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Thank you. This is the type of feedback that is useful. Do you keep a personal fishing log? If so, would you share it with me? Much appreciated.


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Email sent. Every trip since 2006. Try not to laugh at some of them.

"PMF" on the Kalamazoo is "pissing man flats" named after a guy that shore fished regularly there, who one time while we were trolling past stopped mid piss to wave at us. Bank caved in at the top of it, gravel got smothered and it's not so good any more.

"PHW" is a vulgar term for the old Nailer plug in pearl with a fluorescent pink head...
 

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Discussion Starter · #62 ·
Jay, has any thought at all been given to identifying a river (s), to build a Brown Trout wier; rather than a brood stock? Seems like could be one or two of the back up king streams, or even a novel river like the Dowagiac, White, or Lincoln could be a possible target?
Certainly we have thought about it, but it comes at some major costs. If lake conditions are a bigger factor, it would be a risk.

We are experimenting with fish from Wisconsin in the UP to see how the returns compare. They get some of their brood from a wild source of seeforellen.

Perhaps we can trade Wisconsin for their eggs in the future if the strain is the thing.

We stocked St. Croix, Soda Lakes, Plymouth Rock back in the good old days. These were your typical hatchery brood fish. Then the fishery started to fall so we went to seeforellen. It fell more so we added wild rose and then Gilchrist Creek and Sturgeon River that were from wild brood sources. Fell even more.


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Discussion Starter · #63 ·
Thanks to those that have sent in logs. It will be very useful to fill in the gaps that the creel has missed. Much appreciated.

These will not be shared. I will try to summarize catches by area for internal uses to update our catch by year, return rates, and return on investment (cost per fish in caught).


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PS… on creel census Jay, Joe catches me likely 5-10 times a year now. Frankfort and Manistee were my primary ports from the dark ages until the mid 90’s. I was checked once by creel guys in that whole time. I still go up there several times a year. Zippo. Been checked at St. Joe and Whitehall several times as well. FWIW.
 

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Jay, I used to catch a few brown trout every spring out of St. Joe while fishing for coho from the pier or trolling beach from 2010 to maybe 2015. I was always targeting coho, not brown trout. I'd probably catch 6 to 10 browns as an incidental bycatch during the season. I didn't fish much in 2016 or 2017. I have fished every spring since 2018 with the exception of 2020 and have caught only 1 brown trout during this time period. It was a big one though. It weighed about 12 lbs and hit a red with black squiggles Brad's Thin Fin. I released it to live another day. I'd like to target browns but there simply don't seem to be many around.

Thanks for your effort on the forum and the work you do for the fishery. I don't think the fishery would be doing as well as it is now if it weren't for individuals like you.
 

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Jay,
Hats off to you first of all for spending time here with us trying to help figure things out together. It says a lot about the character of the man you are. I for one certainly do appreciate someone in your position taking this action. Kudos to you and everyone one here damn sure should appreciate it to an knock of the negativity and chastisity. Back to brown trout. They are thriving in tawas and outer Saginaw bay we know it’s not your side of the pond but something good is going here that needs attention. What ever has happened is working and definitely should have a hard serious look at. Maybe could help success elsewhere in the state.
 

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Matt Kornis analyzed both salmonine food habits, stratified by location, season, percent diet composition, as well as percent ration composition. He then assessed dietary overlap by Salmonine species based on stable isotope analyzed food habits for salmonines.


These data broadly overlap with the brown trout plant and catch analysis trend data that Jay Wesley has posted in this thread.

The bottom-line trend that is evident is that fish forage (alewife, yellow perch, round goby, bloater DWS, Slimy sculpin0 confers proportionally more calories than invertebrate forage, seasonally and annually to Lake Michigan salmonines, with alewife remaining the most important component from a specie array analysis, with a general increase in round goby incidence and proportion contribution through time. Chinook salmon, brown trout, coho salmon, steelhead were highly dependent on alewife intake, while lake trout exhibited the broadest array of fish forage arrayed by species. Brown trout had high dietary overlap with all salmon, as well as steelhead trout, with slightly lower dietary overlap with lake trout.

When you compare caloric density of individual forage fish matched by size, alewife have roughly twice the caloric content for a length matched specimen when compared to round goby. As alewife distribution has declined numerically within the basin, numeric offset via round goby density increases have trended upward. Due to caloric density value differences, energy ration for those salmonines that have increased utilization of round goby as forage items has not offset energy intake declines from a shift away from alewife dominated foraging.

