Cutthroats and climate

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This topic contains 15 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Scotty MacFly 6 months ago.

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  • #6258

    Scotty MacFly
    Participant
    #6259

    Grsdlnr
    Participant

    I heard this report this AM – bad news indeed. Every time I get a wild cutt, it’s a special day.

    #6260

    Scotty MacFly
    Participant

    I agree. They are so beautiful, especially when their colors turn brilliant. Last year in my little cuttie stream I caught two big rainbows in early Sept., both 18+ inches, and I had to wonder what they were doing there. The cutties and brookies are only 10 inches at most.

    But I have to ask the question, since when do rainbows prefer “less” water? I have never heard that before.

    #6261

    Grsdlnr
    Participant

    I didn’t understand what that was supposed to mean either – except that less instream water leads to warmer water, which the author said in the previous paragraph.

    #6262

    Creek
    Participant

    Game departments are to blame and always have been. Why are they stocking rainbows to begin with? What’s wrong with just stocking cutthroats?

    Brown trout eat cutthroats. Brookies hog all the food and starve the cutthroats. Rainbows breed with cutthroats and are eliminating pure cutthroats. They don’t have a chance.

    Cutthroats are our native fish and soon they’ll all be gone. There was a time when cutthroats were the only fish in the Arkansas River You’ll never catch one now. I don’t know anybody who does. It makes me sick how man can screw up nature.

    It should be a law that all cutthroats should be C&R and put back in the water immediately.No bragging pictures are to be taken. Just put it back right away and keep it in the water all the time you’re releasing it. I’d turn in every fisherman I see not doing it. Of course, the DOW is too stupid to pass such a law.

    As you can tell. I have a soft spot for cutthroats. They’re getting a raw deal.

    #6263

    Scotty MacFly
    Participant

    Screwing up nature is what man does best. We have a tendency to not leave things alone. We screw it up for whatever reason, usually money is involved somewhere, and we cover it up by calling it progress.

    God help us.

    Now look at what progress has done. Do I enjoy catching rainbows, browns, brookies; you bet. But even I have noticed the decline of cutties and the population boom of brookies in the stream I fish in the IPWA. I wish they would up the bag limit on brookies so I can bring more home to eat. Then maybe, a big maybe I know, the cutties may have a better chance in that stream.

    #6264

    Creek
    Participant

    This is a true story. I got stopped by a warden to check my fishing license. We had a long talk and he was the one who told me the brookies were starving the cutthroats in the creek I was fishing.

    He told me to catch as many brookies as I wanted to and if I didn’t eat them to just throw them away. He said don’t worry about getting a ticket. He said anybody who gives out tickets would tell me the same thing.

    That’s how mad he was about the situation on cutthroats. I’ve become just as mad over time.

    • This reply was modified 6 months ago by  Creek.
    #6266

    Scotty MacFly
    Participant

    With my luck, I’d end up in jail if I threw them on the bank. We ( me and my childhood friends ) would do that with suckers in the Ark. No guilt feelings about it, but I don’t know if I could do that to a brookie. I have to admit that in my opinion, they are a beautiful fish and I do admire that, especially in the fall, but they are a problem child in our waters.

    Lefthand Res. above Ward is a big reservoir and has nothing but brook trout, and some nice big ones too. That to me is what I like to see, because they compete against themselves. They are fun to catch because of their voracity. I don’t know if rainbows or browns do the air jaws thing because I have never seen them do it, but brookies completely coming out of the water to take a dry fly to me is so exciting. They are so easy to catch that they make a good fish to fish for with children or folks just getting into fly fishing. So I can’t say they don’t serve a good purpose, but they to me are the tiger sharks of fresh water because they will eat anything you offer them.

    If there were waters designated just for them, where they couldn’t get out and nothing could enter in, I wouldn’t have a problem with them at all.

    But you’re right Creek, in CO. it’s DOW to blame. And for our native fish, it sure seems the DOW isn’t trying very hard to protect them. They seem to focus more on the other species, probably because they are cheaper to stock and more….I don’t want to say popular, but more convenient for the majority of fishermen. The Poudre still has cutthroat, but it is rare to catch one. I think the best chances to catch one in that river is to go up into the higher altitude.

