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Lateral view of a Male Baetis (Baetidae) (Blue-Winged Olive) Mayfly Dun from Mystery Creek #43 in New York
Blue-winged Olives
Baetis

Tiny Baetis mayflies are perhaps the most commonly encountered and imitated by anglers on all American trout streams due to their great abundance, widespread distribution, and trout-friendly emergence habits.

27" brown trout, my largest ever. It was the sub-dominant fish in its pool. After this, I hooked the bigger one, but I couldn't land it.
Troutnut is a project started in 2003 by salmonid ecologist Jason "Troutnut" Neuswanger to help anglers and fly tyers unabashedly embrace the entomological side of the sport. Learn more about Troutnut or support the project for an enhanced experience here.

Shawnny3
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Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Shawnny3 on Aug 5, 2010August 5th, 2010, 7:18 am EDT
Very interesting discussion, guys. Thank you for your insights. I'm inclined to agree with Slate Drake that the fish was hatchery produced and came up from the Bald Eagle, which is less than a mile downstream of where I caught the fish. I'd say an intentionally stocked fish from a mile downstream is more likely than an escapee in the recent past (the flood was too long ago, I think, to have produced a fish that is now only 10 inches long).

-Shawn
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
Jmd123
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Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Aug 5, 2010August 5th, 2010, 8:05 am EDT
Gonzo, I have often said that I am "85% vegetarian, +/- a few percent"...I do enjoy seafood on occasion, as well as pepperoni on my pizza (that's NOT the veggie pizza) and bacon at times for breakfast. I have never been truly vegan (= NO animal products whatsoever including eggs and dairy), though many of my favorite things to cook (and eat) do qualify as such. I just about never think about having beef, poultry, or pork with anything that I cook or eat, in fact I usually avoid these fods entirely - though I am a complete sucker for my Mom's chicken soup, not to mention her shrimp pastas or the shrimp creole she makes over brown rice...

Stockers only taste good if they've been living in the stream long enough to eat a bunch of invertebrates and maybe a few baitfish...

There was a study published a few years ago - I think I may have mentioned it on this site before - about hatchery-raised fish being fed a diet with an increase in the trace copper content of their food, whereupon these fish grew nice fully developed fins and bright coloration like streambred fish. The copper was added to imitate the copper salts found in insect "blood", a.k.a. hemolymph, which is slightly bluish in color from copper compounds (many of which are typically colored blue). This, of course, begs the question: do these copper-fed hatchery fish TASTE better than the non-copper-fed stockers?????

THERE's a question for ya...

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Jmd123
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Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Aug 5, 2010August 5th, 2010, 8:07 am EDT
Another question for you folks that have caught these tiger trout: how do they fight compared to their non-hybrid breatheren? Hatchery managers like to play up the name by saying they supposedly fight harder...

JMD
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
SlateDrake9
Potter County, PA

Posts: 144
SlateDrake9 on Aug 5, 2010August 5th, 2010, 8:46 am EDT
I really don't think they fight any better than a wild brown or native brook of the same size to be honest with you. Everyone says they fight better, but I don't think they do. They are usually a lot prettier though.
Fishing with bait is like swearing in church.
-- Slate Drake
Lastchance
Portage, PA

Posts: 437
Lastchance on Aug 5, 2010August 5th, 2010, 9:13 am EDT
To me they seem have the same fighting ability as a native brown.
Bruce
GONZO
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
GONZO on Aug 5, 2010August 5th, 2010, 10:06 am EDT
As for the idea of keeping the stockers as a means to help the wild fish. I think of it this way. If I kept the stocked fish then some guy that regularly keeps fish would have less stockers to keep and would probably be catching and keeping wild fish.

You also have to remember that our wild fish populations (not native populations) came from stockers that reproduced in the streams. If it wasn't for stocking, Spring Creek would probably be as barren as many of the freestoners in the southern part of the state, as would the Little J (which I'm still not convienced isn't mostly stocked browns). And most of our freestoners in NC PA would only be populated with 5 inch brookies and not the browns that can be found.


