Guests - If You want access to member only forums on FM. You will gain access only when you Sign-in or Sign-Up on Fishing Minnesota.

It's easy - LOOK UPPER right menu.

  • RECEIVE THE GIFTS MEMBERS SHARE WITH YOU HERE...THEN...CREATE SOMETHING TO ENCHANT OTHERS THAT YOU WANT TO SHARE

    You know what we all love...

    When you enchant people, you fill them with delight and yourself in return. Have Fun!!!

Sign in to follow this  
Guest

Large Trout Management

Recommended Posts

Guest

I was curious if any of the regular posters on this site have heard of Large Trout Management (LTM)? Below is a summary of the aims of LTM:

Trout Unlimited is leading an initiative in coldwater resources with proposals regarding a new wrinkle in southeast Minnesota trout management called Large Trout Management. Those three words together should have trout fishing enthusiasts licking their chops at the potential for creating and maintaining populations of trout that are significant in size.

Large Trout Management (LTM) is a term developed by a conglomeration of several organizations: SEMTAG (Southeast MN Trout Anglers Group), TU, MTA, and the DNR. The proposals made by these groups to create Large Trout Management are simple really.

1.) LTM calls for a certain number of trout streams (at this time, which streams those are remains uncertain until fall electro shocking data has been analyzed and compared with past year's data) to be managed for large trout purposes. Those streams that are managed for large trout must have certain criteria:

* suitable habitat

* suitable forage base

* limited recruitment

2.) All streams that have regulations, special or experimental, or are open for winter angling purposes, should be designated as artificial lures only. The artificial lures designation also applies to the early catch and release period (April 1-15), the regular harvest season (April 16-September 14), and the fall catch and release period (September 15-30) on those streams with special regulations.

3.) Expand the number of winter angling opportunities by opening more streams during the January 1- March 31 winter angling period.

4.) Future habitat improvement will include an improvement of in stream forage base.

5.) The number of stocked catchables will NOT increase to the total number of trout (non-catchables) stocked in area streams. Also, the group recommends to disperse the number of catchables throughout the southeast region.

6.) The number of streams under LTM will be less than 1/3 of the total number of stream miles. Those streams with LTM designation could possible have a no harvest regulation of a limited harvest regulation. The number of streams that would fall under LTM designation at this point is in the neighborhood of 25.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jim W

Hopper,

Thanks for the wonderful information, keep it coming!
I have too often witnessed the harvesting of large trout. There are streams where a guy can catch trout that some drive out West to catch. With an increased management program implace this should make it more productive.

If your interested, I wouldn't mind having a rep from Trout Unlimited at Next Spring's Trout Day. ALso, if you would be willing to come sharing insight on fly fishing let me know! We would love to have you!!

Thanks again!!!


Jim W

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

I'm not a full fledged TU rep. (I used to be) as I am not an active member per say. There are a bunch of people that I know in TU that would be willing to talk about coldwater resource related items, specifically the guy who knows way more about Large Trout Management than I since he's on the SEMTAG committee.

I still cannot committ to Trout Day yet as my schedule for that time of year is in limbo. If I can make it, I'll know only a few weeks in advance at the earliest, so it's still a possibility.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sarge

Large Trout Management

On the surface it sounds wonderful and does have me licking my chops.

I also used to be a nonactive member of trout unlimited, our Hiawatha chapter has to be one of the most active in stream restoration in the country.IMO. If you have ever fished the crow spring area the last couple years, you can see that many nice
trout can reside in a fairly small stream, with the work that was done. So in general I support what TU does.

But I have some questions, since I am no longer in the "loop".
1) SEMTAG when was this created? who can I contact to learn more about this organization? what affiliation do they have with TU?
2)The criteria for these streams, habitat,forage and limited recruitment. What does "limited recruitment" mean?
3)How do they plan to increase the "in-stream forage base"? I have my ideas of what forage creates large trout, what is TU's, and how can it be accomplished?

