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Author Topic: Bull Trout Stocking  (Read 2083 times)

Offline RuralMT

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Bull Trout Stocking
« on: Jan 30, 2019, 07:57 PM »
I feel like there must be a simple answer to the following question, but why doesn't the FWP stock bull trout?  I came across a study done by "The Montana Bull Trout Restoration Team" published in 1996 about the role of stocking in their recovery, and if I read it right, they advocated stocking to help establish self-sustaining populations. (link to article below).  Also, it appears that the FWP attempted to stock them consistently from 1945-53, but abruptly quit (except for one more plant in 1959).  Are they prohibitively expensive to raise in a hatchery?  Any guesses as to what prompted them to quit trying?  The report seemed to imply that it would benefit the population.  I understand how/why the FWP quit stocking trout in our rivers, but why not stock bull trout in lakes if it can be done?

http://www.flatheadtu.org/indexFiles/WebDocs/BT21.pdf

https://myfwp.mt.gov/fishMT/plants/plantreport   (You'll have to enter bull trout into the species filter to see the results I referred to above) 

Edit: I forgot to add a link to the article that prompted this post which, as you'll see, touts a successful egg-capture, raising, and planting of bull trout from one lake in Glacier Park to another.  I'll paste it below.

https://www.bigforkeagle.com/local_news/20180708/native_bull_trout_reintroduced_to_glacier_lakes

Offline missoulafish

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Re: Bull Trout Stocking
« Reply #1 on: Jan 30, 2019, 08:42 PM »
I was gonna ask about where they would find a viable source of eggs ....
I'm guessing that it must excessively prohibitive for some reason?
Are Brook trout wider spread now?
Possibly have to do with hybridization?

Offline pikepoisen

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Re: Bull Trout Stocking
« Reply #2 on: Jan 31, 2019, 06:30 AM »
In regards to the stocking of Bull Trout,  Why not just stock Walleye?  From what I have read and observed, both of these species live primarily on other fish.   Bull Trout  (DOLLY VARDEN) can have quite an impact on Brook Trout populations when they are in the same water system.  Just saying

Offline MT_btagger

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Re: Bull Trout Stocking
« Reply #3 on: Jan 31, 2019, 09:06 AM »
My guess is the Endangered Species Act paperwork.

I'm not exactly sure would it would require, but I bet it would be a b***h, and the costs in time and money would far outweigh the benefits.

Offline RuralMT

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Re: Bull Trout Stocking
« Reply #4 on: Jan 31, 2019, 05:27 PM »
Quote
Are Brook trout wider spread now?
Possibly have to do with hybridization?

I had the same thought and looked into the brook trout stocking...exponential ly more brook trout are being and have been planted over the decades.  And that seems strange, since the most recent stocking is in Georgetown which, correct me if I'm wrong, drains into the Clark Fork via Flint Creek?  That seems inherently deleterious to the goal of reviving bull trout populations...planting a non-native char into a system with native bulls. 

Quote
In regards to the stocking of Bull Trout,  Why not just stock Walleye?

I'm not sure how adding another piscivorous competitor would benefit the bull trout population?




Offline WilleyBooger

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Re: Bull Trout Stocking
« Reply #5 on: Jan 31, 2019, 08:21 PM »
I had the same thought and looked into the brook trout stocking...exponential ly more brook trout are being and have been planted over the decades.  And that seems strange, since the most recent stocking is in Georgetown which, correct me if I'm wrong, drains into the Clark Fork via Flint Creek?  That seems inherently deleterious to the goal of reviving bull trout populations...planting a non-native char into a system with native bulls. 

I'm not sure how adding another piscivorous competitor would benefit the bull trout population?

About a dozen years ago I heard the previous FWP fisheries manager for Georgetown give a talk. He had asked they plant brook trout in Georgetown because he considered it to have been the best brook trout fishery in the lower 48 that you drive up to, but the brook trout population had crashed severely. He wanted to get that brook trout fishery restarted. His manager said they don't generally stock brook trout west of the Divide because they will interbreed with bull trout. The former fisheries manager said "Did you ever hear the one about the horse and the barn door?" There are a number of fishermen who are passionate about fishing for brook trout in Georgetown and would be upset (and vocal) if FWP stopped planting brooks there.

