Please take the Division's Wild Trout Survey

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Please take the Division's Wild Trout Survey

Postby Rusty Spinner on March 3rd, 2016, 11:36 am

To all who fish for wild trout in NJ, whether in the 36 "listed" WTS or others including rivers like the Flat Brook, South Branch, Musky, etc. that are both stocked and have wild trout, please take some time to take the Division's survey. They are considering regulatory changes to better protect our wild trout and possibly to change some of the listed streams be dropping some and adding others. The staff asked anglers to take this survey at last Saturday's trout meeting at Pequest and it is out today. Warning, it will take a bit of time. If you are wondering, there are 25 pages that will pop up. Some are single question pages and others multiple pages. It probably takes 15 minutes or so:

http://www.nj.gov/dep/fgw/news/2016/troutsurvey16.htm
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Re: Please take the Division's Wild Trout Survey

Postby NJAngler on March 3rd, 2016, 2:57 pm

I'll be honest, when it comes to gear restrictions I'm fully opposed to fly only. I'd sooner support barbless bait then fly only. To me its too specific a method and I'm all against that. This isn't Pa with 10,000 streams to fish. There you can have all the "fly only" you want. Not NJ.

Although I support C&R, I see no reason a why 1 or 2 can't be taken home for those who prefer wild fish. Most if not all can handle a little harvest.

Access to me is priority one. If you can't fish it, no way you should have special regs. State/legislators HAVE to work with landowners to get these streams open. Far too much is off limits.

Of the 36 streams listed, I think I only checked off about 20. That should tell you how many are on posted land. Get rid of them. Does me no good to know how good they are if I can't fish them.

I see no differences between the species - brook, brown or rainbow. i enjoy fishing for all and see no reason to give preferential treatment to our natives. Without browns, we'd have far less streams holding wild trout since the brookies would not survive the higher temps where browns can exist or reach the sizes & numbers browns can. That said, if the state wanted no-kill for brookies, I wouldn't be against it.
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Re: Please take the Division's Wild Trout Survey

Postby Rusty Spinner on March 3rd, 2016, 11:01 pm

NJAngler wrote:I'll be honest, when it comes to gear restrictions I'm fully opposed to fly only. I'd sooner support barbless bait then fly only. To me its too specific a method and I'm all against that. This isn't Pa with 10,000 streams to fish. There you can have all the "fly only" you want. Not NJ.

Although I support C&R, I see no reason a why 1 or 2 can't be taken home for those who prefer wild fish. Most if not all can handle a little harvest.

Access to me is priority one. If you can't fish it, no way you should have special regs. State/legislators HAVE to work with landowners to get these streams open. Far too much is off limits.

Of the 36 streams listed, I think I only checked off about 20. That should tell you how many are on posted land. Get rid of them. Does me no good to know how good they are if I can't fish them.

I see no differences between the species - brook, brown or rainbow. i enjoy fishing for all and see no reason to give preferential treatment to our natives. Without browns, we'd have far less streams holding wild trout since the brookies would not survive the higher temps where browns can exist or reach the sizes & numbers browns can. That said, if the state wanted no-kill for brookies, I wouldn't be against it.



I pretty much agree with you 100%. Regarding your first point about fly only, one of our chapter members posted on our Facebook page today that he wanted fly only for the listed WTS. I think he was shocked when I replied I was firmly against that, especially since I'm a fly fishing snob and no longer fish any other method other than the odd fluke trip. Haven't in decades, in fact. When I pointed out that the old fly only stretch on the Flat Brook, now part of the No-Kill, used to see fly anglers creeling their limits all year long, he understood. Fly fishing in and of itself is not a conservation practice.
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Re: Please take the Division's Wild Trout Survey

Postby The Royal Coachman on March 4th, 2016, 7:50 am

I agree with you guys 100%

I never understood why they have some of those streams on the list. There is no way to gain access to some of them. I see no reason to have c&r on wild trout streams. The percentage of fish over 9" is just too small on most streams.

Treble v. single hook. Barbed v. barbless? I don't know how big an issue this is to fish mortality but I fish mostly barbless with flies and some single hook and barbless for spinners and other hardware for Trout. I'm sure others do the same.
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Re: Please take the Division's Wild Trout Survey

Postby NJAngler on March 4th, 2016, 8:57 am

I would also argue the special regs does more harm than good since it draws attention to places that otherwise would be largely ignored or overlooked. Pa does the same thing and I find it funny how streams I fish a few miles away from special reg streams hold as many if not more trout and with far less anglers or usage. I say stop singling out a few and make rules to cover all of them. A bold move would be a C&R or 2 trout(10" or 12" )limit on wild trout... period. No gear or tackle restrictions other than barblesss. This would cover all streams not stocked. TP streams that are stocked can remain as is as I've not noticed any changes in wild trout numbers over the last 30 years or so(if anyhthing they are better). Any yearly fluctuations can be easily blamed on environmental issues(floods/droughts)) and not angling. One good rain event can create some dandy pools while also filling in old ones. I mean VCB looks different every time I go there. Its crazy but also exciting. I say let mother nature manage the streams and we stay out of it :)
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Re: Please take the Division's Wild Trout Survey