Thanks for your thoughts on the subject, B.J. As one of the "Pennsylvania Boys," I hope you understand that much of what I'm saying here is nothing more than the idle "crackerbarrel" musing and grumbling that occupies PA fly fishers when they are forced to do something other than fishing. :)

While I wasn't seriously suggesting that killing and eating a few stockers would make much of a difference, it probably would be doing the wild fish a favor when both occupy the same section of stream. It's just one of those tricky instances where our catch-and-release habit doesn't always benefit wild (or native) fish. I'm not necessarily saying that stocking that is done to "spread out" early season catch-and-keep demand in streams that do not support trout isn't worth doing. And I do understand that it does provide something for the fly fisher who needs a convenient "fix" to satisfy a big-fish jones. But it is also a very expensive way of creating and satisfying a largely casual and temporary demand. Perhaps it serves to create a few folks that will go on to give a damn about the welfare of fish and their habitat, but much about the early season circus seems to trend in the opposite direction.

My complaint (again, an idle one) is mostly about the way that the pressure to stock spills over onto waters that would probably be better off without it. The problem with viewing stocking as a harmless (or helpful?) buffer against catch-and-keep pressure where it is done over viable wild populations is that it usually means fewer wild fish and increased pressure on the wild fish that remain in that water. In such situations, stocking often creates the pressure that stocking supposedly buffers. Most of the catch-and-keep folks either don't or are not able to discriminate between wild and stocked fish. So the idea that the stockers are for "them" while leaving the wild fish for "us" doesn't always work that way.

Of course, you are quite right, stocking (of a sort) created many of the fisheries that we enjoy today. I love brown trout. I admit that if, by some magical wave of the hand, the whole state could be transformed into a "native" fishery (meaning brook trout, though some of our wild brook trout populations are only remotely native or native only in the sense that they are the same species), I would dearly miss the browns. That isn't remotely possible, but it also doesn't mean that stocking as it is (mostly) done today contributes anything positive to wild populations.

The brown trout that so successfully occupied the (largely) vacant niche created by deforestation, pollution, and exploitation around the turn of the 20th century in PA was the same species, but in many ways it was a very different fish when compared to the mongrel hatchery-adapted strain that comprises brown trout stocking in PA today. That fish was a stream-adapted strain, not many generations removed from the wild, poorly adapted to hatchery conditions, and it was not raised and introduced as a "catchable" put-and-take fish. For the most part, they were often transported as fingerlings in milk cans carried by rail to the far-flung reaches of the state. Some of the success of that introduction was more or less a "happy accident." (Though some results are admittedly less than happy.)

Around the same time, the introduction of another, very different, lake-adapted strain of brown was far less successful, though it wasn't long before both strains were merged into a mongrel "domesticated" hatchery tool (due, in part, to a "brown-is-a-brown" attitude). In PA, that lake-adapted strain lives on mostly in the mongrel stocker of today and whatever (extremely minor) contribution that fish makes to wild populations. (Out West, however, you can often see strong expressions of the phenotypical traits of that lake-adapted strain in some of the larger waters where it was introduced.)

One good thing about stocking "catchable" brown trout in the spring is that few of these fish survive to mingle with wild fish in the fall. Unfortunately, the recent trend toward increased fall stocking changes that picture, and also increases pressure in the fall. The brown trout that is raised and stocked today is not intended to create wild fish, and when it does--either through incidental spawning or even fingerling stocking--I'm not at all sure that the contribution is always a positive one. (Streams that have recently recovered from degradation would probably be the exception, but a different, "wilder" strain of brown might be more effective in aiding such recoveries.)

With regard to Spring, yes, that wonderful brown trout fishery was created by stocking. However, (to me, at least) what really makes it special is that it is no longer stocked--or, given some hatchery escapement, not stocked intentionally. As you know, that is another "happy accident" resulting, ironically, from the fish having high levels of toxicity.

I sometimes hope that the state biologists never discover that the Spring Creek population has reached acceptable levels of toxicity (or that they will keep the discovery to themselves). On that unhappy day, I'm sure that they will receive considerable pressure to resume stocking and to return much of the stream to catch-and-keep status. I also sometimes wish that the state would discover high levels of toxicity in the fish in the stocking-on-top-of-wild-trout section of the stream that I mentioned in my earlier post. That seems to be one of the more effective ways (excuses?) to preserve wild populations in productive, accessible, and pressured streams. Of course, I'm just joking...(sort of).

Anyway, B.J., I can't for the life of me figure out why I'm bringing any of this up. I almost always regret opening my big mouth on this subject. Please keep in mind, my friend and fellow Troutnut, that I'm mostly just killing time in order to avoid doing the computer work that I really should be doing. Feel free to dismiss any and all of this as just the idle ramblings of someone who would "rather be fishing." :)
GONZO
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
GONZO on Aug 5, 2010August 5th, 2010, 10:54 am EDT
Gonzo, I have often said that I am "85% vegetarian, +/- a few percent"...


