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Old 02-04-2012, 04:51 PM
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Default Survival Rate of Stocked Trout?

So I haven't had a chance to fly fish for a while since its winter and I'm at college, so I've been reflecting on a few of my catches from this past summer.
In one particular instance, I caught a nice 14-15 inch rainbow (almost certainly stocked) with nice girth and I couldn't get the fly out and it was bleeding from the gills a little so I thought about simply taking it (I'm almost always catch and release) but decided to leave it there. I went back a week later and caught it again (successfully released), so I know it survived the ordeal which is great, but recently I researched the percentage of stocked trout that survive winter, and it seems extremely low. Apparently it's quite likely the trout I caught died over winter.
I read an article on the PA fish commission website that said even for native fish, there is a mortality rate over winter of 30% to 65%. For stocked brown trout, the mortality rate was estimated at 80% but I've read other articles that state it may be 90-95% mortality. I'm sure species/stream size/harshness of winter affects these numbers right? What do you guys think? And would the surviving stocked trout reproduce? Could they survive for a few years?
Thanks for the thoughts!
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Old 02-04-2012, 09:40 PM
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Default Re: Survival Rate of Stocked Trout?

I've seen people catch hatchery trout the day or two after stocking with a small strip of olive-green felt stuck on a hook. It looks like the hatchery feed pellets, so the fish "feed" on it.

IMHO - It's more "sporting" to take trout with M-80's.....
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Old 02-04-2012, 09:58 PM
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Default Re: Survival Rate of Stocked Trout?

Here in western VA, people hit the stocked waters like they haven't eaten in weeks. And since they usually only stock the big holes they can back the truck up to, they don't last very long.
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Old 02-05-2012, 12:56 AM
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Default Re: Survival Rate of Stocked Trout?

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Originally Posted by 50fish View Post
Here in western VA, people hit the stocked waters like they haven't eaten in weeks. And since they usually only stock the big holes they can back the truck up to, they don't last very long.
This is what happens in Texas when the city stocks trout in the winter and up in Helen Georgia your lucky if the stocked trout make it through their first day.
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Old 02-05-2012, 03:26 AM
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Default Re: Survival Rate of Stocked Trout?

I believe the statistics that a large portion of stocked fish don't survive the winter. Last week I stopped by a local lake that had been stocked in December for ice fishing. All around the lake under a thin layer of ice were hundreds of those stickers looking oxygen deprived.
I also believe that many of the streams that Pa stocks as well as the lakes become to warm in the summer to support these fish.
As far as reproducing there are definitely streams in Pa where conditions are right for spawning as seen in the many streams by me that have good populations of wild Brown trout.
Near to where I live there is a bunch of lakes and ponds in a row on one stretch of state rd. Originally these lakes were used back in the day to supply ice for the big cities like Philadelphia and New York . As the need for ice ceased these lakes and the property around them were bought up by resorts and housing developers . In turn to satisfy the new home owners and resort goers these lakes were stocked regularly with trout whether they were sustainable or not.
But a good thing happened from all these stocked lakes. Every one of these lakes are connected by the streams originally dammed off to create them. And many of these stocked fish got into these streams and that's why today many of these streams hold good populations of wild Brown and Rainbow trout as well as the native Brook Trout.
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Old 02-05-2012, 10:12 AM
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Default Re: Survival Rate of Stocked Trout?

Stocked trout survival depends on them finding quality holding water to winter over.
In most rivers that require stocking, there's not enough for all the remaining fish when cold weather hits. Even if they are able find a suitable "hole" (and they travel miles to do that) there's only so much space and the smaller or less dominate fish will not be able to compete for room.

---------- Post added at 11:12 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:44 AM ----------

Oh and fire instructor, hatchery trout are not attracted as much to the feed pellets themselves as they are attracted to the sound of the pellets hitting the water.
Pellet flies may work, but probably not because they look like the hatchery feed.
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Old 02-05-2012, 03:11 PM
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Default Re: Survival Rate of Stocked Trout?

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Originally Posted by Rip Tide View Post
[/COLOR] Oh and fire instructor, hatchery trout are not attracted as much to the feed pellets themselves as they are attracted to the sound of the pellets hitting the water.
Pellet flies may work, but probably not because they look like the hatchery feed.
Which explains why the closer that the split shot is to the hook and felt, the more action..... Something that I had never figured out, as it differs from most other types of lures or baits....
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