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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Barcombe, Sussex
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: Sussex Ouse Tributaries Sea Trout

    Interesting to hear that there are Barbel up there. I wonder how they got there.

    Each year carp seem to be more prevalent in the Ouse, brought in from commercial fisheries and ponds by the regular floods they take a liking to the river's ever reducing flows and breed sucessfully. As indigenous species like chub and trout that prefer the healthier faster running water decline so the numbers of scum-loving carp increase.

    :-(
    Last edited by mc2; 02-05-2011 at 10:34 AM.
    Simon Turner
    Barcombe, Lewes

  2. #12

    Default Re: Sussex Ouse Tributaries Sea Trout

    The fish you have caught recently are very nice but I would be amazed if they are sea trout. They may well be the remains of your overwintered stocked fish. If some of your fish were mixed sex, rather than trips, then there is no reason why there wouldn't be some spawning activity at the inlet to your lake. Sussex Ouse and Adur sea trout do run at some rather unusal times but to find their way at the very top of the system in April on the back of two months with no rain is odd to say the least! Certainly don't look like well mended kelts but I guess not impossible, particularly if the lake acts as a trap for downstream migration. Don't forget that any trout in a Sussex lake built on weald clay will turn silver very quickly so don't expect colour and red spots.

    As for weirs. They are a huge issue. Yes fish can pass huge structures under very particular flow conditions but delay equals mortality as pointed out by Mc2

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Barcombe, Sussex
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: Sussex Ouse Tributaries Sea Trout

    I'm not sure whether removing scales from live fish is a good idea but if you feel it's OK then you might consider sending a few of the scales from any large fish you catch off to SOCS member Dr Clive Fetter who is the scientist conducting the scales reading tests. If you PM me I'll send you his details.
    I know for sure that a few sea trout run the Shortbridge stream so I guess it's possible they entered your lake over Christmas and then got stuck.

    I was interested in apt1s assertion that a fish would become more silver in your lake as I'd have expected the reverse to be true. When trout come up the river fresh they are very silver and then get darker the longer they stay in the river, as they get darker their spots become more prominent. Knowing how muddy the Powder Mill lakes are I'd have assumed that any trout in them would have become darker quite quickly. In the photo I posted of the three dead trout above, the bottom one with the large kype looks like it's been resident in the Ouse for quite some while whereas the top one is beautifully clean, bright sliver, not a scratch on it and hardly any discernible spots. That one had made it from the sea to Sutton Hall weir in a few hours.

    It's interesting that you think your stockies might mate with the sea trout. There is another study currently being undertaken on the geneology of the trout, partially to figure out where they go to when at sea (do they just hang about by the mouth of the Estuary or do they travel the Atlantic, mix with others or what?). This is an International study and not solely concerned with Sussex Ouse sea trout. Dr Clive Fetter has amassed a large number of scales in the last few decades and these have provided a great sample for the Ouse. OAPS records show that the Ouse sea trout were refreshed with ones taken from the Wandle (and it has been surmised that the peculiarly spotless one in the photo might be a Wandle descendant).
    Simon Turner
    Barcombe, Lewes

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Maresfield, East Sussex
    Posts
    150

    Default Re: Sussex Ouse Tributaries Sea Trout

    Well these were definately sea trout, unless the 6lb browns I stocked turned into 12lb silver trout over a 12 month period......

    The browns here are very brown with very orange/red spots, one of the sea trout even had scales missing from the top of its head and tail sections. They are stuck here in the lake. I saw one jump an hour ago, they come clean out of the water like salmon, straight up.

    Now this one I caught out of season in Feb accidently while hoiking out RBs from the weir pool and this one looks like a farmed fish that has been to sea for a while..very different to the more recent ones in the lake and half the size, but completely different to the browns here.
    Last edited by brightontrader; 02-05-2011 at 05:58 PM. Reason: adding pic

  5. #15

    Default Re: Sussex Ouse Tributaries Sea Trout

    A scale should clear up if these fish are sea trout or over wintered browns. A 29 inch fish will weigh approx 9lb although a 29 inch fresh run ouse sea trout could nudge the 12lb mark. If the lake was only stocked the once last year with fish to 6lb then it is unlikely that these fish are now nudging double figures - especially now after a long cold winter. Sea trout and stockies can and will interbreed - hence the need for stocking to be restricted to sterile fish. Regarding the colour - the more turbid the water the lighter the fish will be in appearance.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Maresfield, East Sussex
    Posts
    150

    Default Re: Sussex Ouse Tributaries Sea Trout

    in the interests of scientific accuracy and with complete disregard for the risk of an EA cefas prosecution, which I have been warned about, the sea trout pictures I posted were taken more than 4 weeks ago, the clue is in the warm jacket....

