Big Flatbrook 11/1

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adirock
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Big Flatbrook 11/1

Post by adirock » Sat Nov 03, 2018 7:56 am

Spent a long time on Big Flatbrook on 11/1. Fished the area downstream of the footbridge at the end of Bridge Road, and up and downstream of the Route 560 bridge. I didn't catch a single trout. I saw a lot of other fly fishers and they had the same story. Water level was a little low, but not abnormal for Flatbrook. I was expecting better. I went there two weeks ago and the same result. But it was great day to be on the stream. 70 Degrees in November - no complaints.

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cappy
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Re: Big Flatbrook 11/1

Post by cappy » Sat Nov 03, 2018 10:09 am

I fished the no-kill stretch last week, not a bite. Ran into two fisherman that fished a really long stretch, when I asked how they were doing, one said just OK but didn't sound very happy. Outside of the Spring stocking season the Flatbrook disappoints. On the surface it should be a top holdover and WTS, but it fails. Just my opinion.

Paul N Skill
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Re: Big Flatbrook 11/1

Post by Paul N Skill » Sun Nov 04, 2018 8:29 am

I don't get it either. With the numbers of fish that were stocked in the "No Kill" zone and plentiful water this summer, the Flatbrook should be loaded with fish. I know F&W did a telemetry study again this year and would be curious to see the results of trout survival.

joe_panella
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Re: Big Flatbrook 11/1

Post by joe_panella » Sun Nov 04, 2018 4:51 pm

I would be interested in that as well. I have not fished much in the last 5 or 6 years because of kids/career but that river used to hold fish over decently before the no kill.

BillSmith
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Re: Big Flatbrook 11/1

Post by BillSmith » Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:14 pm

The NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife is conducting a radio telemetry study in the Big Flat Brook system. The focus of the study is on the movement and use of habitat by stocked Rainbow Trout.
Small transmitters have been surgically implanted into hatchery trout released into the Catch and Release Area* of the Big Flat Brook in Sussex County. The transmitters are implanted in the abdomen area and an antenna trails from an incision near the pelvic and anal fins.
Anglers catching a fish with a transmitter should release it unharmed. If the fish is fatally injured or found dead, please send the transmitter to Ross Shramko, NJDFW, P.O. Box 394, Lebanon, NJ 08833, or call 908-236-2118. The cooperation of the angling public is greatly appreciated.
* Rt. 206 bridge downstream to the Roy Bridge on Mountain Rd., a distance of 4.2 miles, including the portion known as the Blewett Tract.

BillSmith
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Re: Big Flatbrook 11/1

Post by BillSmith » Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:15 pm

I think I remember reading very few if any transmitters were returned.

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Rusty Spinner
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Re: Big Flatbrook 11/1

Post by Rusty Spinner » Mon Nov 05, 2018 9:16 am

Focus above the No-Kill where the bulk of the wild trout are north of 206. The Flatbrook is unique for certain in that it doesn't have nearly the wild populations of browns and brookies you would think it would have. Predation is one big issue and dams are another. Too many once coldwater tribs are now dammed up ponds that warm sections of that river that would otherwise be coldwater habitat, and that is a big issue - habitat fragmentation. I read a good paper on that by a NOAA researcher studying climate change and its impacts on native brook trout in the Flatbrook watershed.
"A sinking fly is closer to Hell" - Unknown

adirock
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Re: Big Flatbrook 11/1

Post by adirock » Mon Nov 05, 2018 1:22 pm

Doesn't the "no-Kill" section of Flatbrook receive a fall stocking ? I thought it did.

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Rusty Spinner
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Re: Big Flatbrook 11/1

Post by Rusty Spinner » Mon Nov 05, 2018 3:12 pm

adirock wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 1:22 pm
Doesn't the "no-Kill" section of Flatbrook receive a fall stocking ? I thought it did.
Yes it did.
"A sinking fly is closer to Hell" - Unknown

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cappy
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Re: Big Flatbrook 11/1

Post by cappy » Mon Nov 05, 2018 5:12 pm

Rusty - Do you know if the Flatbrook ever had a native brook trout population, or any and all trout were introduced?

