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Wild beaverkill fish


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#1 Jamiep

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 10:01 PM

Question to anyone who's interested.

What would you say the percentage of fish caught on the beaverkill would you say are wild. I have cuaght many fish and they fight like hell but always have their adopose fin intact. Does this mean anything anymore?

So is it 50% 60% 70% and so on and on.


Jamie

See the attached picture for example of wht i think is a wild fish from its colors.

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#2 flyfisherdave39

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 10:58 PM

Was the back tail all beat up? It looks like it may be a holdover. Most wild browns i catch on a spring fed creek near me have fins in perfect shape and a yellowish butter colored body. Some stockies have an orangish color with certain hatchery diets.

#3 Jamiep

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 11:07 PM

Was the back tail all beat up? It looks like it may be a holdover. Most wild browns i catch on a spring fed creek near me have fins in perfect shape and a yellowish butter colored body. Some stockies have an orangish color with certain hatchery diets.

Nah his tail was in great condition. So you reckon its a holdover?

#4 TomTrout

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 11:08 PM

The study that was done where they clipped that fin was completed a few years ago. It means nothing anymore, of course if you catch a clipped one he's a pretty old fish. I would guess more than 80% of Beaverkill fish are stockies.

Tom

#5 Guest_frankm205_*

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 11:24 PM

I think the rainbows are wild. At least that's what I've been told. They seem to be reproducing in decent numbers there.

#6 woger

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 11:30 PM

Has catch & release become more prevalent in recent years?

#7 fly14

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Posted 28 April 2010 - 12:43 AM

thats a bkill holdover....great looking fish either way but typically the way to tell the bkill holdovers/stockers are by the bronze color coupled with the red dots(which is strange because usually the red dots are a wild brown indicator on most streams). In my experience, the wild bkill browns are buttery yellow with darker black or brown dots and have a little blue in the gill plate. In terms of overall wild numbers...i once spoke to a biologist who said the bkill is 30-35 percent wild, but with the rainbows becoming more prevelant this number is changing im sure.

#8 Jamiep

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Posted 28 April 2010 - 01:17 AM

Ok so here is what i think is definitely wild. My buddy got him on saturday

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#9 Bamboo&Brookies

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Posted 28 April 2010 - 02:37 AM

Fish from the Delaware branches often move into the BKill -- remember, it's only a few miles away from East and West branches.

Browns, from all I have read and also what I've discussed with biologists -- will migrate many miles in relatively short time spans.

So some of the BKill browns you catch might be wild East or West Branch Delaware fish.

And some might be residents or holdovers, while the rest are stockies. Some of the stockies these days look quite wild and colorful, especially those raised in ponds as opposed to concrete raceways.

Tough to tell for certain, but a decent fish is a decent fish no matter its provenance.

#10 tele-caster

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Posted 28 April 2010 - 02:07 PM

there is simply no easy way to tell a stocked fish, from a wild one ... i put trout in my pond every few years - a smattering of fingerlings, and mixed year classes, all the way up to 9" or more ... many if not most of those that survive the predators and the winter, have all the color and markings of wild fish ... instinct and behaviour, too ...

in a system as vast as the delaware ( including BK and WW ) drainage, about the only way to tell if a fish is wild, is by its size ... or, rather its lack of size ... due to naturally high mortality rates of small fish, hatcheries don't generally stock anything thats smaller than about 6" or so ... if you pick up nicely marked & colorful small fish, chances are, they are streamborn ...

tele

#11 GaryB

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Posted 28 April 2010 - 03:19 PM

I would agree with fly14 about the bluish gill plates. I bet 90% of the BK browns are stockies and holdovers.
On any decent reproducing stream you will catch a 4" or 5" trout now and then. I rarely ever catch any on the
BK. I wish it was different but hey I've had a lot of good fishing and fights from the browns that are stocked
there.

#12 tele-caster

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Posted 28 April 2010 - 03:33 PM

gary ... you're probably right about their being about 10% wild trout in the BK, but there are places to target them ... usually faster and skinnier water, associated with cover & features like side channels, areas where tree rootballs have recently ripped out, and the junction of small tributaries being the most productive, for me ... these spots are often completely overlooked by fishermen ... but, i usually run into a few small rainbows & brookies in places like this, on the BK and WW ...

these fish probably drop down from spawning water on the tribs, and would ordinarily take prime locations in the river ... but, with competition from the heavy stocking of larger fish plus holdovers competing for the same real estate, these smaller fish have to settle for less than ideal locations ... i'm sure this doesn't help their mortality rate ...

tele.