Sorry, Jonathon, that was just good-natured teasing. I hope you don't mind. I'm tempted to say that I'm a vegetable rights guy who thinks that all of those innocent plants should be allowed to live out their lives without being cut down in their prime and devoured, but I'm afraid that someone might take me seriously. Do plants feel pain? :)

There was a study published a few years ago - I think I may have mentioned it on this site before - about hatchery-raised fish being fed a diet with an increase in the trace copper content of their food, whereupon these fish grew nice fully developed fins and bright coloration like streambred fish. The copper was added to imitate the copper salts found in insect "blood", a.k.a. hemolymph, which is slightly bluish in color from copper compounds (many of which are typically colored blue). This, of course, begs the question: do these copper-fed hatchery fish TASTE better than the non-copper-fed stockers?????

THERE's a question for ya...


Yeah, I do remember that study. I remember the bit about copper improving coloration, but I'm not sure I remember the part about growing nice fully-developed fins. How would that happen? I assumed that the stump-finned condition of hatchery trout was primarily due to overcrowding, a result of the fish rubbing against the concrete walls of the raceway and the inevitable nipping/biting that overcrowding encourages. Did it suggest that copper was a factor in fin development?
Jmd123
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Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Aug 5, 2010August 5th, 2010, 3:06 pm EDT
Gonzo, yes, those fish did develope much fuller fins than the non-copper-fed fish did, indicating that it may NOT be rubbing against concrete raceways that leads to malformed fins (how many of them actually do that anyway unless they're SEVERELY overcrowded?). If any animal - or plant, for that matter - does not get it's proper nutrition to which it is adapted in nature it can show all sorts of deficiency-caused malformations, depending on what's missing. The article implied that BOTH coloration AND fin development were dependent on having sufficient amounts of copper in their diet. And, even as an 85% (+/-) vegetarian, I STILL wonder how it affects taste...

Now, wether or not a plant feels PAIN if it is being deprived of proper trace element nutrition, I cannot tell you...even though I do have a degree in botany... :oD

No worries about being razzed because I'm a vegetarian...I will share some funny quotes I saw scrawled on the (galvanized sheet-steel) walls of my first cabin at the U of M Biological Station back in the '80s, where there were many vegetarians:

"I hate vegetarians!" (Or something like that...Maybe it was, "Nuke veggies!")

Response: "May your small intestine revolt during your next hamburger!"

Response to this: "May you accidentally eat soup made with beef broth."

OK, now back to the fish. Here's a "fish nutrition" story for you:
Back when I first met my ex-wife and went off to grad school, I decided to get back into aquarium keeping, and became obsessed with reproducing some facsimile of an Amazon Basin rainforest pool, trying to get the right fish, aquatic plants, and water chemistry together. (I was inspired by a book on "ecological aquascaping", i.e. recreating natural fish communities and conditions.) Well, I ended up just loading this tank up with South American tetras and Amazon swordplants and adjusting the water chemistry to the point where I actually had some fish spawn in the tank! In the process of stocking the tank, I purchased six bleeding heart tetras that looked as if they were recovering from fin rot. They are in the 3-4" range when fully mature, and these fish weren't much shy of that. Not thinking all that clearly, I also purchased ten little bitty cardinal tetras that were no more than an inch long. By this time the tank was pretty heavily planted and I figured that if anyone else got any ideas the little guys could just hide in the shrubbery. Well, I should have known better...One by one they disappeared, and we didn't know who the culprit was until one day we saw one of the big bleeding hearts charge into the weeds in hot pursuit of the tiny cardinals, who scattered in terror. (I began to notice that they actually somewhat resembled pirhanas, which are not all that distantly related to them...) They eventually got them all - and then, they turned bright screaming pink with flaming red spots on their sides and their formerly unimpressive fins grew into beautiful long streamers, and the males even started challenging each other! I suppose that's what a "diet" of cardinal tetras will do for bleeding heart tetras...Moral of the story: diet DOES matter...

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Oldredbarn
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Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Aug 5, 2010August 5th, 2010, 3:41 pm EDT
Damn! Jon & Gonzo we thought Spence was long winded! You two in your cups this evening or something?

