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Old 02-09-2010, 11:06 PM
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rdf1212 rdf1212 is offline
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Lee's Ferry Fish..

Why are the fish in Lee's Ferry so much smaller now than they used to be? Is it just a different strain of fish in the tailwater now? I know they had big rainbows back in the day through the canyon.. So I just don't understand how most of the fish are smaller today.
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Old 02-09-2010, 11:13 PM
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All the changes that have happened over the years seems to result in less food in the river and slower growing fish I would say
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Old 02-10-2010, 12:28 AM
MakoML MakoML is offline
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Some of the guides I talked to when asking about conditions said it is that there are soooo many more 12" fish from recent successful spawns in the river that getting flies past them to the "normal" Lee's Ferry Pigs is getting harder to pull off............. makes some sense I guess.
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Old 02-10-2010, 04:40 AM
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I'm catching bigger "big fish" over the last year than I ever did previously during the seven years or so that I have been fishing the Ferry. That said, there are lots of smaller fish in the river now as well. This is a good thing as the numbers really crashed a while back. I think there is more food in the river than recently as well--certainly there is no shortage of green stuff. Tailwaters are famous for constantly changing so who knows what the next few years will bring.
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Old 02-10-2010, 06:37 AM
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It's been about 45 years since Glen Canyon Dam was completed. While Lake Powell was filling nutrient loads were higher as lots of organic debris was flooded. Those nutrients flowed into the Lees Ferry section and provided a good food base for trout. Now that the reservoir has matured, fewer nutrients mean less food for trout so they don't grow as big. Add to that the abundance of small fish all looking for a meal and you have fewer fish reaching large size. Logically, killing some smaller fish would lead to more larger fish but fewer total number in the system. Since guides like their clients to catch lots of fish, naturally they are reluctant to thin the population.

See the Game and Fish regulations for Lees Ferry below. They encourage anglers to take 4 smaller fish per day.

Colorado River
• From Glen Canyon Dam to the beginning of the Paria riffle (Lees
Ferry). Trout over 12 inches may not be possessed. The limit is 4
trout per day and 8 trout in possession; artificial fly and lure only;
barbless hooks only. Trout taken from this portion of the Colorado
River shall be killed and retained as part of the bag limit or immediately
released.
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Old 12-31-2013, 08:34 AM
flycaster flycaster is offline
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fishing

Quote:
Originally Posted by stoneflynut View Post
It's been about 45 years since Glen Canyon Dam was completed. While Lake Powell was filling nutrient loads were higher as lots of organic debris was flooded. Those nutrients flowed into the Lees Ferry section and provided a good food base for trout. Now that the reservoir has matured, fewer nutrients mean less food for trout so they don't grow as big. Add to that the abundance of small fish all looking for a meal and you have fewer fish reaching large size. Logically, killing some smaller fish would lead to more larger fish but fewer total number in the system. Since guides like their clients to catch lots of fish, naturally they are reluctant to thin the population.

See the Game and Fish regulations for Lees Ferry below. They encourage anglers to take 4 smaller fish per day.

Colorado River
• From Glen Canyon Dam to the beginning of the Paria riffle (Lees
Ferry). Trout over 12 inches may not be possessed. The limit is 4
trout per day and 8 trout in possession; artificial fly and lure only;
barbless hooks only. Trout taken from this portion of the Colorado
River shall be killed and retained as part of the bag limit or immediately
released.
when is a good time of year to fish this area
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  #7  
Old 02-10-2010, 07:15 AM
Red Rabbit Red Rabbit is offline
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SFN/Bill,
Do you recall if G&F planted a smaller growing strain of rainbow after the flood of '83?
I recall hearing something about that. From my limited experience, the numbers of larger trout started declining after the flood, as did the brookies.

Doug~RR
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Old 02-10-2010, 07:53 AM
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Hey Doug...surviving the snow? Come on spring!

My recollection is foggy but I believe that Game and Fish doesn't really know what strains were planted early on. Seems record keeping was not as good then as now. And there are so many different strains of rainbows.

Remember the brookies off the mouth of the Paria? They stoped stocking anything but rainbows and the brook trout couldn't sustain themselves, so they are gone now. But wow! Football brookies; that was cool.

Personally, I don't think we'll ever see large, Bighorn River-style fish at the Ferry again. It's a cold, nutrient starved system with high canyon walls that reduce sunlight exposure to substrates. I doubt the strain of 'bows has much to do with it. But what a beautiful place to fish and the perk of bending your rod on an 18 inch trout makes it all worthwhile.

Too bad access is such a bear.
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  #9  
Old 02-10-2010, 08:16 AM
Red Rabbit Red Rabbit is offline
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Bill,
Surviving OK. Hope this moisture fills some stock tanks and gives the deserts a rejuvination for flowers and quail.

I have not fished the Ferry much in several years since selling my small boat. Christmas of '82 found Four-Mile covered with 5 pounders. Friend caught a 4 pound brookie that was beautiful, in a backwater closer to the dam. I caught a 7.5 from the dam island that trip also.

This weekend looks like it could be nice for a trip to the walk-in.

Doug
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  #10  
Old 02-10-2010, 09:19 AM
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Here is the report for the walk-in from T. Gunn (http://www.leesferry.com/report/index.php):

Walk in: I have had only a few reports for this section. Word has it fishing well in the morning hours then slowing up somewhere around noon. When the flows peak fishing shuts off in this area and starts up again after 3 or 4 in the after noon. We are still counting on the zebra midge and San Juan worm to do the work, and they are.

Hmmm...
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