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Hatchery Raise Trout


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23 replies to this topic

#1 Possumpoint

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Posted 26 September 2010 - 07:22 AM

On average, how fast do hatchery raised trout adapt to having to feed on available insect life where they are stocked? Is it immediately, a couple of days or longer? How soon are they taking flies?

#2 Fred H.

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Posted 26 September 2010 - 08:43 AM

QUOTE (Possumpoint @ Sep 26 2010, 07:22 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
On average, how fast do hatchery raised trout adapt to having to feed on available insect life where they are stocked? Is it immediately, a couple of days or longer? How soon are they taking flies?

I was able to purchase a couple of hundred farm raised trout last year and placed them in my bass pond down here in SW Louisiana. It was mid January and the temps were suitable for the trout and also for the caddis hatch in progress.Although the guy from the hatchery told me that these trout had only ever been fed trout pellets , these trout took immedately to the natural food and were sipping caddis off the surface as fast as they could. Being a primarily warmwater fisherman , it took me a day or so to adapt my tying and presentation of the fly to fool these fish. After being caught and released though , these fish learned quickly and were increasingly harder to fool.
It was great fun and an awesome learning experience that I hope I have the fortune to do again.

Fred
"My head is a prison, my times on the water are conjugal visits" Fred Hannie

visit my website http://www.realisticflytying.net

#3 utyer

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Posted 26 September 2010 - 08:48 AM

In most cases, stocked trout will go into "shock" for a day or two. After that, they are looking for the Purina trout chow that they have been fed. Tie up a "hatch matcher" for that. A brown and olive verigated chenille fly with a small bead head to make it sink. Fish this to recently stocked trout.

Once they get it that no one is feeding them any longer most trout will start to look for food. They have no clue what to eat, and will hit most anything drifting in the current. I have found pine needles, bark, leaves, in trout. Many stocked trout will die before they really figure out what is food.

After a month or two, those that are left will have figured out that insects are good to eat. By the next spring, the stockers will be looking for hatching nymphs.

By this time of year, most of the insect hatching activity is pretty much over. Blue wing olives, midges, and some small caddis will still be about. Up until the first hard freezes, there will be hoppers, ants and beetles around. Fish a hopper pattern with a very small nymph (pheasant tail,) as a dropper. Later in the year, try a brassie or other midge as the dropper.

By next spring, you should research just what insects are common in your area, and in what order they hatch. The actual time of the hatches will vary with weather conditions, but the order will remain the same.
"We have met the ememy, and he is us." Pogo by Walt Kelly

#4 perchjerker

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Posted 26 September 2010 - 01:03 PM

utyer:

How about sharing your references for your statements for the benefit of the rest of us? It may be a geographical thing, but those stocked by the state here in our Texas waters will feed immediately upon release. And, no, they aren't looking for trout chow!

perchjerker

#5 utyer

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Posted 26 September 2010 - 03:23 PM

My statements are based on personal observations over many years. I have encountered stocking trucks in many locations in Utah, and after being hosed out of the tanker truck, people nearby converge on the stunned trout. Very few if any have been responsive. I have cleaned and examined gut contents, where I have found many things not normally considered food in stocked trout. I have not found this to be the case in native (cutthroat) trout.

I have fished stocked ponds with my fish food pellet fly over the years, and it will work. I can't say the trout take it for bagged trout food, but it sure looks like the stuff. The trout in these ponds were fed the same stuff, and readily took the fly.



"We have met the ememy, and he is us." Pogo by Walt Kelly

#6 lykos33

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Posted 26 September 2010 - 04:09 PM

While I agree that trout may go off the bite and be in a state of shock, I think it may have to do with any number of things. For instance, water temp in the transport truck got outta wack, the roads being bad and causing the fish to have a rough sloshy ride, too much difference in the temps of the pond and the trucks water...any number of things could affect the fish. My own experience this year...that's all I could get to fish was stocked trout and the ones I caught right out of the back of the truck were the hungriest. They were destroying anything on top of the water. Two days later they were as tight lipped as their siblings from the previous years stocking. dunno.gif
I'll fish for anything I tell ya!!!
Murray Buck

#7 perchjerker

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Posted 26 September 2010 - 06:05 PM

FredH and lykos33 both paint a much more accurate picture of the norm that I am familiar with. It does take some time for them to disperse both upstream and down from the release site. But that is about it as far as adaptation is concerned.

As originally noted, it may be a geographical thing. Also, those you base your observations on may be stunned, which you admit to, for that long by the "hosing out of the tank truck" Here, they are hauled in trailers pulled by pickup trucks. The trailer is backed up to the edge of the water such that the back of the trailer is slanted down, like on a boat ramp, the drain is opened and they simply flow out. No hosing of any kind. Not having been fed for as many as two days, they are rearing to go, right out of the trailer.

I too have PFC (Purina Fish Chow) flies in my boxes, but use them only for wipers (Striper X White Bass hybrids) and extra large bluegill (to 2lbs) in waters managed for these two species. I can even generate my own "feeding frenzy" with these flies, instead of throwing a handfull of the feed on the water, as so many do.

perchjerker

#8 TheVancouverMan

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 01:37 PM

I personaly have cuaght trout in New Jersey with some of the most insane flies. Pure White buggers with krystal flash and weight ONLY AT THE HEAD work. Purple, orange, light blue, chartrues, and ohter things Work. yes, its supposed to be colored like power bait.