That Old Red Barn on old Grand River & McGraw...is signing out...He's feeling a little weak...Maybe it's that damn diet of his...

"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
Shawnny3
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Shawnny3 on Aug 5, 2010August 5th, 2010, 4:07 pm EDT
Excellent discussion, guys. To respond to the question posed about fighting, the tiger trout I caught was not remarkable compared to the other fish we caught. Then again, it was a rather small sample size. And I certainly do not share the aversion some on here have for rainbows - when they exist as wild or wilded trout, they are very impressive fish, both in terms of their widely varying coloration and their fighting ability. I've found that once they get bigger than a foot they add height much faster and are therefore much heavier than browns of the same length, making them very powerful fighters, particularly in fast water when they turn their bodies horizontal to you.

-Shawn
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
Jmd123
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Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Aug 5, 2010August 5th, 2010, 6:30 pm EDT
Shawn, I love rainbows - the first thing they typically do when they feel the sting of the hook is to leap straight up into the air a good three feet or so! Although, I had a 13" brown do the same thing to me back in June on my favorite stretch of the Maple. I was CERTAIN he was a rainbow - he cleared the water four times in the first five seconds of the fight! Perhaps he WAS a rainbow that mysteriously turned into a brown during the fight...??????? Musta been daydreaming that he was a steelhead...

Now, I should mention that I don't run into many stockers on my favorite streams - these fish all appear to be wild, and if any rainbows are actually stocked, as in the Rifle, they are actually steelhead and so they disappear not long after they leave the hatchery truck. (I was on the Rifle one night after such an event and there were all these little "rainbows" in the stream - that disappeared within a week or two...) On both the Maple and the Rifle, the streams I know the best, they all appear to be wild, or at least if they WERE stocked, they then grew up in the streams after being stocked as fingerlings, as they are brightly colored, well-finned, and psychotic aerial acrobats!

Happy, healthy stream-bred trout fight hard, period. I didn't think tiger trout were going to be any kind of improvement over what is already a hell of a good time. At least you can add that one to your "species" list...

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Jmd123
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Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Aug 5, 2010August 5th, 2010, 6:31 pm EDT
P.S. Spence, it's about time someone showed you up on this site!!!

;oD

JMD
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
SlateDrake9
Potter County, PA

Posts: 144
SlateDrake9 on Aug 6, 2010August 6th, 2010, 3:14 am EDT
Gonzo,

I too am afraid of the day when the trout in Spring are considered "safe to eat" as that will probably be the changing point of an excellent fishery to a so-so fishery.

I have to wonder how excellent some of our other waters would be if managed under the same regulations.

I wish the PA Fish and Boat Commission didn't cater to the catch and keep crowd that's typically done fishing by the end of April and more to those of us that fish year around. But, the PAFBC slogan of "a good trout is a dead trout on a metal stringer" will probably never die. They claim that's where they get the majority of their money, which may be true, but it still sucks.

At least they're not as bad as the PA Game Commission. They pretty much exterminated THE major game animal that drives license sales for reasons I'll never understand or agree with.

NONE OF THIS WILL MATTER AS LONG AS THE MARCELLUS SHALE DRILLING IS HAPPENING IN PENNSYLVANIA. If what this industry puts into the ground that WILL find its way into our waters doesn't kill us, it will surely kill the insects and fish.

Fishing with bait is like swearing in church.
-- Slate Drake
Oldredbarn
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Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Aug 6, 2010August 6th, 2010, 5:27 am EDT
I too am afraid of the day when the trout in Spring are considered "safe to eat" as that will probably be the changing point of an excellent fishery to a so-so fishery.


B.J.,

I think this was where Gonzo was going last night as well in his rant & his "Catch 22" comment...It's a sad, sad, day isn't it when anglers in the know, have to wish ill on their beloved stream in a last ditch effort to save it!!!

I watched a depressing documentary the other night on the Great Lakes in general and the water quality and chemicals etc we continue to dump in our waterways...Where do we think this stuff is going? I heard of some scientists who are monitoring the water for high levels of prescription meds...The one made a comment about going to your drugist and he tells you not to take this medication with either A, B, or C and it really may not matter because A,B, & C are already in our water at levels that may have an effect.

Was I the only soul who didn't know that they have actually moved people back to Three Mile Island?! I couldn't believe it...Folks so low down on the income scale that they would actually take this chance!

