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Conspiracy Theory


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I got the new conservationist in the mail today. It had a picture of a beautiful brown on the front. This being right up my alley I turn to the cover credits and what do I see? The phrase "A wild brown trout is caught in the North Fork of the White." I can hear the head lines now: MDC accidentally lets the cat out of the bag. Browns reproducing in the North Fork of the White. Conspiracy linked to the mafia and the Illuminati. Bigfoot is next.

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I was under the impression that there was some spawning on the NFOW and the 11 Point?

Today's release is tomorrows gift to another fisherman.

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Years ago, I believe during the Spence Turner (MDC Coldwater Biologist) era, they determined the Brown Trout eggs died on a specifc day after fertilization in the NFOW. Seems like they determined it was either a water temp or DO (dissolved oxygen) issue. I don't recall the details but assume they would have had to create the scenario artificially by capturing males and females at the right time and utilize a Whitlock-Vibert Box to place the fertiilized eggs in the streambed, and then able to briefly remove to observe each day.

Not sure if they ever experimented with different strains of Browns.

Would certainly be awesome if those ole Browns could consistently reproduce in that great fishery.

How about it, Brian???

Bill Butts

Springfield MO

"So many fish, so little time"

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As the Brian on the 11 Point I can say for sure there is no brown trout spawning because they are not there. I have caught a baby brown on the NFOW, but it was 1 out of 20 baby trout and the rest were bows. I don't think there is much successful brown spawning there, but they certainly spawn. Wise or Spencer can tell you more.

www.elevenpointflyfishing.com

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Not sure if they ever experimented with different strains of Browns.

Would one of the strains that thrive south of the equator spawn later in the winter when conditions are more favorable? FWIW many years ago I caught a tiny brown with parr marks on Current.

His father touches the Claw in spite of Kevin's warnings and breaks two legs just as a thunderstorm tears the house apart. Kevin runs away with the Claw. He becomes captain of the Greasy Bastard, a small ship carrying rubber goods between England and Burma. Michael Palin, Terry Jones, 1974

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They toss baby browns in the Current, North Fork, and Meramec. MDC states they do not breed in the wild, but I have seen them on the redds. There are reasons to believe that some may succeed.

No Browns in the 11pt. NFS restricts stocking to rainbows only.

"Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously."

Hunter S. Thompson

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The official word from MDC is that there is no measurable reproduction of brown trout in the NFOW, due to the temperature being too warm at the spawn in late fall and early winter. Of course the rainbows have been reproducing wild since 1964 when stocking rainbows was halted. I too have caught several 4" browns with par marks, including one while on a leisure float with an MDC fisheries biologist. I held it up to him and he immediately reminded me that there is no measurable reproduction and insisted that the fish was within the slot length that they stock, but he didn't say a wild brown was impossible. This guy is as honest as the day is long, but I have to think that a few of those dinks with par marks are wild. That said there are some 6000 browns that get stocked in the NFOW every year. With out that stocking I’m sure the species would disappear. As for the cover credit, I bet we’ll see a retraction in the next issue.

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Since all trout in MO are non-native fish, ie, introduced species for the enjoyment of game fishers, what does the term "wild" really mean?

When I think of wild, I think of something that has originated in the habitat and is maintained by natural means.

What we have is introduced species that have spawned and reproduced in several streams and are considered naturally reproducing. But they are not really native wild species.

"Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously."

Hunter S. Thompson

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