    I know we can’t start only stocking the other species only in lakes, but maybe it’s not so much a far out idea to find what high country lakes and streams that have cutties, and cull out any other species that share the same waters. It’s too late for most major rivers like the Ark and Rio Grande, but with effort and focus, plus time, I know that the creeks in the IPWA could become a sanctuary for cutthroats. I’d be more than happy to help with that, LOL!

    #6267

    Grsdlnr
    Participant

    I don’t doubt your word at all creek, but that’s some dicey advice you got from that warden. One hardass wildlife cop catching me tossing game fish on the bank to flop around and die and it’s not just a fine but goodbye license and maybe a confiscated bamboo rod – not worth the risk, IMO.

    Where legal, I’d gladly kill a limit of non-native trout and enjoy the meal. Why your DOW hasn’t changed the regulations to encourage anglers to take more brookies in cutthroat water is anybody’s guess.

    #6268

    Creek
    Participant

    I don’t think he was telling me to do it all over Colorado. This was for just the creek I was fishing. It’s right above a fishery near Leadville. They were trying to breed the Greenback Cutthroats in the creek which are in big trouble in this state.

    I didn’t throw the brookies away but did take a mess of them home to eat. It’s the only fish i’ll eat.

    #6269

    Scotty MacFly
    Participant

    So the motive was in line of helping the breeding of the cutthroats. That makes sense. I’d probably ask for that permission in writing to cover my butt though.

    My in-laws know a few game wardens. Maybe I can do some asking and help plant a seed of the idea of upping the limit of brookies in cutty water to help preserve our fish. As for the browns threatening the cutties by eating them, I have found a very few browms living in the same waters that the cutthroat live in. Maybe because it’s in water where the water temps are a little too cool for the browns, so I tend to see more of the other two fish.

    I don’t know when I will be in Meeker, but when I go I will ask the wardens if they could study it and present it to who it needs presenting to and see what they say. Maybe if something positive comes out of it, it may spread to other states to prevent the decline as well.

    I will say though, I really like the flavor of brookies. I’d like to eat more of them a week if I could.

    And on that subject Creek, I have a question for you. When I do bring home brookies, we are allowed 10 fish 8 inches or less. Over 8 inches, only 4 for the bag limit. I tend to keep the bigger ones, but I hear that with the smaller brook trout you can eat the bones as well with no concerns of any getting stuck. Is that true?

    Here’s why I ask. It may take me all day to collect 4 brookies around 10 inches. I clean them and and eat them like I would with any other fish leaving the bones naturally. De-boning small fish is a pain, so if it’s true that a person can eat the bones of smaller brookies, I can fish all day, and for the last hour of fishing I can start collecting supper with the smaller fish so they stay a little fresher on the way home. And the smell of the fresh fish in my creel wont be attracting any unwanted guests to my location all day long. We have unlimited bag limits on whitefish, why not brookies?

    By the way, here is something I found interesting. It kind of fits with what you were told by that Warden.

    http://www.fishexplorer.com/co/news.asp?action=det&nid=906

    #6270

    wheezeburnt
    Participant

    I think there may be some misunderstanding about the roles and responsibilities of various players in the natural resource management fields. Generally, biologists undertake the research of species, population and habitat interactions. Their findings and recommendations are passed on to analysts who draft policy, regulations and legislation, and then pass it on to legislators who take their recommendations into consideration with a number of social, economic and political inputs, and then pass legislation that the wardens and other enforcement staff are then obliged to enforce, regardless of their own personal perspectives. The educational backgrounds and mandates of all these folks is specific to their trade. If any one of these people determine that they cannot fulfill the conditions of their employment, then it behooves them to seek other employment.
    Its a very imperfect system, but its essentially the only one we’ve got. In my province, the legislators, under pressure from politicians and in disregard of biologists’ input, doubled the trout creel limit in the Premier’s (like a State Governor) riding. That’s just one example.

