Brown trout or sea trout?

cgaines10

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Sure - I appreciate that is a hard thing to be sure of.



What sort of mileage? It surprises me when fishing the south end of Loch Hope, we catch 12 oz finnock with sea lice on them - that's 11 Km from the sea in a day or so.



Aye, but that's the average. What's the smallest?

Col

Around 20 miles.

The smallest is around 3lb, we don't seem to see many caught or trapped below that size.
 

cgaines10

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Mostly seatrout suggests poor feeding in the river. Why do you reckon the trout hang about until they get to 12 inches before smolting???

Col

Fly life is generally poor, most likely from previously pollutions incidents and also agricultural affects, but then we have a run of larger than average sized sea trout than many other rivers.
 

Cap'n Fishy

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Fly life is generally poor, most likely from previously pollutions incidents and also agricultural affects, but then we have a run of larger than average sized sea trout than many other rivers.

It seems all the more odd then, that the trout parr don't smolt as soon as possible and head out to sea - before the pyramid of numbers game reduces their population to the point that it is not worth their while pursuing the strategy of waiting and waiting and waiting... until they are of a size that they would be as well to stay put in the river and just be brownies?

Have you had a fisheries' biologist comment on what is going on with that system?

Col
 

Wee Jimmy

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Yes, as an indicator I see you didn’t quote my other post about samples


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You didn’t mention anything about samples on that thread.You didn’t even bother answering my query about it.
 

cgaines10

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It seems all the more odd then, that the trout parr don't smolt as soon as possible and head out to sea - before the pyramid of numbers game reduces their population to the point that it is not worth their while pursuing the strategy of waiting and waiting and waiting... until they are of a size that they would be as well to stay put in the river and just be brownies?

Have you had a fisheries' biologist comment on what is going on with that system?

Col

Studies are on going at the moment, as you know the more data you can collect the better end summary you can get.
 

cgaines10

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You didn’t mention anything about samples on that thread.You didn’t even bother answering my query about it.

Maybe due to there being two threads on exactly the same thing. Your choice to pick and choose what you comment on, but my post is there from previous.

What is the query? I thought I'd replied to them.
 

Cap'n Fishy

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Maybe due to there being two threads on exactly the same thing.

There are 2 threads that differ only in a capital letter and an extra question mark! It is really confusing, trying to reply to them!!!

It did appear that you were trying to say that the blue on the gill of a trout was a diagnostic of it being a brown trout...

All browns, nice fish too blue gill plate on the first one gives it away.

... but it isn't. It occurs in sea trout as well.

Col
 
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cgaines10

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There are 2 threads that differ only in a capital letter and an extra question mark! It is really confusing, trying to reply to them!!!

It did appear that you were trying to say that the blue on the gill of a trout was a diagnostic of it being a brown trout...



Col

Yes, I'm trying to reply to them both & you both 😅, so if I've missed something as I said above then let me know.

So to try and clarify my opinion, of the tests that I've been a part of & further studies, as a generalisation ST did not display the blue hue on their gill plate. As I also stated this goes along with other key indicators not the only one. If you want to be clever about it, then yes you would need a scale sample. Then you would also need to look into that further and say have they just returned? going again? decided to return to their normal BT habitat and not venture to sea again. It's all very complex in reality. So for a basic eye generalisation on a forum then all you can give is your opinion & as with everything in fishing it's open to interpretation. If you want to call them all brown trout that's fine equally if you want to call brown trout, sea trout or vice versa, each to their own. I'm looking mainly from the point of catch returns being filled in incorrectly and the potentially negative affect it could have on a river system.
 

cgaines10

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Aye, but that is not the same as saying that blue on the gill is sure to make it a brown trout... "blue gill plate on the first one gives it away."

It was a simple reason to add to my initial brief comment for the OP. A comment that I still stand by.


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bobmiddlepoint

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Mostly seatrout suggests poor feeding in the river. Why do you reckon the trout hang about until they get to 12 inches before smolting???

Col

Ah smolt size...
Chalkstreams and other fertile lowland streams in the Westcountry do produce big smolts. Smolts of 10" are common and bigger are not unknown. I know some of the Welsh rivers produce big (10"+) sea trout smolts. I used to see occasional big smolts on Uist too in May/June.

