Driftless Trout Anglers

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AutobotTrainer  
#1 Posted : Monday, May 16, 2016 6:59:11 PM(UTC)
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This is very unfortunate. I was on the stream Friday morning and all looked good. I even nabbed a 12" Rainbow on a dry Blue Wing Olive. Something must have fouled the stream during the rains Friday afternoon. It will take some time for McLeod to recover.

300 Trout Killed McLeod Run Cedar Rapids
No thing created by man is infallible.
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AutobotTrainer  
#2 Posted : Monday, May 16, 2016 7:04:34 PM(UTC)
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The really strange thing is that no other species was effected. White suckers, minnow, bass are all fine. Only trout were killed. Very odd. I wonder if there was a rapid temperature fluctuation from hot pavement runoff that the sensitive trout just couldn't handle? This stream never gave me any trophies, but it felt great to be able to catch something fun on a lunch hour.
No thing created by man is infallible.
mbchilton  
#3 Posted : Monday, May 16, 2016 8:47:41 PM(UTC)
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Happens almost every year on that stream.
AutobotTrainer  
#4 Posted : Tuesday, May 17, 2016 10:02:24 AM(UTC)
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mbchilton wrote:
Happens almost every year on that stream.


I'm going to disagree with this generalization. Heat kills in the summer will get a few dozen, and occasionally there will be a water main break or chemical spill that will occur in which the city will be fined. In the last 5-6 years the population has been doing well. A kill of this size that only effects trout is an oddity. I was on the stream on Friday afternoon, and I called the Linn County fisheries specialist and turned over my wading boots and gear to have it tested. I hope it helps.
No thing created by man is infallible.
mbchilton  
#5 Posted : Tuesday, May 17, 2016 6:11:15 PM(UTC)
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Just seems that each year I read a story of a fish kill on McLoud. The success of that stream is noble, but it's a tough location.
AutobotTrainer  
#6 Posted : Wednesday, May 18, 2016 9:10:40 AM(UTC)
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mbchilton wrote:
Just seems that each year I read a story of a fish kill on McLoud. The success of that stream is noble, but it's a tough location.


A truer statement has never been made.
No thing created by man is infallible.
West Branch  
#7 Posted : Thursday, May 19, 2016 4:31:30 PM(UTC)
West Branch
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Joined: 9/23/2012(UTC)
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It's a wonder that trout can exist at all in this stream between the interstate and a railroad track. In past years I've caught fish up to 20" in McLoud Run, but fish numbers and sizes have been down for some time. This spring has seemed like things were looking up a bit. Whithin the last couple of weeks I had one occasion when I landed about 20 fish in a couple of hours. I fished this stream last Thursday for awhile and caught some nice fish and had a behemoth pop a 5X tippet.

If there's a silver lining here, it's that among the dead fish were some 2 1/2" brown trout. This is the first evidence of reproduction McLoud run, though I've seen both rainbows and browns on redds in past years.

The DNR is scheduled to stock fingerlings in June. One article I read this past week indicated there may be some adult fish stocked to replace the trout lost in this most recent kill. Let's hope the DNR doesn't give up on McLoud run. It's a good spot to torment a few fish when you have a little while to fish but can't make the drive to one of the more northerly streams.

Edited by user Thursday, May 19, 2016 4:33:42 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

AutobotTrainer  
#8 Posted : Friday, May 20, 2016 7:12:49 AM(UTC)
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The biggest issue on this stream in the last few years has been what I'll call "over harvesting". I've gone out on a few weekends and seen a**hole city kids popping M80s in a deep hole or, even worse, someone using a net to scour an entire section of the stream. As for the fact that it is between I-380 and a CRANDIC line, that seems to only bother the fishermen! Coldstream Creek (it's actual name before Clark McLeod bought naming rights) is fed by a genuine cold spring source. If it wasn't for all of the storm drain runoff, it would be a very successful stream.

I agree that in the last 2-3 years things had really improved. Your typical take just 4 years ago was mostly 8"-10" rainbows. The number of healthy Browns and Brooks really increased lately.

I also read that part about possible reproduction, but with all of the positives of McLeod, it has a major silt issue and I don't see reproduction ever really being sustainable there without some major investment in streambed remediation and runoff management.
No thing created by man is infallible.
West Branch  
#9 Posted : Friday, May 20, 2016 8:53:11 AM(UTC)
West Branch
Rank: May Fly

Joined: 9/23/2012(UTC)
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Location: West Branch, IA

The initial excitement about a working trout stream in Cedar Rapids started to die down a couple of years after the improvements were made a dozen or so years ago. It seems like an orphan stream these days. Hatchery personnel at Manchester told me that DNR folks at Lake McBride are responsible for the stream. Of course, their main focus if making sure there are plenty of warm water fish for the anglers that flock to the lake.

Possible reproduction in McLoud Run is bound to be spotty at best. Occasionally dumping in a few buckets of fingerlings doesn't keep up with the number of fish removed by scofflaws and people who just don't care. Add to that the thermal shock of runoff after summer rains, and you realize that only the toughest and luckiest fish survive.

Since we live in an era when nobody wants to pay any taxes, it's hard to imagine that any major work will be done on this stream in the near future. When state budgets are tight, funds earmarked for recreation are often the first to be cut. Trash cans in state parks go un-emptied and picnic tables need to be painted, but the money isn't there.

Still, McLoud Run offers a spot to wet a line and catch a few trout for those of us who live on the periphery of the Driftless Area. Let's hope for a good year or two while the fish population rebuilds. I'm sure I'll fish here again before the summer is over. In the meantime, there are signs that this will be a good year on my usual beat in the Iowa Driftless.

Edited by user Saturday, May 21, 2016 6:12:20 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

West Branch  
#10 Posted : Tuesday, June 21, 2016 9:18:09 PM(UTC)
West Branch
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Joined: 9/23/2012(UTC)
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Location: West Branch, IA

The DNR trout page reports stocking about 6,000 fingerlings in McLoud Run on May 29, so this evening I decided to see what was up. I hit the stream about 5:00 and fish were rising in the runs near the parking area, which is about the middle of the area of the fish kill. There were swarms of 5" fish that wouldn't leave a nymph alone. I also took a 10" stocked rainbow within sight of the car. As I waded upstream the fingerlings seemed to disappear for a quarter mile or so. There were some below the railroad trestle and I caught another decent rainbow above the trestle. I didn't venture above the beaver dam, so I can't say what's going on up there.

I hot-footed it down to the lower end of the stream to check some favorite spots, but there were no fish to be seen. After wading and casting a caddis for awhile with zero results, I moved back up toward the parking lot and the hordes of fingerlings. Very many very small fish seem to be concentrated in a short section of stream. I'm not at all sure where 6,000 fingerlings might be, but I can't believe the DNR would dump them all in one section of the stream.

The oddest thing is that all the fingerlings I caught were brook trout. It seems like bookies aren't the best choice for a stream that often has thermal shock incidents most summers. The DNR site says they put in 3,000 browns and 2,000 rainbows, but I didn't see any. I'm hoping those little fish found a place where they can grow up and avoid the dangers of the urban stream. Keep your fingers crossed.
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