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South Fork Regulations

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South Fork Regulations
This has been on my mind for a long time. On the South Fork of the Snake in the past 5-10 years there has been a huge push to preserve the cutthroat strain/fishing and drop the rainbow population. So much to the point that we now have no limit on rainbows of any size and the F&G has even gone so far as tag some with dollar amounts attached to the tags to encourage the harvest of the rainbows.
Now here is where Iím looking for some insight. Why havenít the regulations on the browns changed? The regs still only let the harvest of 2 browns per day and they need to be at least 16 inches. I may be wrong and I am not a biologist by any means. From my understanding, that the browns when they hit that size change their diet so that aprox 70% of it is made up of other fish and only 30% is made up of insects. If we are limiting the browns so that they are hitting that point in their life isnít it detrimental to the Cuts? The latest F&G news letter shows that down around Lorenzo the browns outnumber the Cuts 3 to 1. As you move up the river to Conant the Cuts dominate with 42% of the population and the browns are only 17%, but they said that both of them have increased while the bows have dropped. If we are really looking to increase and preserve the Cuts wouldnít it be better to loosen up the regs on the browns?

Just a question I have had for a while now, just doesnít make sense to me to leave a limit that lets a more aggressive fish get larger and more predatory while trying to promote another species in the same water.

And no I donít hate browns or bows, truth be known I like them both better since they seem to fight much harder than the Cuts do.
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Re: [Bmarsh] South Fork Regulations In reply to
I think it has more to do with breeding habits and habitat then predation. Bows will eventually eliminate the Cutts by their dominate breeding habits. While browns may predate the Cutts, they don't damage the strain. Seems like they coexist according to their adaptation to the biomass. That seems to be born out by the numbers in comparison, upstream to downstream.
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Re: [Bmarsh] South Fork Regulations In reply to
 . . . oh, and don't be messing with my Browns! Fishin'
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Re: [Bmarsh] South Fork Regulations In reply to
Bmarsh wrote:
This has been on my mind for a long time. On the South Fork of the Snake in the past 5-10 years there has been a huge push to preserve the cutthroat strain/fishing and drop the rainbow population. So much to the point that we now have no limit on rainbows of any size and the F&G has even gone so far as tag some with dollar amounts attached to the tags to encourage the harvest of the rainbows.
Now here is where Iím looking for some insight. Why havenít the regulations on the browns changed? The regs still only let the harvest of 2 browns per day and they need to be at least 16 inches. I may be wrong and I am not a biologist by any means. From my understanding, that the browns when they hit that size change their diet so that aprox 70% of it is made up of other fish and only 30% is made up of insects. If we are limiting the browns so that they are hitting that point in their life isnít it detrimental to the Cuts? The latest F&G news letter shows that down around Lorenzo the browns outnumber the Cuts 3 to 1. As you move up the river to Conant the Cuts dominate with 42% of the population and the browns are only 17%, but they said that both of them have increased while the bows have dropped. If we are really looking to increase and preserve the Cuts wouldnít it be better to loosen up the regs on the browns?

Just a question I have had for a while now, just doesnít make sense to me to leave a limit that lets a more aggressive fish get larger and more predatory while trying to promote another species in the same water.

And no I donít hate browns or bows, truth be known I like them both better since they seem to fight much harder than the Cuts do.

Browns = invasive species. I support increased harvest to protect the native, threatened cutts. My 2 cents...
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Re: [Mojo1] South Fork Regulations In reply to
Mojo1 wrote:
Bmarsh wrote:
This has been on my mind for a long time. On the South Fork of the Snake in the past 5-10 years there has been a huge push to preserve the cutthroat strain/fishing and drop the rainbow population. So much to the point that we now have no limit on rainbows of any size and the F&G has even gone so far as tag some with dollar amounts attached to the tags to encourage the harvest of the rainbows.
Now here is where Iím looking for some insight. Why havenít the regulations on the browns changed? The regs still only let the harvest of 2 browns per day and they need to be at least 16 inches. I may be wrong and I am not a biologist by any means. From my understanding, that the browns when they hit that size change their diet so that aprox 70% of it is made up of other fish and only 30% is made up of insects. If we are limiting the browns so that they are hitting that point in their life isnít it detrimental to the Cuts? The latest F&G news letter shows that down around Lorenzo the browns outnumber the Cuts 3 to 1. As you move up the river to Conant the Cuts dominate with 42% of the population and the browns are only 17%, but they said that both of them have increased while the bows have dropped. If we are really looking to increase and preserve the Cuts wouldnít it be better to loosen up the regs on the browns?

Just a question I have had for a while now, just doesnít make sense to me to leave a limit that lets a more aggressive fish get larger and more predatory while trying to promote another species in the same water.

And no I donít hate browns or bows, truth be known I like them both better since they seem to fight much harder than the Cuts do.


Browns = invasive species. I support increased harvest to protect the native, threatened cutts. My 2 cents...


