring the Cutthroat spawn, but these fish don't reproduce, at least that's what I've been told.
With that in mind, I don't feel as guilty there.
So how do the rest of you feel about this issue?
 

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Re: Do You Fish During The Spawn?

I have fished the spawn many many many times. I have never really thought about it being a bad thing to do.
 

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Growing up, I used to sight fish bass spawn beds. You'd rake just about anything over top they would hit it, horse it in requick and release. I could see them swim right back to the beds, so it seems like no harm no foul.
I guess I took this kind of thinking approach to the brown spawn I was looking foward to on the Weber. I fish only for sport and can usually walk away after a few fish but I know not everyone is like this. As fatbass mentions though, in the states eyes if it was critical to that particular fish they would close it down. For me it is like how they close down strawberry tribs and wheat grass arm at causey.

So for me, I might go out once or twice and get some nice pictures of some beautiful browns(and surrounding area) and then just hang out and reflect for a while.....No mediating smilie
 

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I haven't ever fished a spawn, other than the a salmon run. I have mixed feelings as well. I think in Utah it depends on the water. Smaller waters should probably be closed down. Larger waters such as the LP or the MP are fair game IMO. Fish do so well there, some thinning probably would do the river good. I do plan on giving it a try this year though.
 

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I have a combo we call bacon and eggs we fish above jordanelle for the spawning rainbows and have landed some nice fish as well. Stay off the reds and keep the fish in the water and handle them as little as possible to insure the future of the fishery! o-|| o-|| O|*
 

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orvis1 said:
I have a combo we call bacon and eggs we fish above jordanelle for the spawning rainbows and have landed some nice fish as well. Stay off the reds and keep the fish in the water and handle them as little as possible to insure the future of the fishery! o-|| o-|| O|*
I though the rainbows that stocked in Utah are sterile? From what I had read they only "act" through the spawn.
 

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That is interesting , I wonder if someone here has a absolute answer. I would have paid it no mind before with thinking that they are just acting through the spawn.
 

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FishGlyph said:
Well I would go fishing during the spawn if .45 would get his shtuff together! Sheesh!
Get with it maan!

fatbass, your signature: Is puking over the gunwales considered chumming?
Hey !!!! A lot of things are legal but that don't mean you have to always abide by the law !!!

Whorehouse's are legal in some parts of Nevada. !! You can go to Cali and marry you're first cousin!! In Utah you can fish with spinner's and lures..None of which i care to do !!!!! :mrgreen: But I do walk the river's in the fall....maybe I'm just a bad person !! -)O(-

And don't give me that crap little miss good look'in avatar lady !!!! Oh...it too cold !! Oooooh..I have a headache !!!! I'm sorry, I have to work. You're running out of time and excuses !!!!... :lol: :lol:
 

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i wondered about sterile rainbows stocked in utah also and only some places are stocked with sterile rainbows. i heard they are known as triploid rather than diploid or something like that. i have been to a few fish hatcheries and they said the only sterile fish they made were hybrids, but other hatcheries do breed some fish to be sterile, but most dont.

as for the main question, i feel guilty fishing for brooks while they spawn, mainly because i want them into more places, but they are hardy fish and if you dont wear them out completely and handle them as little as possible i think they are fine. as for the browns i think they need to be thinned out everywhere. they seem to have this nasty habit of over-reproducing and outgrowing there food source in utah, so i target them in the fall. during the spring i like to stay away from cutt and rainbow spawning grounds.
 

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I absolutely hate this topic for several reasons: 1) fishing is a blood sport; it is never "good" for the fish 2) fishing during the spawn does no more harm than fishing during critical incubation times, yet no one seems to care about the "ethics" of fishing during these times 3) most of the places where people are concerned about "harming" the natural reproduction of trout are the exact places where we should be dampering the reproduction 4) I always fish...during the spawn, before the spawn, and after the spawn!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
wyoming2utah said:
I absolutely hate this topic for several reasons: 1) fishing is a blood sport; it is never "good" for the fish 2) fishing during the spawn does no more harm than fishing during critical incubation times, yet no one seems to care about the "ethics" of fishing during these times 3) most of the places where people are concerned about "harming" the natural reproduction of trout are the exact places where we should be dampering the reproduction 4) I always fish...during the spawn, before the spawn, and after the spawn!
Awareness was a large factor for this post.
You bring a valid point out, that I thought would come up sooner than now.
My point is that we all need to fish ethically durring spawns and be aware of what is happening before, durring and after a spawn.
Thanks for your input, W2U.
 

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The concept of trusting the DWR and fishing regulations has much merrit. Fishing durring the spawn depends on specific waters and species. The timing of Grandpa D's post and his reference to the Weber suggest concern about spawning browns. In the case of the Weber I think that environmental factors ( such as droping the flows from Rockport and Echo every year right in the middle of the spawn leaving the redds high and dry) effect the recruitment of browns much more than fishermen. But I also think that these limiting factors are useful in preventing the Weber from having overpopulation and stunting problems like the Provo. Stomping on the redds in the Provo just might be more beneficial to the fishery than not fishing durring the spawn simply because browns are so much more successful than other native species. Then there are the cutthroats. Every tributary that has spawning cutthroats or the chance of spawning cutthroats is closed during the entire spawning period. I say go ahead and fish the brown spawn but let the cutthroats do their thing. The DWR seems to be on top or this.
 

