11/08/13 – Well, most of the Kennebec is closed to fishing now and this will be one of if not the last Friday Updates for the season. I’ll start the Thursday Reviews soon. But for the time being our fall rains have held off and we have good wading – fairly cold but good wading. Or I should say that’s the way I remember November but according to Accuweather.com we may luck out and skip the big November rains this year. They show little rain in the forecast and temps holding in the mid-40’s through to Thanksgiving. I suspect many (myself included) will take advantage of that. However, fishing, or at least catching, is slowing with the reduced temps and lack of insect activity.
Shawmut was stocked about a week ago. Fall yearlings that range up to 15″ right now. They probably won’t grow over the winter but if they hang around through next summer by next fall these guys will be breaking tippet 🙂 for us because they are strong fish. Colorful also. But more importantly these fish are part of a two-year Radio Telemetry Project IF&W in conducting. A study that hopefully will pave the path for the recovery of Shawmut’s collapsed fishery and boost Brown Trout survival statewide.
This project was outlined in the Presentations IF&W made during October. If you missed the presentations and would like to review them the Kennebec Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited has put the slides on their website and here’s a link for you.
The “New Gloucester” strain IF&W has stocked for years seems to grow well in some areas and not so well in others. Why? No one knows for sure so two new strains are being tested. Hopefully, test results will show the problem is the “New Gloucester” strain because we can do something about that – simply switch strains. If that isn’t the problem the solution will require more time and testing. Here’s hoping the answer at the end of the test is that one or both of these new strains perform well.
There is a lot of good information in the slides IF&W provided and I urge you to take a look at them. It won’t take you long, The presentations are broken up into three river sections – The Forks to Bingham – Solon and Madison – Skowhegan and Shawmut.
One important note about this study – THERE ARE ONLY 24 RADIO TAGGED TROUT. If you catch one please put it back as quickly and carefully as you can. Radio-tagged fish are expensive fish and the whole project depends on some of them surviving through a couple of seasons. If someone catches them and takes them home or kills them by way of rough handling it will have a negative impact on the study. So how will you know if you’ve caught one – don’t worry you’ll know because they will be the only ones swimming around with a surgical scar and a wire hanging out of them. Take a look at this photo and you’ll see what I mean.
Well, that’s about all I know about it. They are out there. People have been catching them (no tagged ones yet that I’ve heard of thankfully) and I for one will be out there next spring with new hope – make that I might be out there today with new hope :-). Either way I hope you can find time to take advantage of this good weather and get out and fish or hunt if you’d rather. And remember – if you catch a tagged fish please return it quickly and carefully.
PS- curious little note – here’s a photo of an Adipose Fin on one of the new Brown Trout. I thought only trout and salmon had this fin but today I found out Catfish have it as well. Who knew Catfish, Trout and Salmon had something in common.