There is also some additional data on seasonal inshore movement of lake trout for the Lake Michigan basin that indicates that a higher proportion of the lake trout stock within the Lake Michigan basin moves into inshore waters in the spring on the east side when compared to inshore movement patterns exhibited by lake trout on the west side of the basin.

Slowed growth via diminished alewife ration intake, seasonally as well as annually through time, as well as diminished survival of brown trout in inshore waters of the eastern portion of the Lake Michigan basin has been the broad result.

The folks at the MDNR Charlevoix Research station have developed a small semi-submersible that can track a specific transect, enabling it to visually record round goby densities of substrates that cannot be sampled with traditional otter trawls or acoustic sampling techniques.
 

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Matt Kornis analyzed both salmonine food habits, stratified by location, season, percent diet composition, as well as percent ration composition. He then assessed dietary overlap by Salmonine species based on stable isotope analyzed food habits for salmonines.


These data broadly overlap with the brown trout plant and catch analysis trend data that Jay Wesley has posted in this thread.

The bottom-line trend that is evident is that fish forage (alewife, yellow perch, round goby, bloater DWS, Slimy sculpin0 confers proportionally more calories than invertebrate forage, seasonally and annually to Lake Michigan salmonines, with alewife remaining the most important component from a specie array analysis, with a general increase in round goby incidence and proportion contribution through time. Chinook salmon, brown trout, coho salmon, steelhead were highly dependent on alewife intake, while lake trout exhibited the broadest array of fish forage arrayed by species. Brown trout had high dietary overlap with all salmon, as well as steelhead trout, with slightly lower dietary overlap with lake trout.

When you compare caloric density of individual forage fish matched by size, alewife have roughly twice the caloric content for a length matched specimen when compared to round goby. As alewife distribution has declined numerically within the basin, numeric offset via round goby density increases have trended upward. Due to caloric density value differences, energy ration for those salmonines that have increased utilization of round goby as forage items has not offset energy intake declines from a shift away from alewife dominated foraging.

There is also some additional data on seasonal inshore movement of lake trout for the Lake Michigan basin that indicates that a higher proportion of the lake trout stock within the Lake Michigan basin moves into inshore waters in the spring on the east side when compared to inshore movement patterns exhibited by lake trout on the west side of the basin.

Slowed growth via diminished alewife ration intake, seasonally as well as annually through time, as well as diminished survival of brown trout in inshore waters of the eastern portion of the Lake Michigan basin has been the broad result.

The folks at the MDNR Charlevoix Research station have developed a small semi-submersible that can track a specific transect, enabling it to visually record round goby densities of substrates that cannot be sampled with traditional otter trawls or acoustic sampling techniques.
I do not doubt the validlity of the research, but….

Internationally Brown Trout have proven to be highly adaptable to a variety of habitates. What the research doesn’t show us, but should perhaps be a next step; is there a difference in preferred food in different strains of Brown Trout, and would it be possible to identify a strain with a lower overlap that might produce a higher rate of planting success.
 

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I do not doubt the validlity of the research, but….

Internationally Brown Trout have proven to be highly adaptable to a variety of habitates. What the research doesn’t show us, but should perhaps be a next step; is there a difference in preferred food in different strains of Brown Trout, and would it be possible to identify a strain with a lower overlap that might produce a higher rate of planting success.
Here is the movement data for lake trout and some of the steelhead preliminary data. The pandemic truncated the CWT study effort.


What the data actually indicate is that brown trout forage preference, based on where they are arrayed in the water column has shifted their prey utilization over to increased round goby utilization. As I said, round goby have roughly half the individual caloric density value of a like sized alewife.

Forage is not uniformly distributed throughout the Lake Michigan basin; not when analyzed annually, or seasonally, but rather arrayed on a patchy basis. Coded wire tag data, determined for each salmonine fish species analyzed continue to indicate that those species who respond best to the current forage abundance and distribution are highly mobile. I doubt if there is a brown trout strain that meets the criteria you seek.

As part of the Predator-Preyfish analysis that is used to inform the Lake Michigan Committee members of the status of the salmonine prey stock relative to the forage base as it exists, currently, conversion efficiencies are determinined for each sport fish species, essentially yielding how much of a drain on the forage base their numbers contribute. These values are integrated to eventually determine planting rates Coded Wire Tag data have been used to also inform managers of port site plant specific survivorship values for chinook, and lake trout thus far, with steelhead currently in the que. What would likely be a best fit would be to attempt to generate basin level zonal arrays of preyfish from the acoustic survey data with additional adjunct data for round goby zonal distribution generated via the new sampling device.
 

