Thanks for posting those links. Great info.
Lake Michigan - Milwaukee Harbor, Milwaukee County
IMO, the biggest factor regarding a successful release of a trout and said fish surviving to be caught again has a lot to do with the time the fish is out of the water, especially on those bitterly cold days and not as much as how the fish is held. I see it far to often where fish are out of the water for 2+ minuets before being set free, especially on the ice. I get it, everyone (my self included) wants to get that perfect picture so they can brag to all there friends. Trust me, my phone if filled with blurry pictures of half a fish.
I my self try to release all of the browns I catch, unless it takes the hook bad and is bleeding pretty bad, not because they taste poorly (I agree with Blitz, the winter browns are top notch table fair) I just like catching them more.
All this scientific talk brings me back to my fisheries and DNR days, especially the links posted by X-Ray, I totally nerded out on it. Thanks for the intelligent conversation, I enjoyed hearing all your opinions.
Like most instances, I agree with you guys, I think you're dead on regarding spawning fish all winter long and the majority of the winter fish being the seeforellens. I imagine the only time of year that will be affected heavily will be the early fall run but only time will tell. All this scientific talk brings me back to my fisheries and DNR days, especially the links posted by X-Ray, I totally nerved out on Them. Thanks for the intelligent conversation, I enjoyed hearing all your opinions.
Mike- There are fish around, some are catching, others aren't, but it's always worth a try.
Also, I was going to make an argument for holding a fish vertically. I know better than to touch the gills, but apparently even if one is careful to avoid the gills, the vertical position can dislocate a fishes lower jaw or cause problems with the backbone. I always knew that the spine needed to be supported when holding a fish horizontally, but I didn't know that damage could be caused by a vertical hold, even if the gills are carefully avoided. Learned something else today.
If anyone wants to geek out on Brown Trout, read this: http://scholarworks.gvsu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1039&context=theses
Beware, it is not for the faint hearted. Lots of dNA sequencing going on. If you still want more, read this: http://www.igiardinidellacqua.com/downloads/Bernatchez_Evol.pdf
Interestingly, the world records of Healy and Hellen were both share the same lineage, the atlantic clade, with the Hellen's being confirmed as natural reproduction from the Rogue River in Michigan that has no history of stocking. Hellen's fish dNA shared characteristics with the seeforellen strain. Healy's fish is confirmed seeforellen strain and perhaps natural reproduction from the Manistee River. Read page 38 of the first link.
MOON PHASE (2%)
To add to Blitz's comment. Much has been offered up regarding the elimination of domestic brown stocking. Some brown trout shore/ice fisherman have been rather vocal that the stocking reduction will kill the winter brown trout bite a few years from now. This assumes that the domestic browns are the ones we're pulling thru the ice in Jan/Feb/March even though it's possible that they're mostly seeforellens which are spawning during this time (I firmly believe the brown spawning period stretches well beyond Dec.)
I'm not sold on the idea that stocking reductions of domestics will have a significant impact on near shore brown trout fishing during the winter months.
I'd like to see evidence that the color variations among various brown trout are from different brown trout strains and not environmental factors.
just for humor purposes, I would say that phixey and pelican got blitzed (pun intended) by the self appointed brown trout stewards (which I consider myself to be a card carrying member) for far less than keeping a limit....
Anyway, it can all be found here, http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/fishing/Documents/LakeMichigan/StockingSummary2015.pdf , for what we are catching nowadays for browns. Those browns off the oak creek power plant are coming from somewhere since they aren't being stocked anywhere close. Either Racine or Milwaukee or natural repro. They are clearly spreading out north and south along the shorelines and near shorelines zones. I have never caught a clipped brown at Milwaukee or Bender, but my sample size is only 3 yrs.
If you want to know exactly where they stock them, use this tool: http://www.glfc.org/fishstocking/exactsearch.htm