There are so many brook trout in the Clark Fork drainage I doubt that stocking brook trout in Georgetown has a significant effect on the interbreeding of bulls and brooks.

I, too, have wondered why there is no bull trout stocking program. They stock cutthroats and grayling for native species restoration purposes but apparently the stocking of bull trout is forbidden. I hope that someone with inside knowledge can tell us why they won't or can't stock bull trout.

Offline Quantoson

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Re: Bull Trout Stocking
« Reply #6 on: Feb 01, 2019, 03:59 AM »
In regards to the stocking of Bull Trout,  Why not just stock Walleye?  From what I have read and observed, both of these species live primarily on other fish.   Bull Trout  (DOLLY VARDEN) can have quite an impact on Brook Trout populations when they are in the same water system.  Just saying

Dolly Varden are ocean run Bull Trout.  I cannot prove for sure, but I sincerely doubt that there are Dolly Varden in Montana.  At one time, Lakers, Brook, Bull, Artic Char, and Dolly Varden were all categorized as Dolly Varden.  I would hate to start this confusion again.
wish you many hook-ups

Offline The Linguist

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Re: Bull Trout Stocking
« Reply #7 on: Feb 01, 2019, 12:12 PM »
I am no fisheries biologist, but according to info from Wikipedia:

“Most populations of the northern Dolly Varden (S. m. malma) are semi-anadromous, while more fluvial and lacustrine populations are found among the southern Dolly Varden (S. m. lordi).”

Offline Quantoson

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Re: Bull Trout Stocking
« Reply #8 on: Feb 01, 2019, 12:20 PM »
I am no fisheries biologist, but according to info from Wikipedia:

“Most populations of the northern Dolly Varden (S. m. malma) are semi-anadromous, while more fluvial and lacustrine populations are found among the southern Dolly Varden (S. m. lordi).”

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For other species currently or formerly known as "Dolly Varden trout", see bull trout and Arctic char.

The Dolly Varden trout (Salvelinus malma) is a species of salmonid native to cold-water tributaries of the Pacific Ocean in Asia and North America. It is in the genus Salvelinus of true chars.


This was above what you posted.  I like that they know about "formerly known".
wish you many hook-ups

Offline Wenger

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Re: Bull Trout Stocking
« Reply #9 on: Feb 01, 2019, 01:34 PM »
The basic difference between ocean going salmonids and fresh water strains  is that some go out to sea and others do not...you can call me captain obvious! ;D

But to the question at hand.  Dollys have access to  the sea and Bull Trout do not.  Genetically I think there is a slight difference.  Then we have sea run cutts and freshwater cutts , steelhead vs rainbows (Kamloops which are widely stocked in MT are landlocked steelhead)  Kokes vs Sockeye, sea trout (sea run browns) vs browns, Sea run or lake run brookies vs brookies, landlocked Atlantic Salmon vs Atlantic Salmon, sea run Arctic Char vs landlocked char.

So if it is a salmonid and it resides in a river system connected to the sea chances are a species living there may well have a sea run strain often living alongside strains that  remain in fresh water all their lives. Strains develop to take advantage of the habitat they occupy. This has been studied extensively in the UK on brown trout and sea trout.   Sea run strains also serve a evolutionary purpose by helping spread the species as a whole far and wide via the sea. Rainbow strains found high in the Mexican mountains and in Baja are all descendants of sea run rainbows.  As is the example of many salmon species being spread all around the Pacific Rim and Atlantic Salmon being spread  from Portugal to New England.