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Jay has my logs from 2003 back. While that study is cute, 19 years of my data will show south of Whitehall you can count the number of Lakers I've taken on the beach in over 100 trips on one hand. North of there Lakers show up more in the spring catch. In the fall, they can be any where.
 

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Jay has my logs from 2003 back. While that study is cute, 19 years of my data will show south of Whitehall you can count the number of Lakers I've taken on the beach in over 100 trips on one hand. North of there Lakers show up more in the spring catch. In the fall, they can be any where.
[/QUOTOE]'



Most of the time I ignore your singularly self-congratulatory posts, but this one is the........"'topper"! Hoss, you need to change your name to Captain Hubris, far more self-descriptive and accurate.

So we apparently should conclude that if YOU don't catch fish in an area, they do not exist in that area? Jay will sleep well tonight now that he has overwhelming and incontrovertible evidence that displaces sound science!

Basically, the value of stable isotope analysis, you know, the "cute" study data, is that it sums the feeding of several weeks based on bound ratios of stable carbon and nitrogen in a fish's tissues, yielding a more lengthy snapshot of what they feed on, as well as where they have been feeding..
 

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Or, we could just relax and conclude that certain antedotal observations are not consistent with the science?
Problem with most biologists and scientific types is it doesn't matter what real world evidence shows. If it isn't in a book or there study it doesn't mean anything and it is false. Even though you can find a different study that shows opposite most of the time. Amazing the change in what's Michigan lake trout studies showed to begin and how much that's changed. 👌someone that is on the water 10 15 times a year may not have more than anecdotal. Others that are on the water 100 or 250 times plus or more probably have a pretty good idea what's going on. Most of the time more than anyone reading a study.
 

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Problem with most biologists and scientific types is it doesn't matter what real world evidence shows. If it isn't in a book or there study it doesn't mean anything and it is false. Even though you can find a different study that shows opposite most of the time. Amazing the change in what's Michigan lake trout studies showed to begin and how much that's changed. 👌someone that is on the water 10 15 times a year may not have more than anecdotal. Others that are on the water 100 or 250 times plus or more probably have a pretty good idea what's going on. Most of the time more than anyone reading a study.
FBD’s observations, for the most part, seem to come from Sagatuck, Holland, Port Sheldon, and Whitehall. Mine are less frequent from a broader range, but consistently shallower, the academic studies are generally trawl net based in deeper water at varying depths. Regardless, all of the observations, all have some degree of bias and cannot account for all periodic local conditions, seasonal variation, or abnormal individual specimens or strains that maybe adapting to local conditions.

We are still always dealing with estimates…
 

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FBD’s observations, for the most part, seem to come from Sagatuck, Holland, Port Sheldon, and Whitehall. Mine are less frequent from a broader range, but consistently shallower, the academic studies are generally trawl net based in deeper water at varying depths. Regardless, all of the observations, all have some degree of bias and cannot account for all periodic local conditions, seasonal variation, or abnormal individual specimens or strains that maybe adapting to local conditions.

We are still always dealing with estimates…
Yes. His are more from the area that the browns were taken from. Mine are more Muskegon south as well although I mated for 2 summers in Manistee and would fun fish it quite a bit. I'm not out there nearly as much anymore but have many charter captain friends that are daily and talk to guys for a living about it. You get to get a pretty good idea of what's going on and who has a clue. Not to sound bad but a lot of guys have next to 0 clue about what they are doing on the big lake. They think the same guys get "lucky" every time they go. Comes down to a TON of people gave info to the dnr and were told lies or not whole truths to keep them happy then 💯 opposite would happen than what was told. Including the brown program that literally makes zero sense of any kind at this point.
 

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Assumptions are biased too. And yours are blatantly false.

FBD data comes from Milwaukee to Frankfort, 4-400', January through, well, I don't winterize the 14'. Also includes winter river data from the Muskegon to St. Joe. Higgins and Gull and a couple shots in Saginaw Bay.

If I don't fish every port from New Buffalo to Pentwater at least once a year I'm having a bad year.

There's about 4500 hours of fishing in the data I sent Jay. Hardly anecdotal.

If you have better, send it to him.
 
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