    The sea trout are still there though and still silver, I write this looking at the lake from my PC only 20M away. The lake is stocked mixed RBs and Browns so no closed season,(that is the problem with hammer lakes) I had no idea these could come over the weir, in fact thought the culvert 1 mile away stopped them coming up here at all. (Hence catching them on barbless sz14 ptns. Once I realised they were there I moved up to a 7wt from a 5wt to get them in quicker if one took.)

    I have opened the screens and lowered the weir pool but there was only one large brown in there.

    What will happen to the trapped sea trout if they remain in the lake and vicinity for the rest of the year if there is not enough rain to enable a return to the sea.

    The water here BTW is fairly clear these days as the carp are gone, when I bought the place the coarse sydicate seine netted the lakes and removed virtually everything leaving only silver fish and pike. It only clouds after rain.

    I can see the sea trout chasing shoals of fry, which suits me fine as its really annoying as roach take dry cdc s...and even nymphs readily. The over wintered fish are in suberb condition, the rainbows have gone redder with vivid wider stripes, the browns are almost half the stocked weight but colour is perfect and they fight like mini marlin.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Brighton, UK
    Posts
    3,636

    Default Re: Sussex Ouse Tributaries Sea Trout

    This is a fascinating thread guys particularly as being Sussex born and bred myself and growing up fishing Barcombe Mills (although I usually hammered the chub while my pops had the Weir Pool).

    BrightonTrader - is this a relatively new water you have obtained then or something you have had a chance to study for a season or two already? The chance to be able to watch trout of any kind chasing shoals of fry in clear water is amazing. I am also intrigued by the small barbel sightings mentioned also.

    I will keep watching this thread with interest.

    Paul

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Maresfield, East Sussex
    Posts
    150

    Default Re: Sussex Ouse Tributaries Sea Trout

    2nd season living here. Water is not gin clear but clear enough to see 2-3foot. /It was a very private 10 acres sydicate run lake rented from previous owner, with day tickets on 3 other lakes of the 7 here. Closed to public now, letting the place recover as also syndicate shot everything that moved before I took it over as well as stripping out fish.

    A fish farmer rented 2 small lakes and used some bits of the streams to bring on various coarse fish, hence the barbel I think, didn't get them all when he left.

    I stocked mixed trout in main lake and an experimental smaller section with good flow where I feed a selection to see if the water is good enough to support them.

    The results have been great. Over wintering didn't lose any apart from to cormorants, herons, mink and travellers..and now it seems there is a natural population so I cancelled a small stocking order from Duncton Mills. So has not been stocked for over 12 months.

    The fishing here is hard, the fish have gone to nature. You have to present carefully what they are feeding on or forget it. THe reward is fighting fit fish with beautiful colouring. I only take damaged fish, the meat is almost white, lost the farmed pink, also much firmer.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Barcombe, Sussex
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: Sussex Ouse Tributaries Sea Trout

    Fascinating. Is there any reason to suspect that the sea trout came up this year? Could they have been there longer? It'd be interesting to know if the Carp syndicate had ever seen sea trout jumping.

    As I said SOCS did some work to the Batts Bridge culvert and will be doing more work on the Shortbridge stream this coming year, possibly on the culvert you mention. Is it this one on the estate to the East of you? It's where the stream is nearest to the A road.There is a small tributary entering into the pool on the right.



    I was judging the clarity of your main lake by the smaller ponds that can be seen from the path. I imagine trapped sea trout would have a much better chance of a survival in a clear lake. I'd have thought oxygen levels will pretty crucial for them though. I wonder what they'll do when its time to spawn?

    Scale readings would be very interesting indeed.

    I've had access to Plumpton Mill which is a situation similar to yours. There are sizeable browns trapped trapped in a pool below their lake. They are thin and although large for brown trout much smaller than these sea trout you have caught.

    I'll point this thread out to those in SOCS much more knowledgeable in these matters than me.
    Simon Turner
    Barcombe, Lewes

  10. #20

    Default Re: Sussex Ouse Tributaries Sea Trout

    The most likely senario with any sea trout trapped in the lake is that they will rapidly lose condition and die. Having said that I guess if there are huge numbers of roach fry to hoover up then there is just a chance that they might recondition. The one thing I have learned about sea trout is never say never!

    I do hope you will do your best allow wild fish to pass both up and down through your lakes. Boards to hold level are one thing but screening isn't an option on watercourses where wild fish migrate.

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