As far as stocking goes, They state "there has been some discussion about reducing the total number of miles stocked with catchable trout. Then increasing the number if streams that would recieve catchablesize trout. Each of these stream would have a relatively small reach that would be stocked. The total number of trout stocked would be the same as in the past but they would be stocked more often in shorter stream reaches on a greater munber of stream. The idea was to evenly disperse the stocking of catchable thru out the S.E. region."

What does this mean? To me it sounds like they want to create "put and take" stream sections, like Iowa. What advantages does that have for groups like TU.

I like, no I love, the idea of having larger trout swim in SE MN, but I need more information, because what you see isn't always what you get.

By the sounds of this,LTM will effect all people who fish for trout, so lets make sure that we understand it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

First of all, I am not a SEMTAG rep., a TU guy, or any of the above. I am a trout angler with a mind towards conservation and the LTM sounds good to me.

I agree that the Hiawatha Chapter does more than all other chapters combined and that Crow Spring is phenominal (tough to fish in the heart of summer - but that's an opinion). I also support TU's mission in general, although I think they neglect bait anglers and artificial lure guys without a doubt. They are viewed as an elitist fly fishing organization by many, but there argument is that ANY angler regardless of means should support coldwater resources and their protection. Somehow, bait anglers and lure chuckers get left out of it.

Anyway...I do know that SEMTAG was created several years ago and has worked hand in hand with organizations like the DNR, TU, and MTA to improve and enhance SEMN trout fisheries. Have they succeeded? This proposal is a huge step. I cannot answer all the specifics to your questions - the specifics of those goals are being ironed out as we speak.

Stocking - I think you'll see a larger dispersement of catchables and of non-catchables, especially to the areas that they deem "LTM" water, ehcih they are in the process fo doing after the fall electro-shock period. I have no doubt that TU would like to see catchables removed from certain stretches of water. An example would be the Quincy Bridge area in Whitewater. Why do all of that intensive H.I. and spend thousands of dollars only to stock the place with regularity to the point of over fishing? It makes no sense.

I do, however, like the idea of artificial lures only on ALL experimental reg waters (Camp Creek, N. Branch WW, etc). This may lead to putting those "catchables" in areas that aren't under any special regulations, etc, but I say - consider all of the trout water in SEMN and then add up the number of miles that have any type of special regs (regs to protect fish and enhance the fishery - specifically to improve numbers and size). The total outweighs heavily the total number of trout water - so I say more is better in that case.

I agree, LTM will have a huge effect on people who fish for trout, specifically those that harvest trout on a regular basis (not that harvest is a bad thing). It will do two things: create streams that you cannot legally keep certain size fish, but it will also increase the potential for growth - both in size and numbers,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sarge

Thanks Hopper! I think I will contact Tom D. and see what kind of info I can get, I'll post any thing interesting.

If anyone else can help fill in the blanks pelase do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mark p

Hopper,

I read somewhere about a LTM study done on a section of Trout Run. I think I saw it on the MN TU mesage board or anglers discussion. I know there was some arguement about how legitimate the study was etc. but I really don't want to get into any of that. Supposedly the MN DNR was going to electro shock that section of the stream to compare it to other stretches of Trout Run or maybe other streams.

I was wondering what you know about this study and what the results looked like, or at least your opinion of what the electro shocking showed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jim W

Hey Mark,
First of all this is not a direct response to your question however I think it holds some weight. At last years Trout Day we were given a electro-fishing demo by the Lanesboro fisheries office.
This technique isn't 100%. Not all fish can be sampled. SOme are scared off by the electrical waves, swimming ahead of their soon to be captors, some are forced into submission in undercuts, stumps etc. and some are netted. Some can die from this technique, but this rarely occurs.
Just a little tid bit and promo! SOrry.

Jim W

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

Mark,

I used to have access to fish the section of Trout Run in question, but no longer do for a variety of reasons. Anyway, the section is some of the best trout water in the state of Minnesota - it has numbers and it has big fish. The streamside H.I. is impeccable and under some very particular regulations mandaqted by the landowner and his cronies that he allows to fish it.