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fatbass said:
What are "critical incubation times"?
Why would we want to "damper" the reproduction rates of trout (except in the case of stunted populations)?
The time period between the depositing of the eggs into redds and the time the eggs hatch. So, fishermen seem deeply concerned about stomping on redds and disrupting reproduction during the spawn, but fishermen seem not to care about stomping on fertilized or eyed eggs after the spawn. Typically, it will take anywhere from 3-7 weeks for trout eggs to hatch depending on water temperature. So, fishermen could be killing trout unknowingly long after the spawn is over.

We would want to "damper" reproduction typically only in stunted populations...however, "dampering" the reproductive rates in many streams/lakes may have positive effects. Remember, any fishery is restricted to a certain amount of biomass. That biomass can be comprised of lots of little fish or a few big fish...the biomass doesn't change, but the way the biomass is made up can. For example, if a stream is capable of holding 100lbs of biomass per acre, that biomass could be made up of 100 1 pound trout or 50 2 pound trout. If the ultimate goal of a fishery is to grow trophy fish, decreasing natural reproduction may be desirable. Donkey Reservoir on the Boulder Mountain is a prime example...work has been done to try and reduce natural reproduction to help maximize the lake's trophy potential by changing the way the biomass is comprised.
 

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Never fished during a spawn but I plan on doing it this year. I think its ok as long as your careful and go about it the right way. i think the DWR has it under control, and lets us fish where they believe the fish will not be affected too much by our activities as long as we're careful.
 

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First off… Thanks W2U for your comments. For those of you that don’t know, W2U is in the know with regards to fish biology so take advantage of his comments – they have merit.

This is how I understand our rainbow population; again my information and understanding comes from the fact that this very subject is talked about a lot and many people have shared their insight regarding rainbows.

Most of the rainbows planted in Utah are in fact sterile. However, that does not mean that they don’t go though the spawning rituals. Meaning that they will build reeds and protect them they best way they know how. However, when it’s time for eggs to hatch – nada. I’ve have personally witnessed the spawning dance in many of our reservoirs (Yuba and at Minersville for example) – however water quality and fish sterilization keep reproduction from actually happening. You will still find “wild” rainbows in our systems – but I think most of the rainbows we would classify as “wild” are just rainbows that managed to keep their fins while living in the hatchery. Right now I don’t know of one system in Utah that has a self-sustaining rainbow population. I think the Green River is the closest, but I know for a fact that the DWR has to supplement its population with yearly plants. Brooks and brown are the most prolific of the trout species – water quality doesn’t seem to be as impotent for these species as it does for Mr. Rainbow.
 

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improv there is a place in southern utah where the rainbows are breeding quite prolifically. as for rainbows breeding, most the places i go that have planted rainbows i see rainbow fry. sometimes i net them just to see if they are indeed rainbows. i dont think the dwr stocks 1-2 inch fish (most being near 1 inch). it would be nice however to see some dwr response on this and clear things up because i heard most of the rainbows aren't sterile it was just the water issue on why they didn't reproduce a lot of the times. im not saying the dwr doesnt stock sterile bows but i heard the majority aren't.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Where's PBH when we need him?
 

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Keep in mind that the stocking report is llinked from this website. If anyone is curious about what is being stocked where and at what sizes, take a gander: http://www.wildlife.utah.gov/stocking/

The report doesn't specify if the rainbows being put into a specific water are triploid or not, but a call to the biologist over the water in question is one way to find out. I know that both are used, and that triploids are nearly always used in waters shared with cutthroats to prevent hybridizing thereby protecting genetic purity (i.e. Strawberry).

The two sizes generally stocked are the 'catchable' size around 8"-10" and also the 'fingerling' size from 2"-4". Fingerlings appear and act more wild when they reach maturity. They have their fins intact and have grown on a natural diet rather that hatchery pellets. They tend to have more fight and aren't as easily taken on powerbait. 'Catchables' tend to have rubbed down fins and less vibrant color. When they holdover through a season they become better fighters but the fins never recover.

As far as fishing the spawn, I do it but tend more and more lately to target fish that are not on the redds to keep it somewhat more challenging. Fishing egg patterns over redds can give you a false sense that you are a world class fisherman when in reality you are just targeting fish at their most vulnerable stage. Streamers are more fun for me (my opinion). I will however tie on the scrambled eggs when I need an ego boost ;0)
 

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The majority of Utah's stocked rainbows are fertile fish; however, as someone else mentioned, when rainbows could interfere with native cutts, triploids are used. I believe the goal at one time was to move more and more towards using triploid rainbows for a variety of reasons one being their sterility. Some waters do get natural reproduction of rainbows--Red Creek Reservoir or Pargonah Reservoir is the perfect example (right now this reservoir is overcrowded with wild bows). Many streams also see natural reproduction of rainbows...streams in my neighborhood--Monroe Creek and Clear Creek--are loaded with wild rainbows.

I think most fishermen exaggerate the effect we have when fishing for spawning fish and totally ignore the effect we have on the eggs after the spawn. Many brown trout eggs--especially those in streams that freeze up in winter--won't hatch until spring. So, wading in streams can potentially destroy eggs months past the spawn...the same is true for spawning rainbows and cutthroat.
 

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wyoming2utah said:
The majority of Utah's stocked rainbows are fertile fish; however, as someone else mentioned, when rainbows could interfere with native cutts, triploids are used. I believe the goal at one time was to move more and more towards using triploid rainbows for a variety of reasons one being their sterility.
W2U…
Thanks for the clarification, but now I have another question. Will sterile rainbows lay eggs? I thought the answer to this was yes, but I've had other people tell me no. I always thought sterile just meant "non-fertile" as in the eggs are not fertile, but they still lay them just the same. I know for a fact that I have caught rainbows out of Strawberry that were spilling eggs when I had them in the net. So… what's the answer?
 
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