It is also worth remembering that finnock don't overwinter in all rivers in the same way that they do in many east coast Scottish ones. Certainly in the Westcountry no finnock overwinter in the rivers at all. So in the spring all you see is smolts not finnock, the finnock don't appear until July. You start trout fishing on March 15th and all you get nothing but "brown trout", all the sea trout kelts are long gone out to sea. Then in April you suddenly start to see smolts (as they silver up) turning up all over the rivers. Obviously elsewhere it doesn't happen like this but in many places it does and big (10" - 12") smolts are not considered unusual.


Andy
 

Cap'n Fishy

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Ah smolt size...
Chalkstreams and other fertile lowland streams in the Westcountry do produce big smolts. Smolts of 10" are common and bigger are not unknown. I know some of the Welsh rivers produce big (10"+) sea trout smolts. I used to see occasional big smolts on Uist too in May/June.

It is also worth remembering that finnock don't overwinter in all rivers in the same way that they do in many east coast Scottish ones. Certainly in the Westcountry no finnock overwinter in the rivers at all. So in the spring all you see is smolts not finnock, the finnock don't appear until July. You start trout fishing on March 15th and all you get nothing but "brown trout", all the sea trout kelts are long gone out to sea. Then in April you suddenly start to see smolts (as they silver up) turning up all over the rivers. Obviously elsewhere it doesn't happen like this but in many places it does and big (10" - 12") smolts are not considered unusual.


Andy

What does any of that have to do with the statement:

"Mostly seatrout suggests poor feeding in the river. Why do you reckon the trout hang about until they get to 12 inches before smolting???"

(And I was bearing in mind the poster was in Middlesbrough)
 

bobmiddlepoint

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What does any of that have to do with the statement:

"Mostly seatrout suggests poor feeding in the river. Why do you reckon the trout hang about until they get to 12 inches before smolting???"

(And I was bearing in mind the poster was in Middlesbrough)

I probably picked the wrong post to quote, I should have used the one where you said something like "surely that fish is way too big to be a smolt".

Anyway I was simply making the point that the idea that the first fish (in the OP) isn't too big to be a smolt in some places. I doubt that the fish in question is a smolt (I don't think we even know what time of year it was caught) but you couldn't rule it out simply on size unless you knew the river it came from well.

I was also making the point that direct observation in some of the systems I've known well show that big smolts occur and that they are not being confused with finnock.

Andy
 

taffy1

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Well within my comfort zone
My local usually have smolts running to the salt at around 6"-8", the Towy & Dovey, which are well noted for some heavy sea runs both in & out, may quite possibly have larger smolts.
 

bobmiddlepoint

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Mostly seatrout suggests poor feeding in the river. Why do you reckon the trout hang about until they get to 12 inches before smolting???

Col

The other point about this, which was inferred from my comments about fertile rivers, is that these trout aren't hanging about until they reach 12" before smolting. No they are growing fast and might well be younger than a 6" smolt from some relatively barren mountain/moorland system.

Mostly sea trout to me suggest a system with mostly sea trout! Yes the classic view of that is a low nutrient system with abundant spawning giving rise to an over population of tiddlers that head off to sea to find food. These fish then hanging around close to home and returning in the same summer that they smolted as finnock and then spending all winter in the river getting ever thinner. Followed by head back to sea, staying close to home and then returning as sea trout. But as we know in many places they behave completely differently with no freshwater over wintering finnock, long distance migrations, multiple sea winter maiden fish, fish that revert to a fully freshwater life after some years as "sea trout" and all manner of other oddities that don't fit with the classic view.

Sea trout- you can never be completely right, you can never be completely wrong ;)



Andy
 

Cap'n Fishy

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The other point about this, which was inferred from my comments about fertile rivers, is that these trout aren't hanging about until they reach 12" before smolting.

But the OP is saying his river is low in fertility, and that he gets 12 inch smolts in it. So, my question still stands unanswered. Why would a fish stay for an extended period in an infertile river until it had reached 12 inches before smolting? I agree seatrout are strange creatures at the best of times!
 

Cap'n Fishy

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Caught in a smolt trap & inserted with a pit tag. While doing so measurements & weights were carried out. Salmon smolts were on average 4-8” and sea trout smolts 6-12”. Then tracked on their journey downstream & out to sea.

Did you take scale samples from the 12 inch smolts to check that they were not overwintering finnock returning to sea?

Col
 

Laxdale

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Caught in a smolt trap & inserted with a pit tag. While doing so measurements & weights were carried out. Salmon smolts were on average 4-8” and sea trout smolts 6-12”. Then tracked on their journey downstream & out to sea.


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Surely scale samples were taken at the same time?
 
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