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

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Old 11-19-2008, 02:04 PM
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Default Brook Trout Spawning Question

This year I started fishing in central VA (primarily in the Shenandoah National Park) for brookies. I've seen several sources recommending giving the fish a break starting in early or mid-October once they start spawning, which seems reasonable enough, esp. to protect a wild fish population. What none of the sources I've seen say is when it's safe to get back in these creeks. Anyone out there have any opinions on this matter?
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Old 11-19-2008, 02:22 PM
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Default Re: Brook Trout Spawning Question

my guess would be it is fairly safe to be back on the river in late november in heavily fished rivers, when you want to give the spawners a chance to do their thing.
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Old 11-20-2008, 08:29 AM
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Default Re: Brook Trout Spawning Question

Brook trout here in my area (including the ones in my back yard) start to spawn about the time the leaves are off the trees.
I've always felt that they needed a break of about two months to do their thing but that might be more than necessary.
What is more important I think, is to keep mindful of their redds.
Wading through redds does much more damage than casting to spawning fish
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Old 11-20-2008, 07:19 PM
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Default Re: Brook Trout Spawning Question

Thanks, the water's I've finished are generally pretty clear, so I should be able to avoid the redds (and I've read elsewhere that that's a greater danger), but how long is that a concern?
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Old 11-20-2008, 09:29 PM
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Default Re: Brook Trout Spawning Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcl View Post
Thanks, the water's I've finished are generally pretty clear, so I should be able to avoid the redds (and I've read elsewhere that that's a greater danger), but how long is that a concern?
Hi jcl,

Time for gestation depends on the water temp. If your water is between 40* & 48* the eggs should hatch in around 40 days. It has been awhile since I looked this info up but I think those temps and times are a fair guideline.
Colder water = longer gestation period. Remember that the Alevin's (newborns) will reside in the gravel of the bed for another week or so after hatching. Of course you can research this for yourself but I provide a fair analysis of what happens after the eggs are in the redd.

Regards,

Ard
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Old 11-21-2008, 06:03 AM
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Default Re: Brook Trout Spawning Question

FYI:

Brook Trout Natural History
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Old 11-21-2008, 03:23 PM
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Default Re: Brook Trout Spawning Question

This is all great info. I think the lesson here is that if I manage to get out over the next couple weeks, it's probably safer for the fisheries if I stick to some of the other, stocked waters in the region.
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Old 11-22-2008, 02:08 PM
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Default Re: Brook Trout Spawning Question

Could be, remember to always check the tail of the pools wherever you go I've been surprised to find fish spawning where they wern't supposed to be doing it.

Good Luck
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