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Wild virginia brown

Freshwater Reports from near and far
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Re: Wild virginia brown

Postby DavidM » Tue May 05, 2009 6:47 pm

Thanks for the info 9ft4wt.

I agree that relocation can be a sticky wicket.

I just hope I never run into a brownie on one of those streams.

David

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Re: Wild virginia brown

Postby mb82 » Tue May 05, 2009 6:47 pm

Yep to me Wild=streamborn

BTW that pic makes me want to head to my wild browntrout stream, too bad everything is blown out right now.
Jeff G
Generally found under a bridge somewhere.

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Re: Wild virginia brown

Postby Emerson » Tue May 05, 2009 7:51 pm

I totally agree with you 2 on the definition of wild trout. In Pennsylvania..we have wild trout...They are not natives but born in the stream. To me...that is really neat that a trout can find a way to reproduce with all the pressure from people, animals, pollution, etc...Just super. A friend has caught 2 6" highly colored rainbows in a local stream....We believe they are wild...actually born in the stream.
expelled by el Compressor

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Re: Wild virginia brown

Postby XXXi2 » Tue May 05, 2009 8:23 pm

A wild fish is a stream-born fish, to me.
20" is not 20 lbs.

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Re: Wild virginia brown

Postby woody » Wed May 06, 2009 8:38 am

I agree with the definition of wild and native fish but I have heard them used interchangeably
I am glad that it raised the discussion regarding removal of browns
The reasoning behind the removal of browns (even wild ones) is that they can out compete native fish
the real question I have is whether there are really any native brookies
Woody

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Re: Wild virginia brown

Postby 9ft4wt » Wed May 06, 2009 10:11 am

woody wrote:I agree with the definition of wild and native fish but I have heard them used interchangeably
I am glad that it raised the discussion regarding removal of browns
The reasoning behind the removal of browns (even wild ones) is that they can out compete native fish
the real question I have is whether there are really any native brookies


Woody: You raise some interesting questions. Most of what I know about this comes from talking to people and a little research. Certainly this is only my own opionion and there is nothing scientific to back me up. A lot of folks I know and respect disagree with me, but then a lot of other folks I know and respect agree with me (or maybe I agree with them since they are more qualified to discuss this).

The reasoning behind the removal of browns (even wild ones) is that they can out compete native fish.

The introduction of any non-native species can and often does cause problems. Browns and rainbows stocked in native brookie streams can become a problem if they become too prolific.

In the Smokey Mountains rainbows became a real problem in competing with the southern strain of Brook Trout. Officials, went to the extent of poisoning many of the streams and killing all fish -- brookies and trout -- building structures to stop upstream imgration of non-natvies and then restocking. I think the research showed that bows had taken over 80 prcent of the traditional brook trout waters.

I believe those steps were necessary in North Carolina.

Yet in Montana, in a lot of streams brok trout are the non-native species and they are trying to eradicate them.

In Shenandoah National park, there are are about 100 streams with brook trout. Historically, (for at least 25 years) there have been browns in only a handful -- the North fork of the Moormans (I don't believe any browns currently survive in that stream and they haven't been there in at least 10 years. but I may be wrong), the Rose River, The Hughes River and one if its tributaries, Broken Back Creek.

There is a fourth stream, the Conway river that has wild browns and it is where I was fishing. part of it flows through the the park and part through the Rapidan Wildlife Management area. The state and park service do not agree on extirpating brown trout. So the Conway population is safe for now.

Brookies in the Conway far out number browns and the two speicies at least from my observations and what I have been told seem to cohabitate pretty well. Sure the browns eat some brookie fry, but the brookies eat their own fry and the brown fry too. The same factors -- food supply, pool size-- that limit the size of the brookies also limits the size of the browns. So, it is just as rare-- actually rareer -- too catch a 10-inch brown as it is to catch a 10-inch brookie.

If the park service could show or demonstrate that the browns were moving into more and more waters and out competing the brookies, I would support killing them if that was what it required.

