Driftless Trout Anglers

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winonaflyfactory  
#1 Posted : Tuesday, April 24, 2018 2:36:29 PM(UTC)
winonaflyfactory
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I only know a handful of guys who actually harvest trout even semi-regularly. I speak to high schoolers in the area regarding trout fishing, the driftless area and fly fishing. Every time I do so I speak about the responsible harvest guidelines I've adopted for myself over the years. I know most anglers who fish for trout choose not to practice any form of harvest and on certain streams I think this is a significant problem. Our "improved" waters would benefit from responsible harvest practices for the most part. I've posted my thoughts and guidelines for how I behave as ethically as possible and I hope others do the same. If you don't like eating trout, find someone who does and offer to bring them a meal every so often. It's this connection to the stream and the fish that is perhaps the most intimate.

I am writing this as an angler of Minnesota trout water. I expect that similar conclusions can be made for Wisconsin streams but I haven't fished them so I don't know. I also would preface this by stating that all the regulation information I posted here is specific to Minnesota. I don't even know what the regulations for Wisconsin are.

I see alot of younger anglers posting grip and gin pics on social media, I love the occasional excellent shot of a nice fish but I think it's important both as an angler and for the resource that everyone but especially those younger anglers connect with the streams on this level.

http://www.winonaflyfact...arvest-in-the-driftless/
thanks 2 users thanked winonaflyfactory for this useful post.
Guillermo on 4/24/2018(UTC), NBrevitz on 4/24/2018(UTC)
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Guillermo  
#2 Posted : Tuesday, April 24, 2018 4:07:55 PM(UTC)
Guillermo
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There are Driftless streams that could most certainly benefit from more harvest of brown trout, whether it's to combat their overabundance or to put a dent in their populations in streams where they are competing with native brook trout. My own personal philosophy is that I often keep a limit of brown trout as long as the water I caught them out of was relatively clean. All legal browns I catch in brook trout water go in the creel and straight to the frying pan. On all brown streams, I'll keep some but not all of them. Brookies I only keep if the water I'm fishing has an unhealthy overabundance of them or if they have heavy gill lice which might impact their post-release survival. I know some folks think brookies taste a million times better than browns, but once I roll them in flour and fry them in butter or olive oil there really is no discernible difference. Having said all this, I will keep any trout whether brown or brookie if it's bleeding or mortally injured in my judgment.

One thing I loved about the regulation changes a few years back was many brookie streams up north changing from a 7 inch 5 bag limit reg to an 8 inch 3 fish bag limit reg. These streams have healthy populations but not abundant so the extra help is welcome. Conversely, other streams had a 8 inch size limit for brookies and 12 inch limit for rainbows and browns, but that was changed to 8 inches uniform for all species making it much easier to control populations by harvest.

To the negative side now, and not to start an argument, but I feel the catch and release only regulation on Timber Coulee is foolish and unwarranted. They wanted to make regulations easier to follow but TC and a couple other popular adjoining branches that were once all uniform in their harvest are now all different (save for one portion of TC that was C&R already). That doesn't make it easier at all, it makes it exponentially more difficult. I'd also be pissed if I were a landowner on TC that liked to eat fish but now couldn't do it in their backyard anymore. Yes I realize there's plenty of other water nearby but how 'bout the creek they live on and own property on for pete's sake and as is often the case graciously lease said property as an easement for the public to enjoy the resource.

Story Time Kids!
You're walking upstream on a particular creek near Coon Valley and up until now you've been allowed to keep 5 fish of any size, but here comes a fork. To the left and you can keep 10 fish with no size limit, straight ahead and no keeping anything. Wow! That's 2 streams adjoining to form the creek with the nearby town's namesake and 3 different regulations! Where are the lines drawn? If I hook a fish in one fork but land him in another can I keep him? Or can I just pick whatever creek's regulation I like best and go with that? Anyhoot, a little further up, another fork arises where to the left you can keep 5 trout under 12 inches but again straight ahead you're stuck with catch and release. My head hurts! WHERE'S THE TYLENOL???!!!
The End

Sorry for the rant but the idea that the regulation changes were a simple matter of "simplification" is a concept I find to be incredibly disingenuous.

P.S. Don't even get me started on the "Instagram Fisherman" thing. By that I don't mean responsible and occasional pictures of fish where you're handling them properly. I'm talking about the folks that keep the fish out of the water for an eternity in the name of getting the perfect shot to stroke their egos online. And then have the nerve to release said fish and then never shut up about how they're a "catch and release" fisherman, as if that fish has any chance of living after that fiasco.

