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  1. #31
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    North Central Indiana

    Default Re: No more stream stocking

    Quote Originally Posted by brook rookie View Post
    "Teach the TU chapter a lesson"... just what lesson should our chapter be taught?
    Be careful what you wish for and proclaim to want? The nativist position here is being taken under the strong assumption the DENR is NOT going along with it, thus nothing really changes in the fishery. Do you believe strongly enough in this that you would lobby and pressure the DENR to stop stocking and adopt the native trout bias in practice? Given the magic wand, few would actually wave it.

    Might be a scary experiment considering the magnitude of the Trout Industry in your region.

    Quote Originally Posted by brook rookie View Post
    The real "BS/feel good policy" is coming from DENR (Department of Environmental and Natural Resources). By stocking streams people feel like the water is in better shape than it really is. Stocking makes it appear that the stream supports a large population of fish, when that is not true. The fish are only there because they were put there put there so the state can generate revenue through the sale of fishing licenses and fines. How do stocked fish add anything to the native population? How do stocked fish enhance the natural environment? I look forward to your response.
    I don’t necessarily disagree with you characterizing the DENR as also having a “BS/feel good policy” and approach to fisheries management as well as the impression of water quality it can result in. Thing is, their way works and sustains the pressure via constant renewal of resource (aka trouts).

    Stockers not only increase participation and revenue, they also serve a bit of a buffer to any streams with natives sans stocking programs. Face it, trout dumping draws a lot of crowds where it’s done and without it they (anglers) will spread elsewhere where such pressure devastates. TU and the flyfishing industry in general tend to promote fanatical troutmanship and participation, that’s all great, but don’t ever forget…you gotta feed the monster you created.

    Pull the "stocker feed bag" away and good bye native trout anywhere in the area. I really wouldn’t feel confident in saying stocking adds anything to the native population or even enhances the natural environment, sometimes it even trends toward deleterious effects. The programs just allow both to exist a bit longer and with slightly better chances in some areas than without stocking. Big gamble with native reproduction ideas and huge restrictions in angling pressure would be required.

    One simply cannot undo angler participation rates and demand in such situations.

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  3. #32
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Ontario, Canada

    Default Re: No more stream stocking

    Quote Originally Posted by cwb124 View Post
    I never understood this. If all you wanted was meat, it's FAR cheaper to buy rainbow trout or steelhead or salmon or char at Costco/BJs/Sam's Club. Yes it's farm raised but so is your stocked steelhead. Does it taste better because you caught it? No, it doesn't. I see these yahoos in Pennsylvania throwing half a dozen 12" stocked trout on their stringer and just shake my head. There is absolutely no reason why most of PA waters couldn't be absolute trophy trout streams, but they never will be as long as people see trout as nothing more than dinner and the fish commission wants their money so they stock fish and 24 hours later these guys harvest them. You haven't accomplished anything, make no mistake.
    Unfortunately, it's the reality of our steelhead fishery here in Ontario. There are a lot of meat hunters around, and believe it or not, this river attracts anglers in hopes to and kill and eat a hatchery fish, and leaves much less of an impact on our 100% wild steelhead streams. No I am not buying some ****** farm raised fish from the box store if I don't have to. The fish are hatchery fed for one year, that means they are feeding the lake feeding on bugs and baitfish for a minimum of 2 years before they are harvested. And absolutely they taste better, you should try it. So to compare the two is completely inaccurate.

    I am NOT pro stocking, I think there are situations that hatchery fish could be of benefit, and this is one of them. I would never encourage stocking on top of native trout.

    How would your steelhead streams in PA fare with no stocking???

  4. #33

    Default Re: No more stream stocking

    Quote Originally Posted by huronfly View Post
    How would your steelhead streams in PA fare with no stocking???
    I don't steelhead fish in PA as it's nothing but ridiculous combat fishing with rednecks willing to get into a fistfight over a goddamn stocked fish. That said, our steelhead streams would probably fare pretty well with native steelheads if everything was C&R. I don't know why this concept is so foreign to people. Streams around my parents house in central PA are either C&R or trophy trout harvest in which most people C&R anyway. It is not abnormal to get into a 20" fish there, and you see the shadows of 2 footers and larger lingering on the bottom or hanging under a bank, ALL YEAR ROUND. In streams where it is basically put and take, you're lucky to find a trout alive by July/August as they've been mass harvested. Maybe I'm in the minority but I'd rather catch fish year round, and have the opportunity to catch larger fish to put back than to fish once or twice a year and take home a dozen 12" fish. Make no mistake, stocking is nothing more than a money grab by the state.