#9 perchjerker

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Posted 20 October 2010 - 09:13 AM

It has been said that: " The first lier does not have a chance!" In the early 1980's, I was responsible for a major three-year redfish (red drum, red channel bass) tagging program where conventional tackle was used for capture. The manufacturer of a very popular lead head shrimp jig provided all of the lures. The plastic tails came in a vast array of colors, and some days the fish could be very selective. On others we actually caught both redfish and speckled trout on just the lead-head bare hooks! No plastic tails involved!

perchjerker

#10 lykos33

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Posted 20 October 2010 - 05:58 PM

QUOTE (perchjerker @ Oct 20 2010, 11:13 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It has been said that: " The first lier does not have a chance!" In the early 1980's, I was responsible for a major three-year redfish (red drum, red channel bass) tagging program where conventional tackle was used for capture. The manufacturer of a very popular lead head shrimp jig provided all of the lures. The plastic tails came in a vast array of colors, and some days the fish could be very selective. On others we actually caught both redfish and speckled trout on just the lead-head bare hooks! No plastic tails involved!

perchjerker



Florida , Texas, Louisiana, where at?...the study that is. Not that it matters to me up here in Nova Scotia, but I am a Florida boy at heart and miss me Reds and Trout and Snook! sad.gif
I'll fish for anything I tell ya!!!
Murray Buck

#11 NJFlyMAn

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Posted 20 October 2010 - 06:20 PM

I have caught trout in New Jersey minutes after they stocked with BH flies and small midges.. And then even a few days later they still took the nymphs... If your talking about them taking dry flies then thats a different story.... I think it takes them a few days before they key on them..But that's just my thought..Don't know how true that is..

#12 perchjerker

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Posted 25 October 2010 - 09:29 AM

lykos33:

They were caught in a power plant supplemental cooling pond adjacent to Trinity Bay, a sub-Bay of the Galveston Bay complex on the upper Texas Coast, just east of Houston. The objective was to determine whether or not the fish left the pond in the fall to join the Gulf adult spawning population; or if they stayed in the pond. The tagging was done in conjunction with our Coastal Fisheries folks. And yes, the sub-adults do leave the pond and go to the Gulf where they enter the spawning pool. We had tag returns from fish caught along the Gulf shoreline at Galveston, which is their normal spawning area.

perchjerker

#13 boynabubble

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Posted 25 October 2010 - 11:05 AM

I've seen trout dumped straight out of the truck into a local lake here in the black hills, SD and have seen those same fish eating callibaetis off of the surface in less than half an hour. I'm sure they were the fish just stocked since there were hardly any other rises prior to the stocking and they were rising almost exclusively in the cove in which they were released.

In a small put and take stream I used to fish while in college in Kentucky, the summer season would see a bi-weekly stocking of pan-sized rainbows, dumped off the bridge into a deep pool. During the summer anything and everything would catch these fish, it was kind of neat to watch a half dozen fish fight over someone's powerbait (without the guy even realizing it, but I could see it from my point of view). Once fall came around and the stocking ended, the bait fishermen would leave, and it became a C&R stretch until next spring. The fish would disperse and they were as selective and paranoid as any wild fish.

I agree with most others in saying that in my experience, it doesn't take long at all for newly stocked fish to begin feeding, sometimes immediately. But just because they are naive hatchery trout doesn't mean they're "dumb" and will quickly learn what they can eat and what they can't.

It's kind of like a spoiled indoor cat that suddenly finds itself tossed outside. It may spend the first week meowing at the door, wondering where the kitty chow went. After a while instincts kick in and it starts finding and killing what it was meant to naturally. That's also the reason an indoor cat will chase a piece of yarn or bug that has entered the house, even though it looks nothing like a bowl of cat chow.

Wait a minute, this is a fly tying forum, why am I talking about cats??? huh.gif wink.gif I think there was a point in there somewhere....

Oh yes......Trout as predators probably have that same instinctual drive and curiosity that makes them eat natural food sources that they've never seen before.

This is just a thought, but I wonder if it is harder or takes longer for hatchery trout to adjust if they are placed in a stream where the primary food source is small insects such as midges and baetis, vs. a stream with large bugs like stones and drakes. Maybe it takes longer for them to develop a search pattern when there is a big difference in the naturals compared to what they're used to eating? Any thoughts or experience with this?

Best regards and tight lines!
-Cody

BNB
In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks. ~John Muir
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#14 flyderaght

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 10:52 PM

In BC I was fishing a lake that had ben stocked with blackwater rainbow trout. In BC there are different strains-blackwater are used in lakes that have been stocked illegally with perch. blackwater bows are piscorvius-they feed on fish unlike their southern cousins the kamloops bows which are insect eaters. anyways, the biologist came by the following day after they had beeen stocked and asked us to keep the next one we caught as he wanted to see the stomach contents. these bows were 8 inches and the one we cut open had a 1-2 inch shiner in its belly after only 24hrs.
marc

#15 Old Hat

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Posted 13 November 2010 - 12:38 PM

Hatchery systems are not closed systems and the fish do not only eat pellets. The pellets are there as a human control for growth. Hatchery fish are still eating plenty of insects and annelids and the like while they are in the hatchery. They have probably seen most of the surface and subsurface foods available. After movement I would suspect a short "shock time" for a few hours where they will not feed readily, but not to say they won't eat if something that resembles food is placed in front of them. The biggest obstacle to fresh stocked fish is habitat aquaintance. Where do I hide from predators and can stil get food. In a stillwater situation, the stocked fish will usually move around in small schools for a while and congregated where they feel safe, then rather quickly begin to coast around in search for food as they habituate to the new system. Stream systems are a little harder to habituate to, mostly do to competition for the best food/energy expenditure spots. This is also true for stillwater but the space is not such a constraint.

As far as eating, its instinctual, and they should eat immediately if not too stressed. As far as a fly, they probably have seen most of the type of insects already and will also take pellets for a short while. But they will quickly learn if it doesn't smell like a pellet it isn't a pellet.

"Always drink upstream from the herd."

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