Is the study valid? I think the DNR uses is as a measuring stick and Tom Dornack designed that stretch of water and is "the riverkeeper" there so to speak - he also happens to be on the SEMTAG board and the LTM committee, so I think you can see where I'm going with this.

Consider that this is a private sretch of water that allows less than ten persons to fish it with a stringent set of catch and release guidelines (and some harvest quotas as well) with intensive habitat improvement through the boundaries - now ask yourself is this a valid study??

My opinion is that NO stream is ever under this kind of care and protection (Get a number and wait in line to fish it...) - that's hardly the case. So my opinion is that it may be a nice feather in the cap of Tom Dornack and kudos to the landowner for their work, but it's a controlled study using Trout Run as the example. No other stream is under this kind of strict control.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

Sorry for the diatribe about the validity of the study (which I feel it is not valid), and to answer the question fo comparison, the DNR is going to use fall elctro-shock data and use past numbers to work with SEMTAG in coming up with a plan for LTM and what streams it will work on. I have no idea what streams they are looking at although someone in Lanesboro should know (Jim Wagner perhaps) or Lake City (Tim Schlagenhaft)

Obviously, there are some that will be better candidates than others and I like most of their points behind the theory of LTM.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mark p

Hopper,

Does this mean you don't know the results of the electro-shocking done by the DNR, or they haven't done it yet?

If they have increased the number of large fish, it does show that you can come up with regulations that will increase their numbers. Unfortunately, if you would have to limted the fishermen to do it not too many people would be in favor of it. Heck they could just limit it to zero and there would be plenty of big fish. I agree that this study certainly wouldn't show for sure what would happen on public water even with regulations. It would be nice to see them try it on at least a few streams to see what happens and then they could always increase the number of streams if it successful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

The electroshocking was done this fall - the results should be in by now. I know that the LTM was going to work on a list of potential streams and come up with in the neighborhood of 25 streams total (or sections of 25 streams). It's not an etched in stone status, but the rumors I have heard are the 2003 angling season as it will take 2002 (along with more electro data I assume) before concrete proposals are made.

The study does show one thing like you said - the ability to grow large fish and healthy numbers of them, even if the data is certainly one sided.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sarge

I see that there is some serious thought into LTM on not only designated trout streams but also nondesignated waters that hold trout.

Any comments to this?

SEMSMA members may also want to look into this, if LTM is placed on nondesignated waters it may affect smallmouth fishing?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jim W

The non-designated waters could no longer be considered non-designated. Unless that is it was 100% catch and release, or if the streeams were not made public.

Anything that would or could harm the smallmouth of SE MN, especially in the Root River system, would be in for a good fight!!!!!

Jim W

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

I can see the smallie guys getting huffy about LTM form the vantage point that LTM may require all species within that range of non-designated waters to be released (maybe the'd like this idea - I don't know). Some of the comments going around now revolve around keeping non-designated waters just that, but also perhaps requiring more stringent regulations for the species on them - in this case trout. I'm not sure the consideration of smallmouth has been discussed since it's about LTM (trout management), not LSM (smallmouth management).

Personally, I'd be in favor of LTM on trout waters that have no designation, and to take it a step further, I'd be in favor of trophy management (18-20 inch minimum size limit), or catch-and-release period.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jim W

Don't get me wrong Hopper, if there is a positive sollution for all species with in the system, I 'm game. I don't keep smallies anyway. The camera usually accompanies me!

I think I can speak for a few out there abut designating waters. It definitely has it's positives, but it also has it's negatives.

The biggest concern I have is over-exposure of a stream or river. I have spent years looking for less trodden waters, walking miles, asking permission from land owners, establishing good fisherman/landowner relations.

At times, I find myself "patroling" a few of these non-desginated waters, ensuring proper use. So, I suppose if they became designated and were afforded similar protection from the DNR. I might be in favor.

I am scared that some land owners will immediately shut their doors!!!

Besides, I currently fish some streams that are LTM'ed by myself, Sarge, JA SAY TREE and others. MEaning, there are good numbers of large trout caught and released each season!

