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Old 05-14-2013, 10:06 PM
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Default Will I kill 'em?

I live in West Virginia. I am off for summer vacation. I want to hunt down some native brookies. My friend (The) Joe Messenger Jr. said that during the warmer months that catching and releasing native brookies causes undue stress on the fish and that you might release them but, they'll die. Is this true???
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Old 05-14-2013, 10:12 PM
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Default Re: Will I kill 'em?

I live in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia. I haven't heard that from my local fly shops. Spookier fish and harder to catch in the summer but haven't heard that catch and release in the summer kills them.

I'm dropping in on them tomorrow so I'll axe em...ask em.
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Old 05-14-2013, 10:36 PM
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Default Re: Will I kill 'em?

The thing you need to be mindful of during the warmer weather is the water temperature of the stream you're fishing. That's why it's always good practice to carry a thermometer.

If you're fishing spring fed creeks that keep the water running cool, you can fish for trout just as you would during the cooler months--provided the water temps stay cool enough.

My rule of thumb is that when the water gets to about 65 degrees or higher, I probably should not be fishing for trout or look for cooler waters. There's plenty of smallmouth action to get into at that point.

Here's a good article that's worth your time.

Trout and Water Temperature: How Hot is Too Hot? | Hatch Magazine - Fly Fishing, etc.
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Old 05-14-2013, 10:42 PM
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Default Re: Will I kill 'em?

It depends on water temp. As I understand it, warm water holds less dissolved O2 so as the temps rise the oxygen available to the fish decreases. At some point it become lethal but before that that temp is reached the effort the fish expends fighting you can deplete it such that it cannot recover given the low O2 available in the water.

I do carry a thermometer and if I'm concerned I check that water temp. Personally I call it if the temps get around 65 F though I've read some who say 70. I think over factors like water quality can come into play and I think it some species like the brown can handle slightly higher temps but trout are called cold water species for a reason. All that to say, carry a thermometer in the summer and check. That way you can know if you're risking over stressing and killing fish. If the temps are good then fish away! If they are too warm, seek out a bass stream or blue gill pond.

Ah, posted it an saw jaybo beat me too it!
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Old 05-14-2013, 11:20 PM
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Default Re: Will I kill 'em?

Good advice given here already regarding carrying a thermometer... great idea once the flows drop off and the temp's heat up. It would probably surprise some that many of the "storied" trout streams in the East regularly experience marginal water temp's during the summer and some in the Catskills (I think) are still closed in the summer, or at least portions of them. It wasn't all that long ago that PA closed it's trout streams over the summer.

Having said that, native brookies can only survive in clean, cold water and any stream that experiences marginal conditions described here probably wouldn't hold brook trout.
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Old 05-15-2013, 06:16 AM
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Default Re: Will I kill 'em?

great posts folks...actually 58-9 degrees might even be wiser...supposedly brown trout( that were stocked and still are in eastern waters can handle warmer temps...) summer is a great time to take that trip out west...or hit the ponds or big waters for smallmouth...

if you ever have seen all the trout knotted up in a deep hole under roots in summer in the east there is a reason. Trout find a spot where the currents dont move the water out...to keep cool.

I used to fish even in summertime years ago...like 35-40 and did not know any better...I regret it since I probably killed a lot of fish I released and didnt even know it. Great thread and topic ...thanks I am sure it will be good for many...t
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Old 05-15-2013, 08:41 AM
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Default Re: Will I kill 'em?

Some Good advise as it's a known fact only a percentage of Released Rainbows & Browns,I'm uncertain about Brookies,Survive especially if they are brought from Deep down as well as a majority of Spent Fish.
I was reading a Report some time ago which gave all the Findings,I can't remember on which site I saw it.
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Old 05-15-2013, 11:02 AM
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Default Re: Will I kill 'em?

I stand corrected. I'll hit the Shenandoah for smallies instead.
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Old 05-15-2013, 08:50 PM
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Default Re: Will I kill 'em?

Thanks everyone. I was hoping that a stream that would hold native brook trout would remain fairly consistant temperature wise through summer for there to be native fish in it! So, I guess the consensus is go... but, bring a thermometer and make sure the waer is cold.
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Old 05-15-2013, 09:27 PM
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Default Re: Will I kill 'em?

Fish can survive warmer temps by finding deeper pools, underground springs, or staying downstream of cooler tributaries that enter the larger stream. But if they get hooked and worn out they might die. One of the front range small streams near Denver was closed last summer because flows got very low and temps very high. I swung by one day during August and took a temp and it was over 70. Once things cool down and it reopened I fished it in October and there were plenty of fish there. They survived but needed to be left alone to do so.
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