Should we be stocking more browns or rainbows?
Where is the best place to fish for a trophy trout?
Where should I fish if I’ve been asked to bring home dinner?
I want my guest to catch a fish, which quarry should we fish?
How would you answer these questions? These are only some of the questions the data may help you answer.
Look at the percent of fish caught by species.
Look at the distribution of fish caught by length
Fisheries management at Limestone Trout Club has changed over the years to respond to member preferences. In 1960 they were proud to achieve a harvest rate of 80% with a gentleman’s limit of 25 pounds and a season average of 10.1 oz/fish! Over time supplemental feeding was introduced to encourage larger fish. By 2008 the stocking of fingerlings in the 2”-3” size was bumped up to 4”-5” to give them a better chance of survival against larger trout. And, the percent of fish harvested had significantly declined. In 2010 larger fish were being stocked with a 35-40% harvest rate and by 2012 when I started computerizing the catch data harvesting had dropped to 27%. The details showed the oft quoted 90/10 rule – 10% of the members harvested 90% of the fish. From 2012 to now the harvest rate continued to drop and now stands at 3.2% for 2018.
With supplemental feeding and fewer fish being harvested we now have healthy home grown trout, more trophy trout, and lower stocking costs – a win-win in anyone’s book. However, maintaining a healthy fishery and managing the biomass of fish requires constant observation and thoughtful management.