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Old 08-13-2013, 08:51 PM
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Default Trout Thermal Refuges

I plan to fish the Housatonic over the next few days, targeting smallmouth. Thanks to Rip Tide for the excellent information he provided. I had not heard the term "Thermal Refuges" before as I am new to fly fishing in the USA. It never gets this warm in Scotland
Question, are the thermal refuges clearly marked or does this require some local knowledge of the river.
Thanks in advance.
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Old 08-13-2013, 10:22 PM
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Default Re: Trout Thermal Refuges

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddie O'Neill View Post
I plan to fish the Housatonic over the next few days, targeting smallmouth. Thanks to Rip Tide for the excellent information he provided. I had not heard the term "Thermal Refuges" before as I am new to fly fishing in the USA. It never gets this warm in Scotland
Question, are the thermal refuges clearly marked or does this require some local knowledge of the river.
Thanks in advance.
Yes, they are clearly marked on the Housy--No fishing within 100 ft of the signs.

Good luck, it's a great river!
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Old 08-14-2013, 09:06 AM
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Default Re: Trout Thermal Refuges

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 08-14-2013, 09:24 AM
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Question Re: Trout Thermal Refuges

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddie O'Neill View Post
I plan to fish the Housatonic over the next few days, targeting smallmouth. Thanks to Rip Tide for the excellent information he provided. I had not heard the term "Thermal Refuges" before as I am new to fly fishing in the USA. It never gets this warm in Scotland
Question, are the thermal refuges clearly marked or does this require some local knowledge of the river.
Thanks in advance.
A really cool (no bad pun intended) question from Eddie. Never seen/read the term "thermal refugees." What the heck is/are those?

Fred
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Old 08-14-2013, 09:38 AM
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Default Re: Trout Thermal Refuges

Thermal refuge; feeder creek mouths and spring holes are utilized by trout when the temperature of their river approaches or exceeds 70 degrees F. At this temperature, trout will continue to feed but, due to high metabolic rate being cold blooded and all, will lose weight as the are unable to consume enough calories to compensate for that rate. State agencies are reluctant to close streams altogether due to the economic impact on local businesses frequented by visiting anglers. Montana is above average on mandatory stream closures, but even they include loopholes like no fishing from 11AM to 7PM but it is OK in the morning and evening. It is not. It is up to each of us individual anglers to voluntarily not fish rivers and streams once they reach 70. There is other warm water and salt water angling to be had but even if not; trout are too valuable to us to be subjected to the unnecessary stress of being caught in too warm water that already has them stressed to the point that they are seeking out thermal refuge.
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Old 08-14-2013, 10:05 AM
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Default Re: Trout Thermal Refuges

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Originally Posted by fredaevans View Post
A really cool (no bad pun intended) question from Eddie. Never seen/read the term "thermal refugees." What the heck is/are those?
It's a legally protected area around a cool water source.
The trout tend to stack up in these cooler areas during periods of higher water temperatures making them especially vulnerable.
I can think of 4 rivers off hand here in CT that have these thermal refuges. There may be more.

---------- Post added at 11:05 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:40 AM ----------

Here's some volunteers working on one of the refuges on the Housatonic.
When the state "sampled" this little pool last summer they counted 480 fish.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 08-14-2013, 10:42 AM
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Thumbs up Re: Trout Thermal Refuges

Many thanks Fellows. Amazing what you can learn if you just ask the question.

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Old 08-14-2013, 12:46 PM
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Default Re: Trout Thermal Refuges

The Catskills have some stream sections dedicated as thermal refuges as well... on the Beaverkill, Schoharie, maybe others. Great idea.
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Old 08-14-2013, 08:47 PM
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Default Re: Trout Thermal Refuges

Every day is a school day, thanks for the info guys.
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Old 08-14-2013, 10:20 PM
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Thumbs up Re: Trout Thermal Refuges

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Originally Posted by Eddie O'Neill View Post
Every day is a school day, thanks for the info guys.
Now there's the "Understatement for the Day."
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