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Discussion in 'Gear Restrictions and Trout Fishing Regs' started by mondrella, May 1, 2020.
Agree!! Great photo!!
Love that pic Jaspo. As for the brookies living 2years, that isn't mondrella saying it, that is the DNR biologists and I would hope they would know. Also, I might be understood that that 2 year thingy is pretty much true on most brookie streams in Michigan, with some exceptions of course. BTW, the size of the brookies, according to what I've read, are on the small size on the Jordan as compared to other streams in Michigan. That's how the DNR does it, they compare this stuff with other streams in Michigan as comparing to streams in other states or countries. Once they have that information the DNR can then determine what studies need to be done should they decide something needs to be done. For example, someone said the Jordan has a habitat issue, ok so what habitat needs to be changed? Is it fixing road crossings, is it building sand traps, is planting streamside vegetation in areas that have a high occurance (sic?) of runoff, just what is the problem. Once that is discovered, it can then have a plan put together to mitigate the problem. But all that takes money and there isn't enough of it to go around within the state budget. What happens then is that groups come along and obtain grants to have these studies done, and we thank them very much. The problem with that is these same groups have the tendency to believe that also buys them political clout, and unfortunately they are right, and now you know the root of the problem.
I too love that pic Jaspo.
The lifespan of a Brook trout is " according to our DNR."
"Brook trout take about 1.5 to 2.5 years to mature and they usually do not live longer than 6 years."
My point which I'm sure MD agrees with is they don't reach 10 to 12"s in 2 yrs.
As far as a habitat issue goes, possibly the removal of beaver dams above the hatchery was to lower the water temps?
Any "skinny" water I've fished that has natural reproduction always has an over abundance of smallish brookies. But as they grow they seem to migrate down to larger and more fertile waters. Where 14 to 16"ers are common. The ones that live to 6 or even 7 yrs, depending on the food source available, can easily reach 20".
Some waters they do reach that size in a couple of years. One incredible brook trout fishery even has summer temps pushing 80 degrees. These fish grow big and fast.
The recent removal of beaver dams on the upper Jordan is a double edge sword. There is a time and place for them on a trout stream. I was recently up there and to see the poor decisions on removing so many dams probably did more damage than good. Those early stage Dams like the first 2 to 5 years really help grow larger trout. Then they start a decline. The amount of stuff released when it was more than likely had a incredible amount of damage on downstream trout and their food sources.
There had to at least be 18 dams removed. Some of those dams were just hitting their prime in this year or next. They were the areas that grew bigger trout. That once conditions became poor moved on(at least some do)
Headwaters of the Jordan are where I had a run in with a Sow blackie and her cubs on the opener week back around '82. I'll never forget that evening.
I have pulled a lot of salmon out of the Jordan up closer to Alba in the fall and go there often during all times of the year just for exploring purposes..
I've seen a few small trout in there but not enough that I would try fishing for them.. I only go after the salmon..
I would like to try catching the spring steelhead run but I don't know when..
When bout do the steelies come up in there? I've never seen em..
My dad had the same experience around that time to. Early 80's we started to run into bear while coon hunting the Jordan Valley. I spent a lot of nights rigging those roads.
I agree with all of that. When I helped out at a private fish hatchery. We could push a brookie to 12" in 2 1/2 yrs, but , it took a lot of feedings. And I too enjoy fishing beaver ponds. And once they are there for several yrs, taking them out the fast way"like the DNR has it done usually" is not a good idea.
A lot of good posts. Only bit I would add is that Type 3 regulations are not good for trout conservation in my experience. We were stuck with those on the lower Boardman for many years. If you want to see your largest stream browns poached from their spawning beds and dudes with three 15-20" fish on a rope, then go for a Type 3 stream. But, if you're goal is to actually improve brook trout, maybe stop stocking the same river with steelhead! The interspecific competition issues between brook and bows is very well documented by our very own DNR. It is not possible to promote both fisheries. If you manage for steelhead you will invariably push brookies back into the smaller tributary streams. If you reduce the rainbows, brookies will come back to the mainstream. Type 3 is not good for resident trout rivers. Period.