So in my mind the difference is one of semantics to an extent, but with very real differences between the strains.  As for stocking Bull Trout...well good luck.  The only real recovery of Bull Trout can be accomplished if hybridization, habitat rejuvenation, and invasive predator issues be resolved.  In short they are screwed and so are we if they make the Endangered Species List.  Bulls pretty much only do well in river systems which have only them, White Fish and West Slope cutts as the predators. :tipup: 

Offline BigSage

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Re: Bull Trout Stocking
« Reply #10 on: Feb 01, 2019, 10:34 PM »
Does anyone find it Plausable, that there are some within the system who don’t want Bulls recovered? Then those folks won’t have as much say over regulations, long term plans, other “native” species, etc...

Offline Born Late

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Re: Bull Trout Stocking
« Reply #11 on: Feb 02, 2019, 07:32 AM »
Does anyone find it Plausable, that there are some within the system who don’t want Bulls recovered? Then those folks won’t have as much say over regulations, long term plans, other “native” species, etc...

🙄 Nonsense.
YOU are the only one who can decide if the ice is safe enough for you.

Offline Wenger

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Re: Bull Trout Stocking
« Reply #12 on: Feb 02, 2019, 10:49 AM »
Does anyone find it Plausable, that there are some within the system who don’t want Bulls recovered? Then those folks won’t have as much say over regulations, long term plans, other “native” species, etc...

No, the issue is how and what measures would it take.  Just stocking will not work because the same forces that have reduced numbers would not allow stockers to make it either. It is far more complex than just adding more fish. Its about providing an environment that allows them to thrive again. If that were achieved then the wild fish would have no problem recovering.

Offline The Linguist

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Re: Bull Trout Stocking
« Reply #13 on: Feb 02, 2019, 11:10 AM »
It’s all about the habitat and what is in it. Bull trout need clean, cold water without the presence of brook trout and predators. Stocking can be used as a tool to enhance a location that may be able to support a self-sustainable population. Case in point is Grace Lake in Glacier Park that was stocked with bull trout eggs from another nearby lake. There is a waterfall that acts as a barrier for lake trout getting into Grace Lake.

Offline The Linguist

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Re: Bull Trout Stocking
« Reply #14 on: Feb 02, 2019, 11:20 AM »
Thanks for starting this thread RuralMT. It’s a good topic for discussion. 😀

Offline Quantoson

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Re: Bull Trout Stocking
« Reply #15 on: Feb 02, 2019, 11:39 AM »
It’s all about the habitat and what is in it. Bull trout need clean, cold water without the presence of brook trout and predators. Stocking can be used as a tool to enhance a location that may be able to support a self-sustainable population. Case in point is Grace Lake in Glacier Park that was stocked with bull trout eggs from another nearby lake. There is a waterfall that acts as a barrier for lake trout getting into Grace Lake.

'Bull trout need clean, cold water' Come on Global Warming!  Rid us of this issue.  Then we can carry on without eradicating 20 other species to save one. 
wish you many hook-ups

Offline RuralMT

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Re: Bull Trout Stocking
« Reply #16 on: Feb 04, 2019, 06:18 PM »
My pleasure Linguist!  It certainly intrigued me! 

Quote
No, the issue is how and what measures would it take.  Just stocking will not work because the same forces that have reduced numbers would not allow stockers to make it either.

Oh, no doubt.  I didn't mean to suggest that we should stock them in sewage ponds and expect positive results.  However, if the name of the game is to knock back the lake trout numbers in favor of bull trout in Flathead Lake, why not supplement the effort via bull trout plants?  The current approach seems like a half-measure that's doomed to fail. 

The stocking regimen for Lake Koocanusa puzzles me as well, a system with numerous, clean, gravel-bottomed tributaries in which bull trout can and do spawn.  They use the Tobacco and Graves Creek and the larger tributaries that feed Koocanusa north of the border.  If they are indeed imperiled in this system (which I question, considering Canada has a catchable daily limit for them on their portion of the reservoir) why on earth would they continue to stock a highly skilled piscivore like the Kamloop?  Both the bulls and kamloops are competing for the same forage base (kokanee) and while the former is a threatened native, they continue to stock the latter.  They go so far as to shut Graves Creek down in the middle of August to protect the spawning run, yet they fill the reservoir with competition...I'm thoroughly confused to say the least. 