I used to live very close to a park here that is used for flood control basically. There are a couple small lakes along the way with little dams. There used to be a Ford Motor transmission plant upstream of all this that left decades ago...In one of the small lakes they drained it and removed the bottom mud because of the accumulated PCB's.

I took a nephew for a bike ride in this park years back. I spotted an elderly black couple and a couple grand kids fishing in one of these lakes. Spence, as you know by now is very attracted to anything fishing and a chance to B.S. with someone while they were fishing, well that's just too much for him to pass up...We rode on over for a fishing report.

I couldn't believe it when these folks told me they were keeping these stunted blue-gills! I really didn't know what to say to them...I was afraid, if I wasn't careful, that I'd hurt their feelings. Another catch-22 here I guess.

I had a professor in junior college that was the guy that eventually pointed me toward studying Poli-Sci...He said it was the American way, "Just flush it down the toilet and forget about it!" They showed a waste management facility in Windsor I think where the waste first shows up...It had a zillion of those plastic tampon holders floating in it...Not a pretty image all the way around, eh!

If our trout are too toxic too eat...What's accumulated in our tissue?

Spence



"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
SlateDrake9
Potter County, PA

Posts: 144
SlateDrake9 on Aug 6, 2010August 6th, 2010, 6:45 am EDT
If our trout are too toxic too eat...What's accumulated in our tissue?



What? You don't glow in the dark too?

In all seriousness, it's only going to get much worse when the Marcellus Shale industry ramps up. In Tioga Co. they had to quarantine a bunch of cows that "may" have drank some of the fracking fluid used. This quarantine may last up to 3 years, but I've also heard from a decent source that they are now going to destroy these animals so nobody ever eats the meat or drinks the milk.

Now, my question to you is (or anyone), how many deer, bear, turkeys, squirrels, ducks, geese, eagles, smaller animals in the food chain of many game animals hunters hunt have had contact with this stuff. A small wire fence doesn't keep these animals out and they're attracted to the salt in this stuff. I'm afraid there's going to be lots and lots of very sick people in the areas that this is happening, as well as, any hunters or fishermen that go to these areas and eat their kill.

Maybe the hunting in Pennsylvania will be like the fishing in Spring Creek. Safe to hunt, but don't eat anything you kill or you may get really sick or die.

Food for thought.
Fishing with bait is like swearing in church.
-- Slate Drake
Oldredbarn
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Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Aug 6, 2010August 6th, 2010, 7:38 am EDT
B.J.

I hear you brother! It's one battle after the next. The Anglers of the Au Sable here in Michigan have spent untold dollars fighting one thing after the next because the state is more concerned about jobs and tax dollars than whether or not the by-product of these half-assed "regulated" companys will end up killing us or not.

We have been in a long battle to stop a gas well being installed right next to the Fishermens Chapel in the supposedly "off-limits' Mason Tract. It's so off limits the DNR has been in there for the last two years pulling logs out!?

Our state basically is split in two with some rivers draining in to Lake Huron & others in to Lake Michigan. Along this ridge, if you will, there is a toxic clean up under way and the company that caused it and now in the process of cleaning it up wanted to pour some of the waste water from that drainage right in to the head waters of the Au Sable...A completely different watershed! The logic here I guess, we messed one up, might as well screw up the other one as well!

We are fighting here in this state and have basically lost stopping a mineral mine in the Huron Mtns in the UP at the head waters of Voelkers famous Yellow-Dog River...and it goes on and on.

This is in a country where they (big business) claims they are already over regulated...If that's so, whats going on today in China, Mexico, Vietnam, where it's katie-bar-the-door in terms of regulations?

You and I have blown this topic here re Tiger Trout totally off course, but in a way it's still related. We humans labor under the fantasy that we can "manage" anything (Want a psychedelic trout, no problem we will just gentically order that right up for you, ummm but don't eat it ok???)...Well it ain't so Joe...The folks on the special I mentioned on the Great Lakes say that the health side-effects of all this are basically beyond them...No one really knows, yet we keep up with it all...

Somehow I feel we have forgotten our history here...I told you before that my mom was raised in the mountains of Maryland near Oakland...Right by the Little Yough...a little creek of put-and-take because of mining waste going back a hundred years probably...You guys in PA know all this better than I do...

Anyway, BJ, glowing in the dark is probably the least of our worries!

