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Old 11-15-2018, 03:43 PM
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mynameisjohne mynameisjohne is offline
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sad Lees Ferry news

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...E205I0fZ9hFpX_

I am so bummed they decided to go with this! I always looked forward to hooking WILD Trout at the end of my four hour drive.

And I truly believe enhanced regulation enforcement in this area would be cheaper and more effective than stocking.

Another blown call by AZGFD.

Last edited by mynameisjohne; 11-15-2018 at 03:49 PM.
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Old 11-15-2018, 10:58 PM
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Will they be sterile rainbows?
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Old 11-16-2018, 05:26 AM
AzMandella AzMandella is offline
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Good question . If they stock trout that can reproduce it would end up being a plus I think .
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Old 11-19-2018, 10:29 AM
Chasintrout Chasintrout is offline
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Sounds like they will be sterile, catchable size rainbows. Plan is to stock several thousand in the walk in next year. Too bad.
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Old 11-20-2018, 03:13 PM
Htrain Htrain is offline
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I agree. I like the idea of catching wilds. I wish they would manage it as a wild trout fishery instead of artificially improving numbers. Driving 4 hours to catch more stocked fish is not nearly as appealing to me as catching fewer wild ones.

I know none of it is natural, but seems to me like keeping it wild is the most responsible action given the current situation.

Too bad.
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Old 11-24-2018, 06:28 AM
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One of the issues I've heard with the decrease in wild trout is due to lack of food. Then they say they're going to introduce more fish? But they'll tell you the stockers wont have an impact on food availability for the wild fish.

Another thing is that every time there is a die off of the wild trout, the ones that survive are the strongest (hence survival of the fittest) however they can be susceptible to new diseases brought in by weak hatchery stock. Although the g&f states that this is highly unlikely due to the quality of the stock fish, why take the chance and why mess with natural selection?

It also amazes me that they're trying to eradicate the "non-native" browns due to their predatory nature, but then they'll stock a fish that is basically bred just to eat!?!
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Old 11-26-2018, 07:44 AM
bgiordano bgiordano is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by almostlost View Post
One of the issues I've heard with the decrease in wild trout is due to lack of food. Then they say they're going to introduce more fish? But they'll tell you the stockers wont have an impact on food availability for the wild fish.

Another thing is that every time there is a die off of the wild trout, the ones that survive are the strongest (hence survival of the fittest) however they can be susceptible to new diseases brought in by weak hatchery stock. Although the g&f states that this is highly unlikely due to the quality of the stock fish, why take the chance and why mess with natural selection?

It also amazes me that they're trying to eradicate the "non-native" browns due to their predatory nature, but then they'll stock a fish that is basically bred just to eat!?!
To preface, I greatly prefer fishing for wild fish. But, there are a few things at play.

You are correct, food availability is the limiting factor here. Angler satisfaction in the area has decreased due to lower catch rates. To boost the catch rates, in go the stocked trout. There have been numerous studies showing that stocked trout have little impact on wild trout due to their high morality after stocking. Creel surveys matter folks.

Yes, there is always a chance of introducing a new pathogen into a water body by stocking. However, AZGFD has some of the strictest disease testing for hatcheries of any state. Let's also remember that Lee's Ferry has tested positive for whirling disease multiple times. With the rigorous fish health testing that AZGFD does on its hatcheries, it's more likely that anglers move diseases by not cleaning off/disinfecting their waders and gear.

As for the browns. We all know that browns are much more piscivorous than rainbows. And even more so than a hatchery rainbow. But also, the "eradication" is not necessarily a AZGFD project. That is being led by Federal agencies.

All that being said, it would be nice if there was enough food in the system to keep fish populations AND angler satisfaction high.
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Old 11-27-2018, 07:58 AM
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BunsbertMontcroffEsq BunsbertMontcroffEsq is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgiordano View Post
You are correct, food availability is the limiting factor here. Angler satisfaction in the area has decreased due to lower catch rates. To boost the catch rates, in go the stocked trout. There have been numerous studies showing that stocked trout have little impact on wild trout due to their high morality after stocking. Creel surveys matter folks.
I haven't read the studies you're referring to, but I am familiar with D. Vincent's work on the Madison River in Montana. When Montana "went wild" or stopped stocking waters where wild trout lived, the wild trout populations proliferated.

That said, it's hard to fault Game and Fish for this. The different constituencies that they have to satisfy run the gamut, from the catch and keep crowd, environmentalists, the feds, and then the catch and release fly fishing crowd. Sounds like the anglers this move is intended to satisfy are the catch and keep crowd.

It's too bad, as Lee's Ferry is the kind of place that would be great if it were managed like Silver or Canyon Creeks - with special regulations. We have an abundance of put and take fisheries in AZ, just wish there were a few more catch and release fisheries.
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Old 11-27-2018, 09:33 AM
bgiordano bgiordano is offline
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Originally Posted by BunsbertMontcroffEsq View Post
I haven't read the studies you're referring to, but I am familiar with D. Vincent's work on the Madison River in Montana. When Montana "went wild" or stopped stocking waters where wild trout lived, the wild trout populations proliferated.

That said, it's hard to fault Game and Fish for this. The different constituencies that they have to satisfy run the gamut, from the catch and keep crowd, environmentalists, the feds, and then the catch and release fly fishing crowd. Sounds like the anglers this move is intended to satisfy are the catch and keep crowd.

It's too bad, as Lee's Ferry is the kind of place that would be great if it were managed like Silver or Canyon Creeks - with special regulations. We have an abundance of put and take fisheries in AZ, just wish there were a few more catch and release fisheries.
Dr. Vincent's studies were quite interesting and I am certainly glad he did them. It paved the way for managers to think about stocked vs wild fisheries. I think a lot of the success with that one is just the sheer numbers of fish MT was stocking those days.

Again, yes, the stocked trout will have some impact on the wild fish but it shouldn't be a huge one. Take a look at Idaho Fish and Game studies regarding the stocking of trout on top of wild fish. These are the studies I am referring to. They don't find any adverse effect. But they were stocking at rates that were much lower than what MT was doing pre-Vincent.

Fisheries management has come a long way since Vincent's studies. And it is still evolving today. Vincent's studies definitely showed the impact of stocking on wild fish. And ID has shown that there can be a balance. So managers gained the knowledge and tools to make informed decisions on how to balance stocked/wild. And I am sure this knowledge was used when making the Lee's Ferry decision.

It certainly is a difficult balance between all the different users of a fishery. Never going to make everyone happy. And this is obviously a controversial one.

It would be awesome if Lee's Ferry had the means to support a wild population that could cater to everyone. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem the case.
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Old 11-27-2018, 10:04 AM
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I am amazed that those in charge cannot figure out the means and methods in order to make Lee's Ferry a more productive and healthy wild trout fishery. Maybe the powers that be don't want that and or there's just way too many hands in the pot up there.

With so many excellent tail waters across the west, its a shame the Ferry cannot be better managed and improved.

I remember fishing the Ferry in the mid through late 90s and it was a gem of a fishery. Maybe one day it will turn around. It sure is a beautiful place to spend time and catch some trout.
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