But from what I know, in the past several decades they have only been found in those three park streams. They have not moved to other creeks; they have not been able to get past waterfalls on the Rose to the headwaters and on all streams you catch far more brookies. (I will concede that that may be because they keep killing off the browns.)

In summary, here is my arguement:

1. efforts to eradicate the browns have been unsuccessful
2. The browns have not moved to other streams
3. they are only in three streams out of 100 or so.
4. In the Conway browns and brookies seem to get along
5. it is fun to be able to catch wild browns in a few streams.

As I said in an earlier post in this thread, I don't support the removal of the browns, but if the Park insists on doing it, I am glad they are not being wasted and that the browns are being transplanted.

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Re: Wild virginia brown

Postby 9ft4wt » Wed May 06, 2009 10:26 am

woody wrote:I agree with the definition of wild and native fish but I have heard them used interchangeably
I am glad that it raised the discussion regarding removal of browns
The reasoning behind the removal of browns (even wild ones) is that they can out compete native fish
the real question I have is whether there are really any native brookies


Woody:
Because the last post was already too long, I broke this up:

the real question I have is whether there are really any native brookies

From what I have been told by state biologists prabably not any true native brook trout in Shenandoah National Park. Lots of real pretty wild brookies though.

The northern strain of brook trout use to inhabit the park streams. At one point because of the loss of habitat -- the hills are tree covered now, but at one point most of them had been logged -- and over fishing, almost all of the brook trout streams were void of fish by the 1930s.

President Hoover supposedly had the Rapdidan stocked with rainbows so he could fish at his camp.

When the government bought the land to build the park, they decided to restock the streams with brook trout. They did not have pure strain northerns to work with. They got most of the fish from state run hatcheries in other states -- New York I believe was one of the places they came from. These fish were all of mixed heritage. They had been cross breeded with other strains of brook trout, bred to grow faster and larger etc... In other words they were bastards.

These are the brookies that inhabit most of the streams in the park.

Interestingly enough, there are a few streams in the park -- the Rapidan is one of them and the only one I know by name -- that do have pretty much genetically clean brook trout. But the species restocked into the Rapidan was the southern strain not the native northern strain.

so, what we have is the park service trying to eradicate non-native species to save non-native species. Go figure.

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Re: Wild virginia brown

Postby Siessmack » Sun May 10, 2009 11:40 pm

Anybody know the penalty for letting a brown go in the Rose or those other rivers? I would love to catch one and rules or no rules but I would have one heck of a problem getting a ticket for practicing catch and release on a trout.

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Re: Wild virginia brown

Postby tgacga » Mon May 11, 2009 9:13 am

mb82,

I see you're from Richmond. You mention trout stream, wild no less. My brother in law moved Midlothian from State College, Pa a couple years ago. Think: Spring creek, Spruce Creek, Penns Creek, Little Juniata among others, less than 15 minutes away. How would he/you have to travel to find trout? Not looking or secret spots just just numbers. Thanks.

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Re: Wild virginia brown

Postby mb82 » Mon May 11, 2009 9:46 am

tgacga wrote:mb82,

I see you're from Richmond. You mention trout stream, wild no less. My brother in law moved Midlothian from State College, Pa a couple years ago. Think: Spring creek, Spruce Creek, Penns Creek, Little Juniata among others, less than 15 minutes away. How would he/you have to travel to find trout? Not looking or secret spots just just numbers. Thanks.


Actually I live in Midlothian. He has at least 1.5 hours of a drive to get to trout waters and to get to something closer to what he used to fish more like 2 hours.

There are others on this site who know the streams better then I do from this area. I fish a few streams on the eastern slope that I enjoy and are close but I don't fish the Valley as much as most other people. My last trout trip I was telling Colby the only trout I had caught in the past year or two were the speckled and gray kind. He got a chuckle out of it.
Jeff G
Generally found under a bridge somewhere.

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