Offline ElkNut

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Re: Bull Trout Stocking
« Reply #17 on: Feb 07, 2019, 09:10 AM »
The 3 c's: Clean, Cold, Connected. There will always be tension between the theoretical and the practical application of basic knowledge. The pressures of development and the desire of the present society for profits at the expense of anything natural, wild, or free has degraded landscapes throughout the world by river engineering, river straightening, construction of levees, dams, and concrete channels. These actions have been the essence of our approach to problems of flood control, navigation, irrigation, hydroelectric development, municipal and industrial water needs, even though at the same time much has been learned about river mechanics, geomorphology, hydraulics, and sedimentation. Despite the new knowledge, the traditional engineering approach to river development has not only dominated valley land management, but has failed to incorporate the practical, physical, aesthetic, and financial advantages of river management.
Without the 3rd C: Connected. Bull trout merely cannot exist in perpetuum.

Offline Quantoson

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Re: Bull Trout Stocking
« Reply #18 on: Feb 07, 2019, 09:31 AM »
Let the weaker species die and the strong survive.  There is a such a thing as taking naturalist to the extreme.

The needs of flood control, navigation, irrigation, hydroelectric development, municipal and industrial water are necessary for the population to continue to exist. 

Please let these naturalist set the example by turning off their heat, air conditioners, disconnect from city services of water, sewer, electric, trade the vehicles in for better durable shoes, stop patronizing stores, stop using internet, stop buying paper products and lumber, and stop buying manufactured goods.  When the naturalist start setting the example on how luxurious it is to live off of what they can plant, harvest and raise, then maybe the rest will follow.

You cannot imagine my jollies when I hear there is a climate change meeting somewhere in the world.  I laugh at how many naturalist gas it to the airports, load up a monster jetliner flight to whatever country, taxi to the hotel and hit the streets and protest against petroleum.
wish you many hook-ups

Offline RuralMT

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Re: Bull Trout Stocking
« Reply #19 on: Feb 07, 2019, 03:46 PM »
Quote
The 3 c's: Clean, Cold, Connected.
I completely agree with the logic, but may I ask if you're merely stating it as a fact or as a justification for not stocking them?  If that is used as a justification to not stock them, then I would say the next logical step would be to wash our hands of the issue entirely.  If alterations to their habitat preclude their recovery, should we be spending millions to achieve the impossible?

Quote
You cannot imagine my jollies when I hear there is a climate change meeting somewhere in the world.  I laugh at how many naturalist gas it to the airports, load up a monster jetliner flight to whatever country, taxi to the hotel and hit the streets and protest against petroleum.
:roflmao:

For the record Quantoson, I'm not advocating the removal of Libby Dam for bull trout recovery.  This thread was my attempt to understand the logic behind how our money is spent or not spent.

Offline Quantoson

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Re: Bull Trout Stocking
« Reply #20 on: Feb 07, 2019, 04:16 PM »
RuralMT, understood.  I advocate that the Bull Trout is not an endangered species, it is being used as a way to eradicate other non-native species just because there is a cynical group that feels that all streams, rivers and lakes in the West and mountains should be reverted back to total natural environments for their fishing pleasure.

My position is the Bull trout and cutthroat are still there.  I catch them not by targeting but by fishing.  I have been to Koocanusa fishing for rainbow and catch 3 times as many bull than rainbow.  The same with Hungary Horse, Flathead River, Swan Lake and other places.  Yet $$$$ are spent to dredge lakes of other species, namely Lake Trout, a close cousin of the Bull Trout, difficult to tell them apart.  Lobby dollars at work on the FWP or the FWP has an IQ deficiency. 