I guess I need to see all sides of this program, who supports it, who gets to access it etc.

Look at what Trout Unlimited has done with Trout Run. Doing fine work in refurbishing a stream, but then not helping the public access it????

Also, through the grapevine, I have heard advocacy of LTM has started from programs on lakes up North. IN arguement, they compare how it has succeeded in these lakes. Sorry but you can't even get close to convincing me these are similar ecosytems.

Whfewww! enough said for now!

Hey Hopper, still need ya at Trout Day!!!


Jim W

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
J.A.Say.Tree

Hopper,

I like the whole idea of "trophy management," but what exactly do you mean by the 18-20 inch minimum? I guess to some a 18-20 inch trout is a trophy, and to each his own... However, fish of this size (in the right system) are the most precious to me... I take great pride in handling these fish with care, and love to think what they will be after a year or two of devouring chubs and crawdaddies... over 5 pounds! A REAL TROPHY!

JA

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

Okay, one at a time - I too am a non-des-aholic and fish many non-des. waters. In fact, my largest trout routinely come from these waters, specifically the Root. I have no scientifc data to prove the minimum should be 18 or 20 inches, it was just a large number I threw out there. Is it a trophy - to some yes. To me, it's a nice fish. I'd say anything over 22 inches is real trophy material - but that's just me.

I can see why guys who have access to a lot of non-des. waters would cringe at LTM on them. It could potentially shut down landowner relations. But in reality, does the landowner actually own the water - no, nor do they own the inhabitants of that water. While I appreciate your patroling an area, the reality is that LTM on non. des. private land would benefit the fishery and create a trophy situation for trout. Smallmouth have not been mentioned in LTM to my knowledge. Easement issues would be the real key to non-des. waters with LTM.

Those of us who fish hardcore are always worried about over-exposure to a stream, but let's be honest, there are very few "secrets" anymore - perhaps there are some if you consider the use of private land that is landowner/user controlled like you suggest you guys have, or as if the case on Trout Run. A stream can be designated, but not necessarily have easements, so I don't see the concern over designating non-des. as LTM waters. I'm not too fearful of other guys angling an area, but I get concerned when I see the same guys with full creels, five gallon buckets, etc.

Trout Run was not and has not recently been managed for any harbitat improvement. The piece of water that was used for the LTM study is privately owned and underwent masssive habitat improvement not by Trout Unlimited or its dollars (although I have heard reports that the guys who died the H.I. used Hiawatha Chapter equipment - cost free), but by other forms of resources. In other words, TU guys did the work, but TU didn't pay for it - it's a bad example of public access, but a great example of LTM.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sarge

I agree with Jim that my biggest fear would be over exposure of these nondesignated streams. But like Hopper said without he owner selling the easement, LTM is unlikely on these streams. And knowing most of these landowners in this particular area, that will not happen. Its not that they don't like people fishing, but they don't want people they don't know wondering around their backyard, or back 400 acres for that matter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sarge

On monday night I attended the TU meeting on LTM.

Bill Thorn the regional Fisheries cold water biologist from Lake City spoke about the different aspects of LTM. Kevin Stauffer the Fisheries manager and Mark Ebbers the State cold water program Director were also there and helped answer questions.

Some of the things discussed were
* SEMN stream history
* Data collection
* Growth rates
* Evaluation of current streams
* Habitat diversity (Jim Karr)

Because of work I was unable to stay for the whole time, but after the hour and a half I was there, I learned a few new things, remembered some things I had forgotten, and in general, feel a lot more positive towards the good things LTM can accomplish.

There has been some good thought put into this and I left feeling that they want to get it right before it is started, The DNR has excellent data from the last 30 years on SEMN streams (probably the best in the nation).

The people that were at this meeting asked alot of good question, and the TU guys were much friendlier than I had remembered. They had alot of different opinions, but it was clear they were there because they care.

If you get a chance to attend any meetings on LTM, go, ask question and give your input!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this