bryanpowers7

Trout Stocking in the Ocean

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Disclaimer: This may seem like a stupid question but as avid trout fisherman and saltwater angler it is something that I have thought about many times.

       I've always been very intrigued by sea run trout and found it interesting how the state stocks Scorton Creek and the Pamet River (both tidal rivers that run into Cape Cod Bay) with trout every spring, despite the fact that I've never really heard of any real results except for a few people getting lucky and fishing right after they were stocked. But for the most part it seems that people think that these fish are swept out with the tide and into the bay and never really seen again. So my real question is what would happen if the state tried stocking fish into a small harbor. Something that is connected to the ocen and also has a creek that runs out of it (Sesuit Harbor would be my best example). I feel as though that with the proper water temps and food that the fish would be able to thrive in the area and hold inside the harbor rather than just be swept out with the tide like in Scorton. I know that Scorton does run into Barnstable Harbor but Barnstable Harbor is massive and very open, Im talking about something much smaller and enclosed. I've seen the massive trout that are pulled out of the harbors of the great lakes and thought it would be somewhat comparable. Now obviously this would come with environmental effects and is a complete hypothetical situation. But am I crazy to believe that the state could successfully stock a harbor like Sesuit with trout and see better results than just stocking tidal rivers like Scorton. Or would the fish still end up being swept on into the bay regardless. I know this may seem like a pretty out there question but it was something me and my friends had ben debating over and I am looking to get some outside opinions. Thanks.

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I think they need to be introduced to the rivers initially for the fish to acclimate and know where to return to spawn. There're also lots of predators in the bays that will feast on freshly stocked trout. 

Heres a post from a couple of weeks ago that you might find interesting.

 

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I'd imagine that trout are like salmon where the "smell" of the freshwater body that they were hatched/introduced to as a young fry (before they transform) is imprinted so they know to go back there. The current stocking program, which involves stocking adult fish into the waterways means that most of the fish die when the temperatures rise and there isn't enough oxygen in the water to sustain them.

 

When I was in high school (so over a decade ago) I was in a science class that was part of the state's Atlantic Salmon Egg Rearing Program (ASERP) where we'd receive Atlantic Salmon eggs from a state hatchery, and we raised them in a fish tank with a chiller (they required water that was 39 degrees because they needed the extra dissolved oxygen). The project was to see the eggs hatch into alevin, transform into young free swimming fry, and then they were released into the Merrimack River (under supervision of MDFW of course). The program doesn't appear to exist anymore (the most recent thing I've seen on the program was 2007), so it probably wasn't successful at all in reintroducing sea-run Atlantic salmon back into our waterways.

Edited by EchoSierra

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I remember long ago when they dumped all those beautiful salmons in the north river,early 80's?late 70's? I also remember the banks of the river lined with fisherman that pretty much caught every fish that was put in.They never even got a chance to see what would happen.

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Pretty sure they would all go belly up if you just dumped them in the harbor....unless they were somehow acclimated to the salinity first. 

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Jut to clarify, I know that it would not be a self sustaining population, I thinks its something like 1 in 1,000 stocked trout go on to spawn and thats only with the proper spawning conditions. I was just wondering if the state stocked them annually, just like any other pond how they would do.

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5 mins ago, jkrock said:

Pretty sure they would all go belly up if you just dumped them in the harbor....unless they were somehow acclimated to the salinity first. 

I thought this at first too but I've seen it tested before and surprisingly they transition completely fine. I'm pretty sure all salmonoids can live in both salt and freshwater. Steelhead are biologically no different from Rainbow Trout, the only difference is they travel to Saltwater.

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4 mins ago, bryanpowers7 said:

I thought this at first too but I've seen it tested before and surprisingly they transition completely fine. I'm pretty sure all salmonoids can live in both salt and freshwater. Steelhead are biologically no different from Rainbow Trout, the only difference is they travel to Saltwater.

fish always need to be acclimated or its a very quick death.Those stripe bass in Bass Pro shop were caught in the canal and slowly acclimated to fresh water.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

9 mins ago, bryanpowers7 said:

I thought this at first too but I've seen it tested before and surprisingly they transition completely fine. I'm pretty sure all salmonoids can live in both salt and freshwater. Steelhead are biologically no different from Rainbow Trout, the only difference is they travel to Saltwater.

Transition yes, but not sure they can do it instantly, as in dumped from fresh water directly into the ocean.  My understanding is they need a transition period in the intertidal zone. 

 

Very possible my understanding is incorrect, as i'm not a biologist.  Just seems that they need time to  biologically adjust they way they regulate sodium

 

That said, i used to catch herring way up river in complete freshwater and live line them in the ocean, and they didn't go belly up, so maybe I'm way off base

Edited by jkrock

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That non-existent thing called global warming is moving a number of fisheries out of their original home waters, going north. The southernmost limit of the Atlantic salmon was originally the Connecticut River; they were extinct there before the Civil War because the loss of tree cover on the river's subsidiaries raised the temperature beyond what the salmon could stand. There are now barely a few left in Maine, and Canadian waters are seeing fewer and fewer salmon. At the same time, the northern limit of the striped bass' range is extending further north then it once did. Black sea bass are doing the same thing. 

 

I don't think we'll get the Atlantic salmon back in the US, but I wonder if their spawning range could be extended further north in Canada.

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On ‎5‎/‎6‎/‎2019 at 8:11 AM, hotfishgirl said:

I remember long ago when they dumped all those beautiful salmons in the north river,early 80's?late 70's? I also remember the banks of the river lined with fisherman that pretty much caught every fish that was put in.They never even got a chance to see what would happen.

Also,part of the problem with the Cohos returning was the bluefish were waiting for them in the fall.That's when the massive schools of monster "yellow eyed devils" ate anything in their way.

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My little girls(fifty years ago) caught trout near the fish pier in Chatham on sea worms

looking for flounder.

Only happened once.

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I wonder if the decline in the bluefish population might make it possible to re-establish a better seatrout fishery? Of even salmon, in Maine and Canada?

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On 5/9/2019 at 10:45 AM, oldgoat said:

My little girls(fifty years ago) caught trout near the fish pier in Chatham on sea worms

looking for flounder.

Only happened once.

Weak fish? That would be strange for a brook or brown trout.

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