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  1. Default Water temp and survival rate

    Hi All,
    As water temps are rising to dangerous levels here in CO, I'm been wondering the following for trout:

    1) At what temp do you simply stop fishing? I was on the Poudre yesterday and my thermometer read 65... I recall seeing a very interesting and shocking graph plotting survival rate as a function of time on the hook for various water temps.

    2) Does survival rate vary as a function of size (obviously) of the trout and species? If so, any idea how these survival functions are affected by these?

    3) Any info on the adaptability of the trout (rainbow?) to extremely high temps? Recent work coming from Colorado State University indicates that Greenback Cutthroats ( have evolved to deal with extremely COLD temp.

    4) Any idea about the temp fluctuation as a function of depth in rivers? E.g., I imagine water to be cooler in deep pockets.

    I am time and time again amazed at the adaptability of the trout to survive in really rough and ever changing conditions!

    PS: a good article:

  2. #2

    Default Re: Water temp and survival rate

    Depends on the species of trout. Some trout such as the redbands that inhabit the desert here can take water temps into the 80s'. For the most part when it gets warm I just fish different areas where the water is still cool.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
    SE Michigan

    Default Re: Water temp and survival rate

    Generally here in Michigan most go by the 70* F rule.

    After 70 keep them or don't fish cause chances are they'll die.

    As much as I love using the smaller rod, when the temps get near that number I'll bust out the 5wt vs the 2 and bring em to hand quickly.

    Fishing last week from 6" to about 6' temps varied from 63-68...all within a 500yard stretch while wading. I'd bet deeper was colder but aint too many holes deeper than that in that stretch of river.

    Trout don't impress me as being adaptable too much.
    They're still way behind bass and most rough fish in that aspect. THAT is an adaptable fish!
    "I knew a tier once. One time he was holding a lump of cat hair he found on his couch, sort of twirling it about his fingers, tugging at it. I asked, what in the hell are you doing man? He looked startled, ashamed. But I knew what he was thinking. right then and there I decided to just buy my fly's thankyouverymuch." ~ cwg

  4. #4

    Default Re: Water temp and survival rate

    That's why when it is hot outside nothing beats either high altitude fishing; or tailwater fishing where the temps are still nice and cold

    I was pleasantly surprised that the little creek I took my son to last week was still in the 50s'. The air temp that day hit highs in the upper 90s'.

    Another interesting place is this one tailwater that I fish with nice browns. The air temp in the summer will be in the 100s'. During this time the water temps will still be in the upper 40s' to mid 50s' (you have to love bottom draw dams )

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