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Drossi
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Re: Big Flatbrook 11/1

Post by Drossi » Mon Nov 05, 2018 5:27 pm

The BFB is by far the toughest of the NJ rivers to fish. I can seem absolutely dead. IMHO its not worth fishing unless you get there at sun up or sun down or when its raining. Any semblance of light and the fish get lock jaw. I get on the river by 6 am and am done before 9, otherwise its just casting practice.
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NJpatbee
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Re: Big Flatbrook 11/1

Post by NJpatbee » Tue Nov 06, 2018 10:05 am

I can understand that numbers of wild fish may be down with the prior couple of years with drought and low water making the trout easy pickings for predators along with questionable spawning success. And even though wild brookies may not be particular about what to eat, they are still difficult to get near without spooking them, and as we all know wild browns can be extremely wary and finicky. Hopefully this year will see a bumper crop of YOY trout next Spring if the water levels stay optimal through the Winter.

As for the lack of angler success for rainbows stocked about a month ago on a no-kill stretch of quality water, that is more perplexing. Did the rainbows head South? Are they still there but have lockjaw? It would be interesting to see the results of a migration study. For whatever reason there has never been confirmation of wild rainbow trout in the Flatbrook watershed which may or may not be relevant.

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Rusty Spinner
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Re: Big Flatbrook 11/1

Post by Rusty Spinner » Tue Nov 06, 2018 11:43 am

cappy wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 5:12 pm
Rusty - Do you know if the Flatbrook ever had a native brook trout population, or any and all trout were introduced?
The Flatbrook still has native brookies, more north of route 206 than in the No-Kill. There has been extensive studies done of the native brook trout in that river/watershed by Nathaniel Hitt, a NOAA PhD studying the effects of climate change on native eastern brook trout.
"A sinking fly is closer to Hell" - Unknown

martalus
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Re: Big Flatbrook 11/1

Post by martalus » Tue Nov 06, 2018 12:07 pm

All this rain has enabled the stockies to spread out far from their stocking points.

Jaybird
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Re: Big Flatbrook 11/1

Post by Jaybird » Tue Nov 06, 2018 1:58 pm

It must be temps that hurt wild trout production or other factors. Because the flatbrook has a robust bug population.

NJpatbee
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Re: Big Flatbrook 11/1

Post by NJpatbee » Tue Nov 06, 2018 3:06 pm

Rusty Spinner wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 11:43 am
cappy wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 5:12 pm
Rusty - Do you know if the Flatbrook ever had a native brook trout population, or any and all trout were introduced?
The Flatbrook still has native brookies, more north of route 206 than in the No-Kill. There has been extensive studies done of the native brook trout in that river/watershed by Nathaniel Hitt, a NOAA PhD studying the effects of climate change on native eastern brook trout.
Brian - Do you know which studies reference the Flatbrook watershed? I looked Hitt up on-line and he has quite a large number of publications. I checked a number of them and could not find it.

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Rusty Spinner
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Re: Big Flatbrook 11/1

Post by Rusty Spinner » Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:29 am

NJpatbee wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 3:06 pm
Rusty Spinner wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 11:43 am
cappy wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 5:12 pm
Rusty - Do you know if the Flatbrook ever had a native brook trout population, or any and all trout were introduced?
The Flatbrook still has native brookies, more north of route 206 than in the No-Kill. There has been extensive studies done of the native brook trout in that river/watershed by Nathaniel Hitt, a NOAA PhD studying the effects of climate change on native eastern brook trout.
Brian - Do you know which studies reference the Flatbrook watershed? I looked Hitt up on-line and he has quite a large number of publications. I checked a number of them and could not find it.
Pat, I used to have it saved on my old TU laptop, but my wife accidentally messed up our external hard drive where I had stored it after leaving TU. I don't have time to check for it online (if it is online) this morning. But he shared his work and did a presentation online to our Eastern Conservation Staff when I was with TU at the time. Nice guy.
"A sinking fly is closer to Hell" - Unknown

NJpatbee
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Re: Big Flatbrook 11/1

Post by NJpatbee » Thu Nov 08, 2018 8:28 am

OK, no problem.

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BiggerThomas
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Re: Big Flatbrook 11/1

Post by BiggerThomas » Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:00 pm

NJpatbee wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 8:28 am
OK, no problem.
Have you considered emailing Dr. Hitt to ask for the paper?

NJpatbee
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Re: Big Flatbrook 11/1

Post by NJpatbee » Fri Nov 09, 2018 1:39 pm

BiggerThomas wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:00 pm
NJpatbee wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 8:28 am
OK, no problem.
Have you considered emailing Dr. Hitt to ask for the paper?
Good idea!

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