    As a retired DNR employee, I’m not terribly surprised by the advice of the warden in this case, but nonetheless quite disturbed by it. I know we’re living in an age of civil disobedience and anti-government outrage, but I believe that, if an angler or group of anglers finds specific regulations to be unsatisfactory, they need to petition their legislators either alone or via some interest group. I believe that an ethical angler will consider the regulations as a minimum of behavioural standards and will either adhere to them or meet a more restrictive personal standard. And by that I mean more restrictive gear limitations (barbless, for example) or a lower (or no) creel limit.
    Just my perspective, though.
    brent

    #6271

    Scotty MacFly
    Participant

    Brent, thats a good opinion. I never could understand about how all that takes place. Now I have an idea on how, and I thank you.

    Like you, I am un-nerved by what Creek was told by the warden, hence the part I’d like it in writing part.

    But here in CO., and I want to talk about the Rocky Mountain Nat. Park here. There are many waters that hold our cutthroat trout. I don’t know for sure, but I believe some lakes like Lilly Lake has only Greenback cutthroat. Special Regs. apply on that lake. But I believe in some other lakes there are a small variety. So far, for me, the rivers and streams I have fished in the Park have different variety as well. Wouldn’t one think that in a Nat. Park, the government would protect the Greenback a little more with out all that bureaucracy stuff. Had to look in a dictionary for that word.
    I understand that all this has to roll uphill to get to the State Governor, and something tells me they already are aware of it, but they really don’t do anything about it.

    There is a documentary on our state fish, I’ll try to find it, and they say the only pure strand of Greenbacks is in a small stream called Bear Creek I believe.

    http://www.wideopenspaces.com/colorados-bear-creek-greenback-cutthroat-trout-video/

    CU in Boulder has stated that the Greenbacks in the Nat. Park are in fact not true strain Greenbacks.
    I am confused by it all really, so when I catch a cutthroat, whatever species it is, I quickly let it go as gently as I can. If I can tell what it is by mid fight I bring it in quickly as well because I don’t want to over stress the fish. I would rather it get off the hook so I don’t even have to touch it.

    I just believe that if the State of CO. really wanted to, they could make things happen to help this fish. And according to the video, they are trying. But like the man said, we now have Greenbacks in places they don’t belong. OK, so they may not all be in the Platte, but they need to look a little more carefully at what other species of fish are already occupying the water. That’s all I’m trying to say.
    I guess there’s not enough profit in it for the State to care as much as we do. I do hope I’m wrong on that remark, but it seems lately if something brings in a lot of revenue, it gets priority.

    #6273

    Creek
    Participant

    Scotty…….of course you won’t find many browns on high mountain creeks. That’s cutthroat and brookie water. That doesn’t mean cutthroats won’t be at lower altitudes. I’ll use the Arkansas River as an example. There was a time when it was nothing but cutthroats. It’s the only native trout we have. That was before browns, brookies and rainbows were introduced by man.
    So when I say the browns ate the cutthroats and the brookies starved the brookies. I didn’t mean on the same waters.

    As for the bones in small brookies? I’ve heard you can eat them. I still tend to pull the bones off the meat after it’s cooked. I’m sure I eat some of the smaller ones. If I don’t feel a crunch I just keep on chewing.

    Let me also add something to what the warden told me. I didn’t know I had to keep going into more details. To get to the creek i’m talking about you have to go through and park at the fishery. It was that fishery that was stocking the creek with greenbacks and was upset over the brookie problem. The conversation I was having was with a warden who happened to be there and three fishery employees. We were talking about the brookie problem and everybody was upset over it. The warden at that point told me to keep or throw away as many brookies as I wanted. The three fishery employees backed him up by saying…Please do. We’re having a terrible time getting rid of the brookies. I knew I had to come back through the fishery when I left. I felt safe to catch a few extras. Especially, since I was helping conservation.
    Does this make more sense now?

    #6274

    wheezeburnt
    Participant

    Sure does. THanks, Creek.

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