Spence

"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
Jmd123
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Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Aug 6, 2010August 6th, 2010, 8:57 am EDT
Hey folks, as if all of the above isn't bad enough, we have our very own DEEPWATER HORIZON right here in Michigan!! A huge stretch of the Kalamazoo River is now off limits to fishing or ANYTHING ELSE because of an OIL SPILL. When I said Deepwater Horizon, I wasn't making a spurious comparison - an oil pipeline running under a tributary to the Kalamazoo burst and created an oil slick at least 35 miles long, all because of NEGLIGENCE. Lack of proper maintenance and repairs, lack of proper oversight, lack of corporate responsibility, trying to save $$$ on "expensive" safety measures, etc. etc. etc....Oh, and we have our very own OILED WILDLIFE too - Canada geese, ducks, shorebirds, turtles, small mammals, LOTS of dead fish, and God only knows what happened to the invertebrate communities, not to even mention the vegetation in the fringing wetlands and floodplains. All right here in my very own HOME STATE!!!

Oh, but it's OK!! It will all "clean itself up", just like the Gulf of Mexico, right??? Can't we just wash off all of the wildlife, give them all some Pepto Bismal, towel them off and let them go?? And all that oil, the bacteria will just eat it all up and make it go away, right?? Or, can't we just dump a bunch of toxic detergent in it to disperse it, so we no longer see it and then it's just GONE, no worries??? And, well, we'll just get a HATCHERY to replace all of those (MILLIONS of) dead fish, right?? (Isn't that what they're for, after all, to replace all of the fish we kill through development, pollution, overfishing, etc.??? I know, we'll put TIGER TROUT in there, ya think??) C'mon, everything's gonna be just fine, won't it??? Huh? Huh? HUH?????

"Better Living Through Chemistry" MY ASS...

And so you see, PA folks, we Michiganders can certainly sympathize with your Marcellas Shale/fracking fluid problems, and you sure as hell have our condolences. I should also mention that our resident novelist, Spence, has informed me that some manner of toxic crap from some old industrial facility is currently heading down a tributary towards our famed AUSABLE RIVER. So, PA folks, you are not alone in having your river and streams under assault from the ever-irresponsible CORPORATE AMERICA.

I suppose I had better stop before I go off on another tirade and risk blowing an aneurism...

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
GONZO
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
GONZO on Aug 6, 2010August 6th, 2010, 9:06 am EDT
You and I have blown this topic here re Tiger Trout totally off course...


That was probably my fault, Spence, but I'm cool now. At least it's not quite so far off course as the "Food Channel" discussions elsewhere. :)

...indicating that it may NOT be rubbing against concrete raceways that leads to malformed fins...


I enjoyed the example of the transformation of your Tetras, Jonathon, but I'm still quite convinced that the stump-finned condition of many hatchery trout is primarily due to overcrowding. It's easy to see the difference in the fins of hatchery trout raised for maximum production (crammed in concrete raceways) vs. those raised in less crowded and more fin-friendly situations. The appearance reflects wear-and-tear from erosion (like what you see in the tails of some female trout after redd-building) and fin-nipping (which is a typical behavior in crowded conditions). Among hatchery folks, the condition is known as fin wear.

I'm not disputing the significance of diet relative to color, condition, and all aspects of development (not to mention the accumulation of toxic chemicals from certain types of feed). But as long as the fish are raised in the same overcrowded conditions, I suspect that the "copper cure" would just produce more colorful stump-finned trout. And they might still taste like cheap catfood. :)

PS--I've been wondering when the conversation might turn to oil spills. Perhaps it was just far too depressing to contemplate. However, (just to try to lighten the mood and stave off the risk of aneurism) you might run the risk of being drummed out of the Michigan Fly-Fishing Militia when you spell the name of Spence's beloved stream as "AUSABLE." (That's in NY.)
Jmd123
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Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Aug 6, 2010August 6th, 2010, 9:29 am EDT
Cheap catfood does not sound like something I would like to taste - in a trout or anywhere else for that matter...

UH-OH, we're getting back to Food Channel references again!!

JMD
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
GONZO
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
GONZO on Aug 6, 2010August 6th, 2010, 10:42 am EDT
Cheap catfood does not sound like something I would like to taste....


Yeah, I used to have a cat that had no issues with the taste of anything from rabbits and mice to flying squirrels, but he would turn up his nose at tuna catfood. That puzzled me until I tried some. (What the heck, I thought, it's just canned tuna.) The cat was right....

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Mar 26, 2008
by Wbranch
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