Category Archives: Uncategorized

A primer on Magnuson-Stevens.

As much as recreational anglers bitch, marine fisheries in the United States are among the best managed on the planet.  That’s in no small part due to the Magnuson-Stevens Act, which insisted upon science-based management of marine fish stocks and input from local stakeholders including state agencies and commercial and recreational anglers.  The Act isn’t perfect, but it’s been credited with recovering numerous commercial and recreational species- and it’s currently under threat by HR 200.  The Pew Charitable Trusts put together a great primer on the changes HB 200 represents, and what it could mean for protection of coastal fisheries.

Last Best Streams: #855.

It’s a headwater tributary of a stream I’ve fished before, notable for tall bluffs and sparse development, excellent water quality and rare plants.  Forty miles long and smaller than it should be, the stream lends its water through underground channels to feed springs further downstream.  The fishing’s alright for little smallmouth that like brown woolly buggers.   These guys, limited by food and space, can be eight inches long and three or four years old- not runts, just perfectly suited to their home.

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June.

This gallery contains 9 photos.

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Wednesday Night Ties: restocking the bass box.

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Monday video: Andranangoo.

Andranangoo – Goose Creek from Gin Clear Media on Vimeo.

Cleaning out the inbox: salmonid edition.

HAmptoN-bROOKIE

 

Restoring the brook trout of southern Appalachia.

The Tennessee Aquarium and Appalachian Chapter of Trout Unlimited have been hard at work restoring genetically distinct southern brook trout to streams of eastern Tennessee- their latest efforts added nearly 300 fish to Little Stony Creek in the Cherokee National Forest.  Read more about the restoration effort here.

The Plight of Atlantic Salmon.

For the second year in a row, the number of adult Atlantic salmon returning home to spawn has fell below expectations.  There are bright spots- streams in Quebec and Labrador seem to be doing alright, but the overall outlook is gloomy for recovery of these species.  Want to learn more?

Quick clip on Yellowstone cutthroat restoration.

Check out the work Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is doing in league with state, federal, and private landowners to protect Yellowstone cutthroat trout in the inter-mountain west.

Summer stewardship.

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Question:  I’ve seen these big fish at the bottom of the deepest pools, they’re refusing everything I throw, and I’m determined to catch one.  What do I need to do?

Answer:  It’s alright to leave them alone.

Fish are cold-blooded; they can’t regulate their own body temperature, they have to seek out environmental conditions which are best for their survival.  Most fish species don’t grow throughout the entire summer.  They have a range of temperatures which optimize growth.  Above that, they’re eating just to stay alive- taking in enough energy to maintain homeostasis.

Those big fish in a deep pool are down there because it’s the coolest, most thermally stable, most groundwater-fed portion of the flow.  They’re not eating because they’re not expending a lot of energy in still water- they don’t need to, they don’t want to, and dragging a streamer across their nose to elicit a territorial response isn’t doing them any good.  Feeding them a zero-calorie Zebra Midge and then having them expend valuable energy on the fight, the photo, and the release isn’t doing them any good.  To crib a line from John Gierach: sometimes, they need the sanctuary of deep water.

We talk a lot about values like C&R, barbless hooks, and leaving fish on redds alone.  If a fish spawns in October but dies in June from a combination of high water temperatures and angling pressure, we’re undermining our own cause.  Think about it.  Pay attention to the temperature.  Go on an overcast day.  Make it a half-day morning trip, a night trip when temps have cooled off, switch to bass or carp or gar that can stand higher water temperatures.  But know what you’re doing, and the effect it has on the fisheries you value.