NOW I'M DONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Woot Woot Woot Woot Woot

Edited by user Tuesday, April 24, 2018 4:37:20 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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s.t.fanatic on 4/24/2018(UTC)
JGF  
#3 Posted : Tuesday, April 24, 2018 6:26:39 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Guillermo Go to Quoted Post
To the negative side now, and not to start an argument, but I feel the catch and release only regulation on Timber Coulee is foolish and unwarranted. They wanted to make regulations easier to follow but TC and a couple other popular adjoining branches that were once all uniform in their harvest are now all different (save for one portion of TC that was C&R already). That doesn't make it easier at all, it makes it exponentially more difficult. I'd also be pissed if I were a landowner on TC that liked to eat fish but now couldn't do it in their backyard anymore. Yes I realize there's plenty of other water nearby but how 'bout the creek they live on and own property on for pete's sake and as is often the case graciously lease said property as an easement for the public to enjoy the resource.


First bold: I have no problem with the TC C&R as it serves as a nice control for the other streams in the area. I agree as a management tool, C&R on TC isn't warranted but I'm fine with it if they use it to establish a baseline to compare the other harvest regulations against.

2nd Bold: Dangerous argument, IMHO. What non-public land can't that be said for? Can we only have C&R that was on streams that have been C&R for X number of years? Can I be a pissed off landowner on the West Fork because I liked the C&R and now it's gone? What if the guy that bought land there to fish likes the C&R and the guy downstream doesn't? How do they both get their way (and keep the regulations "simple")?

I just don't like that argument at all.

Guillermo  
#4 Posted : Tuesday, April 24, 2018 6:52:24 PM(UTC)
Guillermo
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Originally Posted by: JGF Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Guillermo Go to Quoted Post
To the negative side now, and not to start an argument, but I feel the catch and release only regulation on Timber Coulee is foolish and unwarranted. They wanted to make regulations easier to follow but TC and a couple other popular adjoining branches that were once all uniform in their harvest are now all different (save for one portion of TC that was C&R already). That doesn't make it easier at all, it makes it exponentially more difficult. I'd also be pissed if I were a landowner on TC that liked to eat fish but now couldn't do it in their backyard anymore. Yes I realize there's plenty of other water nearby but how 'bout the creek they live on and own property on for pete's sake and as is often the case graciously lease said property as an easement for the public to enjoy the resource.


First bold: I have no problem with the TC C&R as it serves as a nice control for the other streams in the area. I agree as a management tool, C&R on TC isn't warranted but I'm fine with it if they use it to establish a baseline to compare the other harvest regulations against.

2nd Bold: Dangerous argument, IMHO. What non-public land can't that be said for? Can we only have C&R that was on streams that have been C&R for X number of years? Can I be a pissed off landowner on the West Fork because I liked the C&R and now it's gone? What if the guy that bought land there to fish likes the C&R and the guy downstream doesn't? How do they both get their way (and keep the regulations "simple")?

I just don't like that argument at all.



Bold: You can be whatever you want to be. That's the beauty of it.

My overarching point is the regulations were in many cases made vastly more complicated as opposed to more simple.

I'm completely fine with C&R waters. When they're done logistically. You have 4 streams, R which feeds T (though R probably contributes more water), then B which feeds T to become C. That happens in 3 short miles of streambed, 2 if you're on HWY P. If that's simplification then I guess the public education system failed me horribly.

I still wonder about the conundrum I presented in my "story time" and how it would play out.

If only the browns were as smart as everyone thinks they are...then they'd most certainly empty out of every other branch into TC for permanent refuge from harvest anglers.

Edited by user Tuesday, April 24, 2018 6:53:44 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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s.t.fanatic on 4/24/2018(UTC)
William Schlafer  
#5 Posted : Tuesday, April 24, 2018 8:17:37 PM(UTC)
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I get asked all the time why I don't keep Trout. I'm not against it, and I support anyone who wants to. But for me it's a simple matter of convenience.

I love eating Trout, but I live many hours away from the streams I fish. A typical day of fishing might last 4-6 hours with a six hour round trip drive time. Lugging around dead Trout all day just ins't feasible, especially in warm weather. For multiple day trips, this means keeping dead Trout in a cooler in my trunk for long periods. Also not very appealing.

