Headhunters Fly Shop in Craig Montana has an excellent post today related to recognizing and protecting trout redds.
A redd is a spawning nest cleared in gravel by the female salmonid (salmon, steelhead, trout). The female forms several depressions in the gravel forming egg pockets into which she deposits her eggs – with the size of a redd dependent on the size of the fish making the nest. While they photograph well from above, they can be difficult for a wading angler to see. Caution and care are the watchwords during spawning seaon.
You can read the post here.
The Columbia Basin Fish & Wildlife News Bulletin reports that a new study adds to the increasing literature on the fish mortality caused by catch and release practices. The study adds recommendations to further ensure we as fly fishers are not contributing to delayed mortality of the fish we target. The key recommendation coming from this study is that no more than ten seconds of air exposure should elapse from capture to release. Even this may be too much for a significantly stressed fish.
Three factors to consider are exhaustion, water temperature, and air exposure.
As I had written earlier here, fly fishers need to use tackle that brings the fish in as quickly as possible to minimize exhaustion. The days should be gone when fly fishers exalt over using very light tackle that requires long fights to land fish. An interaction with a live wild animal, even with a short fight, should be the thrill.
Fly Fishers should also refrain from fishing when water temperatures exceed the normal for the target species. For trout, that means no fishing above 68 degrees – and lower for some species (read here).
And finally, air exposure leads to a cascading set of conditions that dramatically increase mortality for the fish: Rainbow trout in particular have the highest mortality when exposed to air after the struggle to be landed. The fish should be kept in the water – even for a photograph (see here).
We have a responsibility to the fish we love and that we seek to bring to net. Each fish must be thought of as a link in a chain, with that chain leading to the future of the fishery.
You can read article here.