Archive for the ‘Biology’ Tag

Why should you put the big fish back?   3 comments

Here’s why you shouldn’t harvest that 30-inch brown you pulled out of the Driftless. Why we don’t have slot limits in our trout streams is beyond me.

Menomonee River Fish Habitat   7 comments

The wrecking ball has started swinging in the Menomonee River in Milwaukee this week, removing a 1,100 foot concrete channel that prevented fish from passing upstream. This work follows in the footsteps of major dam removal projects up and down the Milwaukee River that have allowed for fish and wildlife habitat restoration.

There are salmon and steelhead runs in the Menomonee River, but they’re stopped short upon reaching the concrete channel because the currents are too swift for them to swim through successfully. Restoration of the channel back to a more natural state will allow fish to explore 17 miles of water upstream, all the way up to another man made barrier, the Lepper Dam, in Menomonee Falls.

 

The flow of water has been redirected and is being pumped around it. The Wisconsin Ave. bridge is in the background. The pipes carrying the water around this section are at right and left. - Image credit: Michael Sears

The flow of water has been redirected and is being pumped around it. The Wisconsin Ave. bridge is in the background. The pipes carrying the water around this section are at right and left. – Image credit: Michael Sears

The next step is for communities like Menomonee Falls and Grafton to recognize that removing obsolete dams and restoring natural rapids and falls can enhance their communities in many ways, including tourism dollars from fisherman chasing migrating fish.

Erik Helm, the Fishing Manager at Orvis in Glendale, Wisconsin has eloquently written about what could happen in either of these towns if only their residents would look back to what existed before the mill ponds.

Imagine a place like West Bend becoming a spawning habitat for steelhead. Imagine the reinvigorated riverway, no longer smelly and stale but clear-running and full of wild things. East and West, communities are working to tear down old dams, restoring beautiful, historic rivers for the enjoyment of all. Milwaukee is doing it, and yeah, Grafton and Menomonee Falls can do it too.

 

 

Fish Activity and Water Temps   6 comments

OK all you biologists out there. I have a theory.

The graph below shows water temps at a monitoring station in Black Earth Creek, with the last data point being taken at 8:00am. In my opinion the ideal water temp for trout activity is in the range between 59-degrees and 64-degrees F. The temp of the water goes through that range twice a day in the spring and summer.

Overnight and early this morning it has dropped from the high 60’s and has come down through that range. Later today it will climb again and will go up through that range.

 

Stream Temps on BEC at Black Earth, WI

 

So, my theory: Trout are more likely to actively feed as the temps increase through the ideal temp range.

Counter-theories would be that…

 

  1. Trout are more likely to actively feed as the temps decrease through the ideal temp range, or
  2. As long as the water is within the ideal temp range, Trout don’t care if it’s increasing or decreasing, they’re equally active in either scenario.

 

Does anybody out there have ideas or perhaps even data to support any of these theories?