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Old 06-24-2010, 10:19 AM
Kelly Meyer Kelly Meyer is offline
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Apache trout in lakes

I noticed in a few threads that people are maligning Apache trout in lakes. I just wanted to clear up confusion. I would not say they do poorly in lakes for the following reasons:
1) They overwinter as well as rainbows
2) They survive even better than rainbows in lakes mostly due to the fact that they are not caught on power bait and get harvested less than rainbows.
3) They grow well if kept at low densities. Since they are not harvested by bait anglers they tend to have large numbers in the lake and can have low growth rates. However, I have seen 8 inch trout grow to a couple pounds in both Lee Valley and Hurricane.

They do have a disadvantage in some lakes that have heavy weed growth. Some lakes with heavy weed growth also have high pH. Apache trout are more susceptible to mortality from high pH than rainbows.

K
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Old 06-24-2010, 11:07 AM
SteveH SteveH is offline
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Thanks Kelly. That is interesting. So what you are saying is that deep water lake like Christmas Tree should be a perfect haven for the Apache Trout and that the growth rates should be high and the mortality rates low because of the setting as well as the regulations on that lake? I am somewhat confused as every year I see not too many people harvesting fish on that lake and yet you will find very few if any holdovers. Can you please explain? I would have suspected the same result at Lee Valley since access has been minimized the past couple of years. I would think that sans a winter kill that lake should have some very large Apache's by now?
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Old 06-24-2010, 12:24 PM
troutramp troutramp is offline
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steve get will jordans book and read the Xmas tree lake section/chapter there is a good explanation there.
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Last edited by troutramp; 06-25-2010 at 12:21 PM.
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Old 06-24-2010, 12:34 PM
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fshfanatic fshfanatic is offline
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a quick recap would be nice..
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Old 06-24-2010, 02:12 PM
Kelly Meyer Kelly Meyer is offline
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two things going on

1) high survival normally means low growth. The best example is unharvest brook trout which tend to have stunted growth. Another example is that we have reduced the number of trout going into Becker from 6,000 to 2,000 becuase harvest is reduced and we need better growth. Therefore, if we want to manage for larger Apache trout in Lee Valley we are going to have to stock fewer fish (grayling and Apaches) to ensure there are enough groceries. By the way, we did have some extremely large Apaches in Lee Valley but they have been in there for three to four years in a row and had little to do with lack of harvest. In almost all the lakes that are in the White Mountains that have cutthroat and brown trout there are some extremely large indivduals who are not caught becuase they have switched to a food source (crayfish or other trout) that make them difficult to catch. I suspect the large Apache trout in Lee Valley were fish that have also switched to a larger food source.

2) Stocking large trout does not mean they will always get larger. In fact in almost all cases these fish persist but do not grow and actually lose weight. These larger trout require more groceries to maintain their weight than smaller trout. For instance, the large trout we stock in Silver Creek Ocotber 1 actually lose weight while they are in the stream. If we did not alow take in the spring I would think that most of these would starve to death by the end of the summer. I am not saying it cannot happen where the large stocked fish would grow but it would be rare.

K

Last edited by Kelly Meyer; 06-24-2010 at 02:20 PM.
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Old 06-24-2010, 05:36 PM
SteveH SteveH is offline
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That makes sense Kelly. I appreciate the clarification. I have been fly fishing for 25 years but have much to learn. That is why I really enjoy the sport.
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Old 06-24-2010, 06:23 PM
Cuttbow Cuttbow is offline
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I find it odd that Apaches don't take power bait, worms, etc. Why is that?
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Old 06-24-2010, 06:26 PM
Seldomseen Seldomseen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cuttbow View Post
I find it odd that Apaches don't take power bait, worms, etc. Why is that?
They like their food moving.

Don't forget that they did not have lakes in their native habitat so their food source came from the invertebrate drift or other other moving creatures.
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Old 06-24-2010, 06:45 PM
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I think apaches see powerbait the same way that I see McDonalds. "It smells like food, but I'm not going to eat it."
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Old 06-24-2010, 06:46 PM
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funkeeetrout funkeeetrout is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bhickfish View Post
I think apaches see powerbait the same way that I see McDonalds. "It smells like food, but I'm not going to eat it."
I love it!! Can I use that quote on my signature?
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