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Old 07-28-2009, 08:12 AM   #1 (permalink)
GSW
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Native Brook Trout - Prolific in NC/SC?

Apparently the Native Brook Trout not only remain quite prolific in the vicinity of Tellico, but they have also handled the drought better than the non-native species that are stocked for the pleasure of the fishermen. Imagine how they would thrive if they weren't: 1) killed for sport 2) forced to compete for food with larger non-native fish.

Wilhelm's observation (in bold) about logging is also timely. And is he copping to a possible rush to judgement in Tellico. "Save The Brookies" indeed.

I didn't transfer the pics. I'm not into snuff films either, go figure.

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Wild brook trout on the Upper Davidson?
I fished the Davidson gorge above the hatchery this weekend......I caught a large brookie (9.5") and it's colors were unmistakenly of wild origin. I netted it, measured it and was getting it in position for a photo when it slipped from my gentle grasp and back into the stream.
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Some of the Davidsons tributaries have wild brookies
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I've caught a few wild Brookies down at the hatchery. It's pretty weird seeing them down in that area.
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I've caught a few brookies in several streams (names withheld) here in SC well downstream from tributaries where they are reported to exist. All were fairly large being around 9". Dan Rankin, a SCDNR fisheries biologist, assured me in an email that they were wild fish and that it is not an uncommon occurrence. Also said that they are most likely seeking better habitat. Can't remember his exact wording but that was the gist of it.
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The wild Brookies in Cataloochee Creek are migrating to the lower stretches of the stream, below 3,000 ft. Some say it's because the competitive rainbows are starting to decline. Others say it's because of the recent years of drought.
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I also have noticed brookies in areas where they were not suppose to be. Like Windknotter, I have seen this in SC and also in several streams with in the park. This may come as a shock to some of you, I'm no expert in biology but I have heard two theories as to why this maybe. First, since brookies are native to our area they have become used to periods of extreme drought while the rainbows have been hurt bad the past several years of drought. Second, much of the area that was clear cut at the turn of last century has begun to recover and the brookies are finding better conditions and beginning to displace the rainbows.
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My first trout was a chunky 12 inch brookie on a large, heavily stocked stream where they are not supposed to be. It was deffinately wild because Ga hasn't stocked brookies in nearly 20 yrs.
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I've heard a related theory from some of the biologists recently. Again, it deals with clear cutting and that 100+ years ago the logging opened up the canopy and put a bunch of woody debris in the streams. The additional debris and the warmer water prompted an explosion in the number of insects. That resulted in more and larger fish. Looking at the old pictures and hearing the stories we've assumed that the fisheries were on a decline but it may be that they are returning to their historical states.

Right now it is just theory and I haven't heard of any studies that would confirm it but it is food for thought.

wilhelm
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Evidently, the Brook Trout in Cataloochee Creek are now mirating to the lower stretches. Some are claiming it's the recent years of drought, and some are saying a decrease in the competing rainbows could explain this...
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Cherokee Nat'l Forest Wild Specs Report...
We left town at 6:00 this morning, bound to the North River area. We grabbed some breakfast and drove on past Tellico Plains and Telliquah. Albeit it's Saturday, there weren't mounds of people on the Tellico this morning. We keep driving east towards the NC state line (roughly 3,200 ft or so in elevation). We followed the North River, which is fairly wide (15-20 ft in most places) but as you climb in elevation, the "river" turns to a small, rushing mountain stream. I actually fished one of the feeder streams to the North (IAin'tTellin' Creek). Very tight cover, but beautiful to say the least. It's been a while since I've been in such a pristine, untamed area such as IAin'tTellin' Creek. The first couple of casts yielded several wild So. App strain Brookies. All where released unharmed.
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Old 07-28-2009, 10:17 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I wonder if that conclusion is because we have went after their sport and maybe some of the wildlife people may be taking notice. They don't want a fish ban and don't want to loose the stocking program either. I say keep up the push even after we win our battle. I can say I never payed much attention to the fishing and issues that came along with that until they attacked Tellico. I don't agree with the harm caused by the non-native stocking program for sport.
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Old 07-28-2009, 02:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I also have noticed brookies in areas where they were not suppose to be......
"WHERE THEY ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO BE????????" Those sorry fawkers have their heads so far up their own asses that they have no idea what they are saying. The damn Appalachian Brook Trout ARE SUPPOSED TO BE in all those damn streams. That’s why they are called NATIVE APPALACHIAN BROOK TROUT you dumb asses. Ever heard of a NATIVE APPALACHIAN BROWN TROUT. Why hell no. They are correctly called GERMAN BROWN TROUT because THEY AIN’T FROM AROUND HERE. And they ain’t SUPPOSED TO BE in the damn river. They are put there by the government hatcheries to KILL and EAT the damn trout which are SUPPOSED TO BE IN THE DAMN RIVER.

All government stocking of exotic species such as Brown Trout and Rainbow Trout into public waters which has traditionally been the home to NATIVE trout such as the Brook Trout should be halted immediately. Put Brook Trout in Brook Trout water. If the government wants to stock exotics like Brown Trout and Rainbow Trout into public waters, put them into the tailrace waters below dams like the Clinch River below Norris Dam were no Native Brook Trout traditionally existed.

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Old 07-28-2009, 06:26 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I have always said that there claim that "Tellico is the last stronghold for brook trout in the Appalachians" is a load of crap! I have fished at Cataloochee for 15 years or more. Ten years ago you had to walk 5-6 miles to catch any brook, now you can practically catch them at the campground. I was fishing yesterday on a stream in the shining rock wilderness area and caught 20 or more. There are about 10-15 streams that I fish regularly within an hour of here that are loaded with brook trout! That comment has burned me up since I first read it!
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