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Coldwater Fly Fishing Trout, Salmon, Steelhead, etc...

View Poll Results: Are the trout still swimming?
Yes! They made it through and are eagerly gobbling everything they can up! 22 78.57%
No, I don't think so, the winter is too long there and they just couldn't cut it. 3 10.71%
I don't know and I don't care. 3 10.71%
Voters: 28. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-29-2011, 07:45 PM
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Default Dead or alive?

OK, so the anticipation is driving me crazy... and for now it is not actually the impending open water season here in Saskatchewan, I received a notification from my father-in-law that really got me excited, then nervous, then curious... let me explain...

Just short of a year ago I posted my first report here on NAFFF One small fish... . This was a big day for me me as I caught my first fish on fly in Canada in my own pond... Now through the course of 2011 things didn't go according to plan and I was unable to get my pond aerated and it is HIGH on my priority list for this year. So the water is now frozen and the question that is sitting on my mind is, will the fish survive the winter... So I bring this poll to help me pass the days until I can see...

Here are the facts:

The dugout was originally stocked with 100 fingerlings, it can support +-250 fish
I harvested some fish in the fall so I estimate a winter population of +-65 fish
The fish at freeze-up ranged from 12"-16"
The dugout it 12-14ft deep
Last year it froze at capacity and therefore hit it's max depth
The dugout is fed by an underground spring

And that really is what gives me the most hope... I found out yesterday that there is some open water on this pond while ever other body of water still has 2ft of ice on it, it appears as though the spring is forcing the ice off in a hurry... with the forecast this week bring some above freezing temperatures I am really hoping to be able to cast a line and attempt to discover if my fish have survived. Oh man, the questions I have, will I be flogging dead water, or will I have the opportunity to fish for some beasts pushing 20" this year? So please, as much as it won't help my anxiety I would appreciate it if you could join me on this journey...

Are they still there?
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Old 03-29-2011, 07:59 PM
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Default Re: Dead or alive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by twfitw View Post
OK, so the anticipation is driving me crazy... and for now it is not actually the impending open water season here in Saskatchewan, I received a notification from my father-in-law that really got me excited, then nervous, then curious... let me explain...

Just short of a year ago I posted my first report here on NAFFF One small fish... . This was a big day for me me as I caught my first fish on fly in Canada in my own pond... Now through the course of 2011 things didn't go according to plan and I was unable to get my pond aerated and it is HIGH on my priority list for this year. So the water is now frozen and the question that is sitting on my mind is, will the fish survive the winter... So I bring this poll to help me pass the days until I can see...

Here are the facts:

The dugout was originally stocked with 100 fingerlings, it can support +-250 fish
I harvested some fish in the fall so I estimate a winter population of +-65 fish
The fish at freeze-up ranged from 12"-16"
The dugout it 12-14ft deep
Last year it froze at capacity and therefore hit it's max depth
The dugout is fed by an underground spring

And that really is what gives me the most hope... I found out yesterday that there is some open water on this pond while ever other body of water still has 2ft of ice on it, it appears as though the spring is forcing the ice off in a hurry... with the forecast this week bring some above freezing temperatures I am really hoping to be able to cast a line and attempt to discover if my fish have survived. Oh man, the questions I have, will I be flogging dead water, or will I have the opportunity to fish for some beasts pushing 20" this year? So please, as much as it won't help my anxiety I would appreciate it if you could join me on this journey...

Are they still there?
I would think you'll have some holdovers and they're congregating at the spring. It would bring in some o2 I would think. Keep you fingers crossed.
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Old 03-29-2011, 09:31 PM
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Default Re: Dead or alive?

If your pond didn't freeze to the bottom I would bet there are survivors. milt.
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Old 03-29-2011, 11:06 PM
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Default Re: Dead or alive?

Mojo - that is my hope is that the spring has supplied enough oxygen to keep them alive, but I don't know how freely it flows during the winter months... I know that it is working now with increased melt...

Milt - popular opinion here is that 14-17ft is the range where there is enough oxygen to help fish survive through the winter, but decomposition of vegetation can affect that as well as factors like a spring supplying oxygen...

I am certainly hoping they are still there, now for the ice to come off... hopefully I'll get a closer look and snap some pics in the next few days or on the weekend... But how long before my line hits the water? who knows...
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Old 03-30-2011, 06:35 AM
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Default Re: Dead or alive?

I voted no before completely reading your post.

After reading i would vote yes, they will be fine. If you've got 12-17 feet of water, 65 fish should be able to get by with the oxygen. If you're going to aerate it, you could definitely put more fish in next year. If your lake has a lot of aquatic life (bugs) meaning it being productive, then you can count on some big fish in the spring. You were saying they grew quite a bit quickly, i would bet you have a few in the 20-23" range.

Even if they dont survive... i would love to be in your position! I wish i had my own friggen lake.
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Old 03-30-2011, 07:46 AM
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Default Re: Dead or alive?

Thanks BH... I really am hoping they are still there... and I am feeling optomistic, but you never know until you feel the take... My plan is to get it aerated this year and I will up the numbers a bit... I have another pond near me stocked by family of my wife, and IMO they overstock it... Even though it is larger than mine and much much deeper and aerated the fish struggle to survive 2 winters... I am trying to convince them NOT to stock it this year, that way in a years time there will be a healthy population of 4+lb'ers... In my pond there is a healthy amount of life and I plan on never maxing out the fish numbers, cos I wanna see how big they will get in there... I also have plans to extend the pond in the future, but one step at a time...

I have to say that I am lucky having this piece of water for so many reasons... but the one that is prominant now is that I could have my own piece of open water a month before all the other lakes open up, now, for an addict, that is priceless...
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Old 03-30-2011, 10:44 AM
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Default Re: Dead or alive?

With the pond conditions you described you will definitely have survivors; unless as was mentioned the pond froze completely to the bottom. If you have a spring in the pond that is not likely to happen, and with the in-flow you will have O2. Looking forward to seeing the pics of the pond and the fish you will be taking this year.

Dan
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Old 03-30-2011, 06:04 PM
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Default Re: Dead or alive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HuronRiverDan View Post
With the pond conditions you described you will definitely have survivors; unless as was mentioned the pond froze completely to the bottom. If you have a spring in the pond that is not likely to happen, and with the in-flow you will have O2. Looking forward to seeing the pics of the pond and the fish you will be taking this year.

Dan
Looking forward to taking them I am definitely more on the optomistic side now than the uncertain side I was on before... If my wife didn't have such a busy schedule for us this week I would head there tomorrow after work... some good temps today and forecast for the rest of this week so maybe, just maybe I'll wet a line there this weekend...
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Old 03-30-2011, 06:22 PM
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Default Re: Dead or alive?

Hell, just borrow an ice auger, bore some holes and drop a maribou fly down and jig it. See if you can catch a few.
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Old 03-30-2011, 08:44 PM
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Default Re: Dead or alive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mojo View Post
Hell, just borrow an ice auger, bore some holes and drop a maribou fly down and jig it. See if you can catch a few.
I have an ice auger and have fished it this winter.... but not recently... however I can't do that as the ice is too thin, there is open water around the edges and the centre looks like it is about to open up... that is the report I got from my father-in-law a couple days ago when he went to blow a trail in for me... So it may be that the ice will be off completely pretty soon... will be heading out that way as soon as I can...
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