I take it these fish are being caught illegally? Poachers don't care if it's type 1,2,3 or 4. They just suck at fishing the legal way.
I have not read such documentation, not saying they don't compete for resources, nor that such doc is out there. Just haven't seen it.
I believe what Benzie means is just spawning fish being harvested off redds. Not literally poached.
The steelhead and salmon have way more people fishing for them than stream trout. Thats pretty well documented.
There is a study the effects of steelhead on resident trout down by our DNR. It shows exactly what he stated. Now some streams i believe those a anadromous fish help grow bigger trout. My experience is its on those streams that are more marginal trout streams that already are very fertile waters.
Rivers like the Jordan suffer from the anadromous fish that are not as fertile suffer. Granted it does seem to grow big trout but really lowers numbers of resident trout. One stream in mind was once a brook trout mecca. 15 inch brookies were quite common. Locals once speared nearly every steelhead that entered it. They were busted and the steelhead in a few years over took the stream. I fish it 2 times a year its been 7 years since i caught a brook trout. I really dont think they exist in there anymore. Take a river like the Muskegon the more eggs dumped by spawning fish makes bigger trout. Along with steady numbers. One has to realize these are planted trout not a self sustaining population.
The new rule on the Jordan is not supported by any biologist except possibly Jim Dexter and if he wasn’t pressured, I doubt that he would even support it. Most of us feel the rules should not be changed unless they improve opportunities for the average fisherman not for any special interest group. The biggest lie told about our trout rivers and streams is special regulations will help protect the fishery. All special regulations do is reduce the number of trout fisherman that might otherwise fish there.
Increasing size limits and reducing keep limits reduces the number of people that fish for trout and thus is a disservice to the average trout fishermen and women for the benefit of trophy fishermen and catch and release guys. Our rivers are full of trophy trout (those 15" on up). The problem is the more pressure you put on them, the harder they are to catch. A lot of guys confuse this with ; “because I’m not catching them means they are not there.”
We must start managing our fisheries based on science. If you want to increase limits, the Trout Unlimited guys will yell we need good science to make that kind of change, but they don’t require any science to reduce the limits. In fact when it looked like the DNR might increase the brook trout limit in the UP, TU filed a law suite against the DNR and it worked and all the studies stopped the DNR declared that the brook trout limit in the UP would remain at five. How can you rationalize that?
I live on the Little Manistee where you can only keep 3 trout which must be 15" or larger. There are plenty of trophy trout in this section of river. Besides my grandson, I have only seen one other fisherman in the last 2 years. I have a couple friends that fish this river upstream and the one time they went this year they never even saw one footprint along the river. No sign on fishermen. Of course the other restrictive regulation is it is flies only as well as reduced limits. The only thing that could make it worse is if it were “no kill”! Every time you make some rule to restrict fishermen they either crowd other areas of just get out of the business of trout fishing. That’s why we should get rid of all special regulations, stop blocking access roads and listening to special interest groups when it comes to our hunting and fishing regulations and get rid of the NRC and give authority back to the biologist who know how to manage them properly.
Monderlla - Yes, that was my point on spawning browns. When dudes can legally fish spawning fish, they will. If they can harvest what they catch, which they can in type 3, then they will. Yes of course true poachers could care less about seasons, licenses, etc. I am speaking about rules that allow fishing to browns on redds.
Splitshot - you happen to live on arguably the most productive river in the state, possibly the midwest. Yes indeed, there are a lot more trout in your river than most people think. And yes, they are not easy to catch. But I disagree on pressure there. I spent 6 hours there about 8 days ago wade fishing streamers from 37 downstream at every public access and stretch of state land down to Irons. I never moved a fish, but I did come across 2 kayakers fishing and 7 parked cars with dudes fishing. Lots more pressure than many other rivers up north where I live. You're very lucky, and likely have a distorted perception of how good things are, if you have private frontage on that river.
And while I agree Michigan streams can support decent numbers of good size browns, I can not agree on your statement that: "Our rivers are full of trophy trout (those 15" on up)." I would not even say we have close to the number of a good western trout river in even our best water. Sure, we might have a few more huge trout (27" and up), but we have far less 14-20" than most quality western rivers of comparable size. The backpack shockers don't lie,