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  6. #34
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Franklin, West Virginia

    Default Re: No more stream stocking

    Actually I doubt the State's make any money on stocking. Without it the pressure on wild fisheries would simply wipe them out in a year or two. Furthermore without stocking states like ours, and yours would lose out on a lot of tourist dollars. The reality is one can not turn the clock back and in many cases it would not be of any benefit at all.
    I fish numerous stocked waters and still manage some really nice wild fish (and holdovers) throughout the year. The smallmouth are always wild too.
    C&R is a nice concept but not everyone (probably the majority) wants to fish that way.

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  8. #35

    Default Re: No more stream stocking

    I'm sure it's just my ignorance but I've never really understood how stocking hatchery fish saves a wild population. I get the idea that if you are stocking infertile fish they won't interbreed and dilute wild genes, but if we are talking about fishing pressure on a stream I don't see it.

    On most streams I fish people couldn't care less what they are harvesting and even if they did, they can't tell the difference between stocked and wild trout. So you are harvesting wild trout regardless and shrinking the breeding populations on those streams. And don't hatchery fish compete directly with native fish for resources? I know a study of grayling concluded that you basically ghettoized a river by dumping hundreds of hatchery fish on top of the native population.

    If it were me I'd make the entire continent of North America Catch and release, single debarbed hook fishing regardless of relative health of the fishery. Never underestimate the ability of man to destroy pristine fisheries.

    But I realise that's not realistic so I will continue to enjoy our dwindling resources even if it means that at the end I'll probably be targeting creek chub because nothing else is left..

  9. #36

    Default Re: No more stream stocking

    Never underestimate the ability of man to destroy pristine fisheries.
    There's a whole body of research in environmental history (which is not my particular professional specialty as a historian) that challenges the notion of a "pristine" nature. Humans have been affecting and altering the ecology from the absolute beginnings. I'm guessing that it applies to fish as well, but something like the huge herds of buffalo and the huge flocks of passenger pigeons of yesteryear may have resulted from Native American practices intended to promote them, to the detriment of other species.

    Environmental history makes a case that we are part of the ecology and that there may be no such thing as a fixed, natural state, but rather that nature is in a constant state of flux, human-induced change always a part of it.

    That has great implications. For one, we're not really invaders.

    As far as the stocking debate, I say a paramount concern is things that are irreversible. Once the passenger pigeon is gone, it's gone forever. Native fish, pure genetic stock, etc. represent something irreplaceable.

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  11. #37

    Default Re: No more stream stocking

    That's a decent point. We are all talking about "native" trout meanwhile one of the most popular fish being sought after in the US is the Brown Trout, brought over from Europe about 150 years ago. Brook trout are not native to waters west of the Rocky Mountains yet they were introduced and now thrive in many waters out there. I'm actually surprised that cutthroat trout haven't made their way east due to their tenancy to hit dry flies and overall be a fun sport fish.

    But...I do think that's all worlds different than stocking fish for people to catch and keep. I just never understood, at least in Pennsylvania, this "time honored tradition" of lining a stream shoulder to shoulder in April to catch a half dozen 12"-13" stocked fish to take home to eat. There's no sport to it. There's no thrill of the catch to it or even fair chase. The fish will take any worm, grub, powerbait, minnow you throw in the water. They were dumped in the water sometimes less than 12 or 24 hours ago. Yet people rush to the steams and get in fights about who is fishing where. It's just completely out of control.

    And yes, the state makes money in the sense that stocking brings in more license revenue and creates jobs of people at the hatcheries. I don't begrudge that at all, I just think that catering to the put and take fisherman really limits the potential of Pennsylvania waters to be superior fisheries.

  12. #38

    Default Re: No more stream stocking

    I believe you need to balance the needs of both user groups. Again I ask the question, does it have to be one way or the other? While I do enjoy quality water and fishing. I also can understand the role that "put and take" fishing can play in getting people to participate in the "sport". Isn't part of taking care of the streams to provide habitat and fisheries for future users? What are you doing to encourage and grow those future users? I have seen fisherman grow from the "put and take" fishing to fishermen supportive of the protection of habitat and wild trout.

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