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TheflyRussian

Well Sea-run trout season is here again.

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I was wondering what u guys think steep rises in seal populations will spell for the limited "salty" trout stocks in the Northwestern Atlantic? (Specifically on the capes salters and refugee sea run browns)

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Troutbum, the rise in the seal population is not really an issue for the searun and salter fishery in my mind. The cape salters and sea run fishery as you know are two different things, The cape salter fishery is a very small and limited to only a couple of places that I know of. It is such a small fishery I don't even target them even though they are close to where I live.. I do know however that some guys in my area do target them.

 

The searun brown trout fishery on the other hand is basically non existant now compared to what it used to be. That also had or has very little to do with the increase in the seal population but more to do with the return of the striped bass.

 

At one time the searun fishery was an excellent program that produced some exciting fishing., Granted it was a supplemented fishery and by that I mean they used to shock the river to get the fish and strip out the eggs and fertilize them and then hatch and grow them at the hatchery and then eventually restocked them in March each year and would close the water until the end of May to fishing for them. Once the stiper population rebounded and they returned in large numbers in the spring they just ate all the newly stocked browns and the fishery virtually disappeared and the sea run program was abandoned. Now they just take and use some regular browns every year stock them and occasionally someone will catch one in an estuary but they are from what I have seen and heard of never very big.

 

Back in it's hay day I had days when a 3 to 4 fish day in the 3 to 5 pound range on sea runs were common. My biggest was a 7 1/4 pound fish.

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We still have a very strong salter fishery here in Maine. I have a couple of friends who spend all of March and April chasing them. The rivers down south are still stocked with minimal returns, but the up here......:p

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Titleguy, I know of one area in Maine that my wife and I like to visit each year and I am curious that you mention March and April for sea runs. Is that the best time of the year or is that a fishery that will produce at other times as well. I suspect what may be the best times for them may well be when I got to Florida in the Spring and the Fall as well.

 

Also are we talking Salter Brookies as opposed to Sea Run Browns

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Titleguy, I know of one area in Maine that my wife and I like to visit each year and I am curious that you mention March and April for sea runs. Is that the best time of the year or is that a fishery that will produce at other times as well. I suspect what may be the best times for them may well be when I got to Florida in the Spring and the Fall as well.

 

Also are we talking Salter Brookies as opposed to Sea Run Browns

 

We are talking salter brook trout. The "sea run" browns are confined, mostly, to those certain rivers in York County that you already know of. The real salter chasers start midcoast and then head downeast. Everyone I know that chases salters does so primarily in March and April.

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Troutbum, the rise in the seal population is not really an issue for the searun and salter fishery in my mind. The cape salters and sea run fishery as you know are two different things, The cape salter fishery is a very small and limited to only a couple of places that I know of. It is such a small fishery I don't even target them even though they are close to where I live.. I do know however that some guys in my area do target them.

 

The searun brown trout fishery on the other hand is basically non existant now compared to what it used to be. That also had or has very little to do with the increase in the seal population but more to do with the return of the striped bass.

It sounds like the sea run browns were pretty much wiped out before they even had a chance too encounter the seal population rebound. I'd be curious to sea if a few changes in practice could have yielded better results. But we'll probably never know seeing how browns aren't native fish to these waters.

The reason I ask is because I've heard of a seal in Buttermilk Bay that has had a taste for brook trout!

Some fascinating work being done in MA about the behaviors and habits of these fish. I've been itching on going down and checking out the area as I live close by too. Something to think about while shoveling out I guess.

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tb, it does mot surprise me that a seal would make it's way into buttermilk. I fish there quite often but never have seen one myself. I see them a lot in Sandwich and the canal occasionally with only a couple at the west end. I hope they are not expanding their stomping grounds.

 

The good thing is a seal in Buttermilk would be more of a "Fluke" I think.:D

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If indeed the recovery of the striped bass population had anything to do with the loss of sea trout in the NE USA, perhaps the rapid decline of striped bass populations will help the trout recover. Bluefish aren't as large and abundant as they were a quarter-century ago either.

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To un-confuse things:

 

A brook trout that runs to salt water is a "salter." In spawning colors, males are the most beautiful things that swim.

A brown trout that runs to big water is a sea trout if that water's salt. ANY big water can produce them, the Great Lakes are apparently the American location of choice. I think the usage "sea trout" is specific to North Atlantic seacoasts, I've never heard of a Midwestern fish being described that way.

A rainbow trout that runs to big water comes home as a steelhead.

 

For the serious big-trout people here, who are disappointed if their casting practice is interrupted by a fish, here's a question. If you want to fish for salters, would you do so at the same season and with the same approach and tackle as you would use for sea trout and steelhead? The question is specific to the NE American coast.

 

AFAIK while rainbow and brown trout have been transplanted all over the world, the brook trout has not. It's too easily and quickly caught; it's beautiful but dumb, not at all possessed of the demonic cunning that Satan has granted to other fish. The approach described in previous posts in this thread, using bright, gaudy flies or wobblers or very small plugs in the 2"-3" bracket, sounds equally applicable to me for fishing for all North American species of sea run trout.

 

How say we? Yea or nay?

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If you don't mind, I'll add a couple of other trout that hit the salt to the discussion

Both of these are west coast fish caught in the salt.

 

Bull Trout. This fish was caught in May and still has another month or two in the salt before heading up the river to spawn.

[img=

 

Coastal Cutthroat often refferred to as Searun Cutthroat in their marine form. This buck is in full spawning colors.

http://www.stripersonline.com/content/type/61/id/1861205/]

 

My goal before I hang up the rods for good is to catch a steelhead out of the salt on a fly. It can be done, but you I'll pay some heavy dues to accomplish it.

SF

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Th

If you don't mind, I'll add a couple of other trout that hit the salt to the discussion

Both of these are west coast fish caught in the salt.

 

Bull Trout. This fish was caught in May and still has another month or two in the salt before heading up the river to spawn.

[img=

 

Coastal Cutthroat often refferred to as Searun Cutthroat in their marine form. This buck is in full spawning colors.

http://www.stripersonline.com/content/type/61/id/1861205/]

 

My goal before I hang up the rods for good is to catch a steelhead out of the salt on a fly. It can be done, but you I'll pay some heavy dues to accomplish it.

SF

that cutthroat is so beautiful

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Brian,

Some folks refer to them as Dolly Varden, but they aren't the same fish.

Dollies can go to the salt as well.

The native char of Puget Sound are Bull Trout based on genetic testing.

They have four different life forms. They are really cool native fish.

SF

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