Monday, April 8, 2013

Montana Fly Fishing: Spawning Revelations...

CCR trout are fat and happy, as this 1 1/2 year old rainbow clearly shows.

Yesterday I reported on the recent erratic performance of many year classes over the past decade or so. How the numbers of real trophy sized trout (7-10 pounds) seemed to be dwindling. How by changing the timing of plants to coincide with peak zooplankton levels has apparently turned things around; especially the 2011 cohort which appears to best in show since the mid-90s; the 2012 class not far behind. All good news it would seem but...

Biologists are now looking into the possibility things might even be better simply be putting more emphasis on spawning trout which have the wherewithal to abandon the often futile efforts of spawning in the lake, instead  run up the Red Rock River (as wild trout more often do). So last July about 109, 500 trout of wild origin along with about 176, 350 plants spawned and raised at the Ennis National Fish Hatchery from domesticated brood stock were planted in the lake. Whether or not spawning trout in the wild is worthwhile over the next several years all young of the year and age 1 trout caught in the sample nets will undergo testing. The hope is the long term advantages outweigh the increased effort enough all the plants in CCR will eventually come from wild stock.

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