If these Bull Trout were so rare, why wouldn't compassionate Canada stop the limits and also impose the same restrictions?  Because they know it is counterfeit.
wish you many hook-ups

Offline Quantoson

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Re: Bull Trout Stocking
« Reply #21 on: Feb 07, 2019, 04:25 PM »
Additional, what good is fish in the water that your not allow to catch, target or have in procession?  Do we really want a fish that is so delicate nature will destroy it on it's own?  Then what do you fish for, fresh water kelp?
wish you many hook-ups

Offline grizzlyhackle

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Re: Bull Trout Stocking
« Reply #22 on: Feb 07, 2019, 04:37 PM »
My position is the Bull trout and cutthroat are still there.  I catch them not by targeting but by fishing.  I have been to Koocanusa fishing for rainbow and catch 3 times as many bull than rainbow.  The same with Hungary Horse, Flathead River, Swan Lake and other places. 

Any giants? Hard to beat a big bull on a fly rod

Offline Quantoson

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Re: Bull Trout Stocking
« Reply #23 on: Feb 07, 2019, 04:44 PM »
Any giants? Hard to beat a big bull on a fly rod

Monsters!  But I will warn you, using a fly rod will get you in trouble.  With the sissy tipits you play them too long and being the sissy fish that they are, they die.  Here is an article of the troublesome regs to that species.  https://ravallirepublic.com/news/local/article_ae1e9361-6e12-52b7-8130-e1da64cb8c73.html

Too bad for those sportsmen. 
wish you many hook-ups

Offline missoulafish

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Re: Bull Trout Stocking
« Reply #24 on: Feb 07, 2019, 04:46 PM »
they got what they had coming...

Offline Quantoson

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Re: Bull Trout Stocking
« Reply #25 on: Feb 07, 2019, 04:47 PM »
Mike, they caught I think 4 bull trout.  If that ruined the fishery, it was already in desperate shape.
wish you many hook-ups

Offline missoulafish

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Re: Bull Trout Stocking
« Reply #26 on: Feb 07, 2019, 04:52 PM »
Thats true Herb, I was more unimpressed with how they handled the backlash and the lying after they got caught.....

Offline Quantoson

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Re: Bull Trout Stocking
« Reply #27 on: Feb 07, 2019, 04:57 PM »
Obviously their defense should have been more forthcoming but with the pressure put upon them, I being the most honest and most law abiding person in the world, I may have taken the same path for fear of punitive damages.

Seriously, why can't we fish for this useless fish?  Treat it like a trout and restock it.  They won't, just to make it last on the list of species of concern.  For crying out loud, the Bob Marshall Wilderness.  What else are you gonna catch? 
wish you many hook-ups

Offline grizzlyhackle

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Re: Bull Trout Stocking
« Reply #28 on: Feb 07, 2019, 04:59 PM »
Monsters!  But I will warn you, using a fly rod will get you in trouble.  With the sissy tipits you play them too long and being the sissy fish that they are, they die.  Here is an article of the troublesome regs to that species.  https://ravallirepublic.com/news/local/article_ae1e9361-6e12-52b7-8130-e1da64cb8c73.html

Too bad for those sportsmen.

8 wt, heavy leader, and big streamers in legal places to target them will get the job done. Haha yes I know all about the MW knuckleheads....its a prime example of what happens when you are trying to be the next internet star filiming instead of fishing.

"Some bull trout were over-handled by the three men for periods of 12 minutes or more, Sommers had charged, and FWP Region 1 fisheries manager Mark Deleray said what the men did with the fish after catching and before releasing them “will no doubt have negative impacts on the bull trout fishery.”

Offline Quantoson

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Re: Bull Trout Stocking
« Reply #29 on: Feb 07, 2019, 05:11 PM »
I'm into 12 lb and 20lb drag them in power prov line.  Bait dunking lead sinker treble hooking setting maniac.  When I catch a perch, it's coming in or losing lips.

I have seen people on the clacker crafts fishing and playing fish for longer periods of time.  You can see those vids on you tube.  Senseless to say they are real sport fishermen.  I release almost everything I catch, cut the line if the hook is too deep.  I keep one maybe two if the wife says she wants rainbow for super.  I don't eat none of that stuff unless it says Gordon's on the box.
wish you many hook-ups

 



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