I'm an apartment dweller and there really isn't a decent place to properly clean fish if I did bring them back.

So, I do all my harvesting at the seafood counter of my local grocery.


-Bill
“You'll never look back on your life and wish you had spent more time in the office." -- Brian Trautman, Captain SV Delos
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stan b on 4/24/2018(UTC)
BTJ  
#6 Posted : Tuesday, April 24, 2018 9:10:52 PM(UTC)
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I keep fish most of my driftless outings. Always browns and pretty much always under 13 inches. I sort of wish they had a max size reg where you have to release fish over 15”. I remember talking to some guy stream side who said he hadn’t kept anything in a year or two but the last time he did it was because he managed to catch to 17 inches. Seemed like the exact opposite of what we should be doing. Harvest the small ones and leave the big old fish I say. But I agree, the regulations are a bit much, it’s a balancing act and I know the biologists like options but some of the regs are over engineered. Some folks say browns don’t taste very good which is just totally outrageous in my mind, they are a lot better than any store bought trout and most of the store bought salmon. But some folks like well done steak so it follows I guess.
NBrevitz  
#7 Posted : Tuesday, April 24, 2018 9:35:42 PM(UTC)
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I know people who can’t stand the taste of Browns and I just don’t get it...
As for ethics, I look at it this way. If a stream is 90% Brown Trout and 10% Brook Trout, you probably shouldn’t harvest a bunch of Brook Trout. Trophies ALWAYS go back for me, I hate seeing a batch of huge Brookies bonked. That said, I’ll harvest a batch of small Browns or Brookies 10 times a season on streams that could use the thinning. My 5 biggest Driftless Brookies all came from healthy but non-stunted fisheries.

There’s a reason the Upper Kinni isn’t known for trophies, I’ll put it that way.
"I fish because I love to: Because only in the woods can I find solitude without loneliness."
trapper  
#8 Posted : Tuesday, April 24, 2018 9:44:22 PM(UTC)
trapper
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Fish manager wanted TC all 10 fish with zero limitations on gear and bait. That was his first proposal.Wisconsin Trout Unlimited had a total fit so now you got this bull shit. Regulations on TC and its tribes make zero difference to the trout population because on 15% of anglers harvest and that only happens a couple weeks of the year.
That is why the Lax Widnr had creel surveys and extensive stream sampling.
Oh

The same folks from tu are totally against opening of harvest season to first Sat in April

And now you know the rest of the story

BTW
Believe and trust you fish managers/biologist

Disclaimer: I am a proud member of Coulee Region TU
With 54 years of fishing Trout in the heart of the diftless

Edited by user Tuesday, April 24, 2018 9:45:49 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Get Reel
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Hoggies on 4/25/2018(UTC)
derdmann  
#9 Posted : Tuesday, April 24, 2018 10:18:37 PM(UTC)
derdmann
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Trapper,
Just to clarify, not all Wisconsin TU members agree with the current regs. on TC. I for one, believe there are too many 8-11" trout and they need to be harvested to improve the size of trout in that stream.
Doug
"The tug is the drug"
winonaflyfactory  
#10 Posted : Wednesday, April 25, 2018 12:13:35 AM(UTC)
winonaflyfactory
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Originally Posted by: William Schlafer Go to Quoted Post
I get asked all the time why I don't keep Trout. I'm not against it, and I support anyone who wants to. But for me it's a simple matter of convenience.

I love eating Trout, but I live many hours away from the streams I fish. A typical day of fishing might last 4-6 hours with a six hour round trip drive time. Lugging around dead Trout all day just ins't feasible, especially in warm weather. For multiple day trips, this means keeping dead Trout in a cooler in my trunk for long periods. Also not very appealing.

I'm an apartment dweller and there really isn't a decent place to properly clean fish if I did bring them back.

So, I do all my harvesting at the seafood counter of my local grocery.


-Bill


Bill, you should be keeping trout. Bring a cooler with you and put some ice in it in the morning. Gut the fish on stream and bag them in a ziplock, if it's going to be a long day I try to wait to begin keeping fish and then I will occasionally cool the trout down by rinsing them in creek water. It's super simple and quick and enjoy the resource you love so much. Way better than the fish at the store.

As for the rest, I don't have much knowledge of the politics surrounding WI regulations but this seems to be a sensitive topic which brings out the passionate.

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