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Old 08-04-2014, 05:41 PM   #1
vtflyfish
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Thermal Limits and Stressors for Brook Trout

There was some good discussion on another thread regarding fishing for brookies in the summer. I thought I'd move that discussion here and provide some source literature on the subject.

A compounding factor in brook trout mortality is how long you have them out of the water. 60 seconds under good conditions is pushing it and it's less for brookies caught in warm water. That's a good argument for de-barbing your hooks.

Finally, don't think for a minute that the fish that swims away from your hand will automatically be OK or that it will float to the surface if done for.

Anyway, I hope the enclosed generates some thought and discussion.

http://www.flyfishingforbrooktrout.c...al-Limits.html

http://70degreepledge.org/uploads/Nu...ander_1992.pdf
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File Type: pdf catch_and_release_review_and_guidelines.pdf (360.1 KB, 23 views)
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Old 08-04-2014, 10:02 PM   #2
mar71
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Thanks VT for the great info. Brings back memories of spending hours looking through the library stacks to find research on brook trout from the NAJFM. The guide to catch and release is excellent.
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Old 08-06-2014, 01:27 AM   #3
fontinalis
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There's plenty of literature out there on hook mortality and temperature tolerances and many of those studies have mixed results. It really is species dependent and brook trout are definitely more sensitive than other trout species. The subject of barbed or not barbed is an easy one if you are a C&R fisherman... de-barb your hooks. Hook size can be a significant factor for survival also and mortality rates are higher for wild fish when compared to hatchery fish. So in my opinion if you're out and about catching fingerling brookies on one of our beautiful ADK streams and don't plan on keeping any, then just de-barb your hooks for the sake of the fish.

Most thermal tolerance studies done on fish nowadays use a technique to find critical thermal maximum (CTM) of a species. For brookies this can be anywhere from 68-75 degrees and that is without any added stressors. So I would also add that if the water temps are above 68, I would take extra care to put the least amount of stress on those fish. I think having a net with you is the best way to make sure you get the fly out quick while keeping them in/around the water and getting them on their way ASAP. If you do hold your fish out of water for 60 seconds or more, then you're doing something wrong if you're trying to release that fish. Hope this information helps, would love to hear what other people have to say about this interesting subject. Thanks VT for bringing it up.
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Old 08-06-2014, 03:19 PM   #4
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I usually fish streams that have browns and rainbows. I have a self imposed rule that when the water hits 70F I am done. The first time I fished the Winooski in Vermont I saw this beautiful riffle and was in a hurry to get in it and fish and did not take a temp.

First cast beautiful foot long rainbow, couple casts later beautiful 14"er and on it went, great evening of fishing. An hour after I started I took the temp and it was 74F! All the trout fought hard, most jumped and appeared very vigorous. I was using 4X and tend to play fish quickly. I don't lift fish from the water normally and fish barbless. I'd rather get back and catch another trout than play around with taking a picture.
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