Postby Rusty Spinner on March 4th, 2016, 10:54 am

NJAngler wrote:I would also argue the special regs does more harm than good since it draws attention to places that otherwise would be largely ignored or overlooked. Pa does the same thing and I find it funny how streams I fish a few miles away from special reg streams hold as many if not more trout and with far less anglers or usage. I say stop singling out a few and make rules to cover all of them. A bold move would be a C&R or 2 trout(10" or 12" )limit on wild trout... period. No gear or tackle restrictions other than barblesss. This would cover all streams not stocked. TP streams that are stocked can remain as is as I've not noticed any changes in wild trout numbers over the last 30 years or so(if anyhthing they are better). Any yearly fluctuations can be easily blamed on environmental issues(floods/droughts)) and not angling. One good rain event can create some dandy pools while also filling in old ones. I mean VCB looks different every time I go there. Its crazy but also exciting. I say let mother nature manage the streams and we stay out of it :)


One of the things we heard last weekend was staff looking to possibly protect wild trout in TP or TM waters where wild trout live side by side with state stocked fish. Let's face it, the average trout angler couldn't tell a brook trout from a brown let alone wild from stocked! :lol:

If they truly want to protect wild fish in a river like, say the SBR, then the Division has to end all stocking in some section9s) and put WTS rules on it. They do that with the upper Pequannock, so it can be done. But that would require things like no stocking from Budd Lake downstream through Long Valley at a minimum. Heck, there are wild trout all the way to Lake Solitude.
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Re: Please take the Division's Wild Trout Survey

Postby NJAngler on March 4th, 2016, 11:52 am

possibly protect wild trout in TP or TM waters where wild trout live side by side with state stocked fish.


Most of us here can tell but the avg trout angler cannot. Since we are only stocking rainbows, we could just say release all browns and brookies. Very few stocked waters hold wild bows so harvest of wild ones would be rare. I've fished the Claremont for decades and can count on one hand the # of stocked or club fish I've caught. For whatever reason stockies don't really hang around there.
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Re: Please take the Division's Wild Trout Survey

Postby NJAngler on March 4th, 2016, 12:04 pm

The problem with the program is that for somebody new, all streams appear equal on paper but after a few visits, one could easily be discouraged from ever fishing them again. For example Black Brook in Clinton WMA. About a mile or so is on public land so sounds like a good choice...NOT! Its a tiny, overgrown, low production stream that holds few wild trout. You'll end up with more punctures in your waders then trout caught. It is what it is and will NEVER be any better or worst then it is even if you had no fishing at all. To places like that I say just leave them alone.
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Re: Please take the Division's Wild Trout Survey

Postby the hawk on March 4th, 2016, 9:08 pm

I'm curious about the comments on regs for streams with both wild and stocked. Take the SRR feeder streams. Both have decent populations of Browns. I see anglers with stringers of stockies, but never wild Browns. I have only caught them on flies or very small spinners. I don't think the guy who uses night crawlers or power bait or large rapala lures are going to catch these wild fish. Once the stocked rainbows are caught, I rarely see another angler. Rusty, as you have said, these populations don't seem to change that much, so I agree that no special regulations are needed. What people don't know won't bother them.
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Re: Please take the Division's Wild Trout Survey

Postby The Royal Coachman on March 5th, 2016, 4:35 pm

NJAngler wrote:


Since we are only stocking rainbows, we could just say release all browns and brookies. Very few stocked waters hold wild bows so harvest of wild ones would be rare. I've fished the Claremont for decades and can count on one hand the # of stocked or club fish I've caught. For whatever reason stockies don't really hang around there.


That was brought up at the meeting but you do have private stockings of other species and the stocking of JUST rainbows won't go on forever. Besides I think the 9" limit protects a majority of wild fish.
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Re: Please take the Division's Wild Trout Survey

Postby The Royal Coachman on March 6th, 2016, 10:44 am

Rusty Spinner wrote:
NJAngler wrote:)



If they truly want to protect wild fish in a river like, say the SBR, then the Division has to end all stocking in some section9s) and put WTS rules on it. They do that with the upper Pequannock, so it can be done. But that would require things like no stocking from Budd Lake downstream through Long Valley at a minimum. .
I think that would be a great experiment. That section of stream has a good population of wild fish and when the state didn't stock it a few years back it seemed to fish better. At least for me.
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Re: Please take the Division's Wild Trout Survey

Postby Rusty Spinner on March 6th, 2016, 8:12 pm

The Royal Coachman wrote:
Rusty Spinner wrote:
NJAngler wrote:)



If they truly want to protect wild fish in a river like, say the SBR, then the Division has to end all stocking in some section9s) and put WTS rules on it. They do that with the upper Pequannock, so it can be done. But that would require things like no stocking from Budd Lake downstream through Long Valley at a minimum. .
I think that would be a great experiment. That section of stream has a good population of wild fish and when the state didn't stock it a few years back it seemed to fish better. At least for me.


I quietly lobbied behind the scenes to never stock the upper SBRR again, but the Division went right back to it after only one year. Oh well, I tried. :)
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