Don't you think biologists have taken this into consideration and set the limits according to the need?

Brown limits are less about the ecology and more about money. If you ask me, most of it is promoted for money for guiding organizations.
(This post was edited by MMDon on Apr 20, 2011, 7:41 PM)
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Re: [Bmarsh] South Fork Regulations In reply to
I have thought about the same thing before. I think it has to do with the spawning issues as well. From what I have read, the rainbows would eventually over run the cutts through hybridizing. I don't know the affect that the browns diet has. Seems that they all are surviving ok together. Although I catch a lot more browns that cutts. That could be because I am always stripping streamers though :) Good subject for some thought.
-Shane
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Re: [Bmarsh] South Fork Regulations In reply to
Rainbows and brook trout are a much greater threat to the cutthroat populations. The rainbows because of hybridization, and the brook trout because their ability to out populate just about any other fish in a stream. The brook trout will take over the headwaters and spawning streams. They pushing the cutts out by their shear numbers and by devouring the stream's food resources.

Large browns may prey on cutts, but the big browns generally only populate the lower and slower sections in any numbers. They are much more geographically limited, by their preferences. They may be the higher percentage species in sections, but they don't really threaten to be the major species in the whole drainage. Browns and cutts seem to cohabitate ok.

The 16" limit is good as it helps to allow harvest of some of the larger browns, but also allows a lot of nice browns to stay in the river to be caught and released too.

I don't think that the purpose in helping the cutts to become reestablished is to remove all other non- natives, only the ones that are causing the depletion or gene dilution of the cutts in the system as a whole.
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Re: [MMDon] South Fork Regulations In reply to
MMDon wrote:
Mojo1 wrote:
Bmarsh wrote:
This has been on my mind for a long time. On the South Fork of the Snake in the past 5-10 years there has been a huge push to preserve the cutthroat strain/fishing and drop the rainbow population. So much to the point that we now have no limit on rainbows of any size and the F&G has even gone so far as tag some with dollar amounts attached to the tags to encourage the harvest of the rainbows.
Now here is where Iím looking for some insight. Why havenít the regulations on the browns changed? The regs still only let the harvest of 2 browns per day and they need to be at least 16 inches. I may be wrong and I am not a biologist by any means. From my understanding, that the browns when they hit that size change their diet so that aprox 70% of it is made up of other fish and only 30% is made up of insects. If we are limiting the browns so that they are hitting that point in their life isnít it detrimental to the Cuts? The latest F&G news letter shows that down around Lorenzo the browns outnumber the Cuts 3 to 1. As you move up the river to Conant the Cuts dominate with 42% of the population and the browns are only 17%, but they said that both of them have increased while the bows have dropped. If we are really looking to increase and preserve the Cuts wouldnít it be better to loosen up the regs on the browns?

Just a question I have had for a while now, just doesnít make sense to me to leave a limit that lets a more aggressive fish get larger and more predatory while trying to promote another species in the same water.

And no I donít hate browns or bows, truth be known I like them both better since they seem to fight much harder than the Cuts do.


Browns = invasive species. I support increased harvest to protect the native, threatened cutts. My 2 cents...


Don't you think biologists have taken this into consideration and set the limits according to the need? [img]http://www.imhooked.com/...t/rolleyes.gif[/img]

Brown limits are less about the ecology and more about money. If you ask me, most of it is promoted for money for guiding organizations. [img]http://www.imhooked.com/...k.gif[/img]


I have often thought the same thing, that it is about the revenue and not about the ecology of it.

I can see that with the brooks but they are there I know in burns and you rarely see them down in the SF. Only one I have seen in the river actually came from the springs right above where burns dumps in. It went about 10 inches.
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Re: [Bmarsh] South Fork Regulations In reply to
I think the real issue is that Cutts and Rainbows spawn in the spring and can hybridize very easily. If the Rainbows are allowed to go unchecked they will hybridize and then there will be no pure cutts. The Feds would step in and put the cutts on the endangered species list and then we would loose local control of the river.

The browns spawn in the Fall and don't cross with the cutts. I believe they spawn in the main river and not in the tributaries like the cutts.

Windriver
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Re: [flyfishingfool] South Fork Regulations In reply to
I really think it would be a hard strech to actually catch a pure cuttie. Rainbows have been in the system for so long that some where in their DNA you will most likely find find some type of Rainbow DNA in the the cutties DNA. A very interesting boook to read on this subject is "An Entirely synthetic fish". It is a great book that shines alot of insite on this subject.

Personally I think that what they are focusing on spawning behavior. Browns cannot spawn or hybridize with cutties there for they arent worried about them endangering the pure (so to say) genes. Most places where they have introduced Rainbows with cutties they have found rainbow DNA in the native looking cutties. Browns only eat the cutties not pollute the gene pool. My opinion
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Re: [dustponds10] South Fork Regulations In reply to
Great discussion. Perhaps the F&G will weigh in if Windriver makes this the question of the month.

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