#13 GaryB

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Posted 28 April 2010 - 04:42 PM

Yes, you are right Tele. Haven't fished it in years but the riffles leading into Barnhardts pool usually
had small brookies on the far side.

#14 El Diablo

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Posted 28 April 2010 - 04:44 PM

last year I pulled several small browns out of those same riffles. definitely wild fish

#15 Laminarman

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Posted 28 April 2010 - 05:02 PM

That's an easy question to answer. The wild ones taste better, little sweeter flesh, little firmer.

#16 tele-caster

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Posted 28 April 2010 - 05:38 PM

true - wild fish taste better ... but, it would take a half dozen of the size that i generally catch, to make a meal ... tele.

#17 BrooklynFlyGuy

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Posted 28 April 2010 - 06:06 PM

This topic comes up every year. I agree with the earlier statement that there is no way to tell the differance between a stockie and a wild fish, especially a stockie that has been in a river system for some time. After eating things in the river it's skin and flesh will change from that of a pellet fed fish. Also, I've volunteered for the state on stocking streams on Long Island from the Caledonia hatchery and you would be hard pressed to say they were stockies. All the fish were beautifully colored. With the new management in fish rearing through diets and ponds, the fish come out of the trucks looking much nicer. If you want to target wild browns on the BK go above Junction Pool and catch the small ones with the parr marks on their sides. That's the only way to truly tell they are wild.

There was a very good article in Fly Rod & Reel about 2 years ago from Ted Williams that spoke of a hatchery manager out west (I believe it was Colorado) that took it upon himself to change the diets of fish and use some different rearing tactics after doing his own research. What he found out and came up with were fish that were totally exact in flesh and appearance as those that have spent their entire lives in the wild. With the diet supplements and habitat change they maintained healthy color and fins and were even able to regenerate damaged fins while still in the hatchery. Ofcourse, the higher ups told him to cease and desist his practices as they felt it was an "unnecessary cost". The higher cost being marginal at best.

#18 Laminarman

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Posted 28 April 2010 - 06:28 PM

This topic comes up every year. I agree with the earlier statement that there is no way to tell the differance between a stockie and a wild fish, especially a stockie that has been in a river system for some time. After eating things in the river it's skin and flesh will change from that of a pellet fed fish. Also, I've volunteered for the state on stocking streams on Long Island from the Caledonia hatchery and you would be hard pressed to say they were stockies. All the fish were beautifully colored. With the new management in fish rearing through diets and ponds, the fish come out of the trucks looking much nicer. If you want to target wild browns on the BK go above Junction Pool and catch the small ones with the parr marks on their sides. That's the only way to truly tell they are wild.

There was a very good article in Fly Rod & Reel about 2 years ago from Ted Williams that spoke of a hatchery manager out west (I believe it was Colorado) that took it upon himself to change the diets of fish and use some different rearing tactics after doing his own research. What he found out and came up with were fish that were totally exact in flesh and appearance as those that have spent their entire lives in the wild. With the diet supplements and habitat change they maintained healthy color and fins and were even able to regenerate damaged fins while still in the hatchery. Ofcourse, the higher ups told him to cease and desist his practices as they felt it was an "unnecessary cost". The higher cost being marginal at best.


I was joking about eating them by the way. I agree they change over time to taste like the river. I have a very good friend who is a NYS DEC biologist (recently retired) and he said while their data is inconclusive, they feel less than 20% of fish in the BK/WW fishery are wild (only talking about browns here). He said a similar number are holdovers. YMMV.

#19 flyfisherdave39

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 11:39 PM

In my opinion, wild fish on my spring fed home water may keep their parr makings til 13 or 14 inches. They also fight much harder and jump more often. I've caught browns that have that blueish tinge on the gill plate as well as their spots. They have that particular yellowish butter colored belly and are often very dark on top of their back. When you catch a wild fish it will usually take your breath away. Stockies and holdovers don't do that. By the way, the west branch does have some stocked fish in sections. Stocked fish from oquaga creek make their way into the "no kill". They definately turn into nice fish but i think it's kind of easy to tell the difference between a holdover and a streambred fish.




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