WTS 1/30

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SBRtool
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WTS 1/30

Post by SBRtool » Fri Jan 31, 2020 9:41 am

My plan this year is to really start exploring some new water..especially the WTS. Last couple weeks been sorta making a mental list of places I want to explore this season. It was only like 30 degrees yesterday but I've been dying to get out and had a chance so figured what the heck. Hit a spot I've never been to before and managed one wild brown but came across many sections of the stream that looked promising. Only fished for about an hour and a half but it was getting to the point if I needed to retie fingers were so cold it woulda been a struggle. Here are some pics.
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NJpatbee
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Re: WTS 1/30

Post by NJpatbee » Fri Jan 31, 2020 10:01 am

Winter is a great time to explore these little gems and get a good look at the streams. I live a tad too far now for as many visits as I used to make but I try when I can. I have a low tolerance for fishing in cold weather but I can hike and keep warm. One of the biggest challenges in NJ is finding accessible WTS water and winter with everything wide open is a good time to do so.

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BiggerThomas
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Re: WTS 1/30

Post by BiggerThomas » Fri Jan 31, 2020 12:34 pm

Nice pictures. Decent flows too. What did you catch that brown on?
God have Mercy on the man who doubts what he's sure of.

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njcatchrelease
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Re: WTS 1/30

Post by njcatchrelease » Fri Jan 31, 2020 12:37 pm

Nothing like exploring and finding new water that holds trout.

Nice job!
Tight Lines

SBRtool
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Re: WTS 1/30

Post by SBRtool » Fri Jan 31, 2020 1:36 pm

was caught on a black wooly bugger with a split shot about 3 inches above fly. Figured best shot was fishing it slow in some of the deeper water with the weather but only bite and fish came from dead drifting it through some faster pocket water

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coaltrout
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Re: WTS 1/30

Post by coaltrout » Fri Jan 31, 2020 6:31 pm

Nice brownie.
Bite is tough when temps are that low

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NJAngler
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Re: WTS 1/30

Post by NJAngler » Mon Feb 03, 2020 12:50 pm

Used to be a great stream. Now its mediocre at best like a lot of our trout production streams.

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NJAngler
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Re: WTS 1/30

Post by NJAngler » Mon Feb 03, 2020 12:59 pm

NJpatbee wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 10:01 am
One of the biggest challenges in NJ is finding accessible WTS water and winter with everything wide open is a good time to do so.
Only a handful of WTS are 100% public - like VCB and Dunnfield - and those few get more attention for it. Never understood how no landowner-access agreements have been made to open up streams for anglers. Property Tax reductions and no fault liability agreements could work. If not for open space purchases and conservation groups, we would have precious little trout production water to fish.

martalus
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Re: WTS 1/30

Post by martalus » Mon Feb 03, 2020 3:08 pm

Used to be a great stream. Now its mediocre at best like a lot of our trout production streams.
What do you attribute this general decline to? Multiyear drought, increased development, generally warming temps?

garden hackle
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Re: WTS 1/30

Post by garden hackle » Mon Feb 03, 2020 5:58 pm

NJAngler wrote:
Mon Feb 03, 2020 12:59 pm
NJpatbee wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 10:01 am
One of the biggest challenges in NJ is finding accessible WTS water and winter with everything wide open is a good time to do so.
Only a handful of WTS are 100% public - like VCB and Dunnfield - and those few get more attention for it. Never understood how no landowner-access agreements have been made to open up streams for anglers. Property Tax reductions and no fault liability agreements could work. If not for open space purchases and conservation groups, we would have precious little trout production water to fish.
Move to VT, I believe the public has access to all waters within 18.5 feet of the high water mark (It is in the VT state constitution) regardless of posting as long as you can access that water from public land (like a bridge).

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NJAngler
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Re: WTS 1/30

Post by NJAngler » Wed Feb 05, 2020 11:41 am

martalus wrote:
Mon Feb 03, 2020 3:08 pm
Used to be a great stream. Now its mediocre at best like a lot of our trout production streams.
What do you attribute this general decline to? Multiyear drought, increased development, generally warming temps?
Mother nature. Extreme weather events - flooding, droughts, frigid winter temps, heat waves, etc. I saw a drop off of wild trout in nearly every one of hundreds of streams starting about 10 yrs ago. In some cases dramatic drops. I don't trout fish as much as I used to so numbers may have recovered in the last few years. I do know starting after TS Sandy things went south. I used to go trout fishing 100+ times a year. Now its closer to 20-25. The stream in the pics above has been hit hard. I used to hook a trout or get a hit or see a follow on nearly every cast in that stream under the right conditions. No joke. 30 trout in an hr sometimes more. Now 4 an hr is good. Pretty sad.

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NJAngler
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Re: WTS 1/30

Post by NJAngler » Wed Feb 05, 2020 11:46 am

Access has always been an issue in our lovely Garden State. I believe at one point of the 36 or so WTS, only 3 were 100% public. Most are on posted land with only hundreds of feet of access not miles.

