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Size Of Stocked Fish?


Wayne SW/MO

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I haven't fished the lake in years, but a friend wanted me to go with him last week. We caught a few in the Forsyth area and only one would have nudged 12", the rest were about 9-10" fish. Is this the size they stock routinely?

Today's release is tomorrows gift to another fisherman.

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  • Root Admin

Supposed to average 11.5 inches. Some of the fish they stocked last week in the Branson Landing area were 15 inches. Sometimes they're 9 inches. I guess that's what they call "average".

What you're seeing is typical. It varies a lot.

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Phil, I believe you made a comment in a previous thread that the average stay of a Rainbow below Fall Creek is 30 days. Isn't this a terribly inefficient way to manage a fishery. Once in the lake food is free, growth rates are very high and space is abundant. Using the lake to grow fish would have a much lower cost per inch of fish. If 30 days became 90 days the results would be dramatic. Maybe the average fish would be as high as 15" with no additional cost.

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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  • Root Admin

Not sure how you'd extend 30 days into 90 without more restrictions on limit, lures and size- like the trophy area.

30 days is a number MDC came up with through their creel surveys back in the 80's and 90's. That's when there was a 5-fish limit.

They also found that people wanted bigger fish rather than more fish. So they increased the average size of rainbows from less than 10 inches to 11.5 inches and reduced the limit to 4.

I don't know what the growth rates is on rainbows and I'm not sure you can say the food supply is great. I know the scud population isn't what it used to be. I wouldn't call is "bad" but I don't think it's good enough to grow these fish any faster than the hatchery.

Shane and Clint have agreed to speak to a TU/Ozarkanglers meeting this winter to talk about Taneycomo's trout fishery. I have not scheduled it yet but I want to hold it at the Springfield Nature Center probably in January.

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Yes I would suggest a small shift from put and take to put, grow and take. The majority of the fishery on the majority of the lake is basically unrestricted, I would hope some restrictions wouldn't be too much of a cultural change. Stocking rates could also be reduced to be more inline with capacity. I would be curious to hear the managers response to the simple question: Where is the most cost effective place to raise fish , the hatchery or the lake?

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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If time is no concern, lake raised is the no-cost growth regime, trout feed is expensive. On the other hand, you can grow a 2lb captive fed trout in 30-50% of the time as naturally fed. If they're trying to maintain a balance stock in the lake, X in = X out. they have to stock whatever size is acceptable.

I can't dance like I used to.

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  • Root Admin

The majority of the people who fish this lake use bait, fish below Fall Creek and really don't care to change their methods of fishing to help grow bigger fish. Yes they'd love to catch the big one... but overall they just want to fish with bait and catch their limit.

Bait is the key... you can't do much in the way of slot restriction or length limit restriction without making some kind of bait restriction and bait restriction (the way tourist fish) I don't think can be messed with. Of course, from a resort owner's position that sounds self serving and it may be but trout stamp revenues pay for most of the trout put in this lake and tourist buy most of those trout stamps.

If I had MY way, I'd restrict the whole lake if I thought it would grow bigger trout (and it would) but I understand the marketing and politics of the area and I know that will never happen.

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What if they drop the number of fish allowed caught and put in larger sized stocked fish like they did in Lake Catherine in Arkansas not that many years ago. I don't know if it's a fair model because the trout fishing in the Ouchita chain is not that important to the overall fishery.

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From a producers point of view, if the goal is bigger fish, you just have to wait longer to get them there. You could have those 10" fish double their mass in 4-5 months with intensive feeding, Feed conversion stays fairly stable till they peak around 2.5 lbs, which takes another year. The last feed I bought in '98 was $35/hundred, it's likely twice that now. Gov, clients probably pay ~$50. If they get a modest 2 to 1 ratio, it takes a dollar's feed to make a pound of trout. 10,000 one lbers or 5,000 two lbers. the feed cost's the same.

Space efficiency might dictate you relase half at 10" and give the rest a little room to finish.

I can't dance like I used to.

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