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Rusty Spinner
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Re: WTS 1/30

Post by Rusty Spinner » Wed Feb 05, 2020 12:18 pm

NJAngler wrote:
Mon Feb 03, 2020 12:59 pm
NJpatbee wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 10:01 am
One of the biggest challenges in NJ is finding accessible WTS water and winter with everything wide open is a good time to do so.
Only a handful of WTS are 100% public - like VCB and Dunnfield - and those few get more attention for it. Never understood how no landowner-access agreements have been made to open up streams for anglers. Property Tax reductions and no fault liability agreements could work. If not for open space purchases and conservation groups, we would have precious little trout production water to fish.
NJ already has no fault for hunting and fishing access. Most landowners have no clue. So a tax deduction would be the only incentive and then who would go out and do compliance visits? Your ideas are good, but not easily implemented other than liability which is already taken care of.
"A sinking fly is closer to Hell" - Unknown

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Rusty Spinner
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Re: WTS 1/30

Post by Rusty Spinner » Wed Feb 05, 2020 12:21 pm

martalus wrote:
Mon Feb 03, 2020 3:08 pm
Used to be a great stream. Now its mediocre at best like a lot of our trout production streams.
What do you attribute this general decline to? Multiyear drought, increased development, generally warming temps?
IMO opinion, the multi-year drought that seemed to ALWAYS include low spawning season flows was by far the main culprit. Wild trout numbers have been rebounding the last two summers, and I would anticipate the same for this year. We have had good fall flows allowing the trout to reach prime spawning habitat, and the warm weather means early egg hatching. Time will tell, but all things in life are cyclical. This is not some collapse, just a normal ebb and flow of life. My two cents.
"A sinking fly is closer to Hell" - Unknown

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lightenup
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Re: WTS 1/30

Post by lightenup » Wed Feb 05, 2020 12:45 pm

That looks like the WTS I fish mostly. It also has had a huge drop off in numbers over the past few years. I haven't seen any real rebound at all yet, but I don't fish there as much as there are few trout. One guy who lives upstream told me they are rebounding a bit, but we will see.

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Rusty Spinner
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Re: WTS 1/30

Post by Rusty Spinner » Thu Feb 06, 2020 9:51 am

lightenup wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 12:45 pm
That looks like the WTS I fish mostly. It also has had a huge drop off in numbers over the past few years. I haven't seen any real rebound at all yet, but I don't fish there as much as there are few trout. One guy who lives upstream told me they are rebounding a bit, but we will see.
This is the year that will tell us how good or bad recruitment was for the last three falls/winters with wild trout. We know we had a decent spawn in fall of '17 and '18. The '17 fish will be adults this year while the '18 fish (hatched during the winter of 18/19) will be subadults. If electrofishing shows good numbers of those and we have a strong YOY class from our current spawning period, then the reversal can be claimed. Too soon to know as electrofishing is done in summer.
"A sinking fly is closer to Hell" - Unknown

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BiggerThomas
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Re: WTS 1/30

Post by BiggerThomas » Thu Feb 06, 2020 10:43 am

lightenup wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 12:45 pm
That looks like the WTS I fish mostly. It also has had a huge drop off in numbers over the past few years. I haven't seen any real rebound at all yet, but I don't fish there as much as there are few trout. One guy who lives upstream told me they are rebounding a bit, but we will see.
Is the "guy who lives upstream" NJAngler? :D
God have Mercy on the man who doubts what he's sure of.

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lightenup
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Re: WTS 1/30

Post by lightenup » Thu Feb 06, 2020 12:18 pm

BiggerThomas wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 10:43 am
lightenup wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 12:45 pm
That looks like the WTS I fish mostly. It also has had a huge drop off in numbers over the past few years. I haven't seen any real rebound at all yet, but I don't fish there as much as there are few trout. One guy who lives upstream told me they are rebounding a bit, but we will see.
Is the "guy who lives upstream" NJAngler? :D
I don't think so, I only know who a couple or three of you guys are. This guy doesn't fish much but allows a select few on his property. He lives on probably the best hole in the creek....I am one of the select few:)

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NJAngler
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Re: WTS 1/30

Post by NJAngler » Thu Feb 06, 2020 1:16 pm

The more perplexing and concerning situations are where wild trout have all but disappeared. One northeast NJ brown trout only stream comes to mind. Numerous surveys had wild brown trout pops among the highest in the state. 1,555 trout per mile in 2010. In 2018, no trout collected. More pickerel and bluegills found than trout. The biologist had no explanation for the lack of trout. Population decline is common but to completely disappear is extraordinary.

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NJAngler
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Re: WTS 1/30

Post by NJAngler » Thu Feb 06, 2020 1:58 pm

The above stream has seen the rainbow pops decline as follows: 108(2004),100(2009),30(2014),12(2018); Browns have been up and down: 27,69,49,33. Overall numbers: 135,169,79, 45. Obviously this is not a good trend. This is not my data but NJDEP data. I most recently fished it last fall and it was so-so. Many ideal pools had zip.

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