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Hi all,

Things have been rather quiet around these parts so I thought I would get some opinions on open season for trout. I recently read an article in a fly fishing magazine showing some monster brown trout being taken on the fly in the rivers surrounding the great lakes in fall/winter.

I am looking for thoughts on why our trout season ends so early when there are still fish around. I assume it is for conservation but thought there may be more to it. I was catching decent numbers of brown trout up to the end of the season so I know they are still around.

What are your thoughts on an extended season with additional regulations (no bait, single hook, barbless, catch and release only, etc)? I would LOVE the opportunity to keep fishing after the end of September as would many others I am sure.

This was actually my first year fishing browns and after landing a few big ones I actually stopped fishing for everything else! I am eagerly counting down the days - April 1st cant come soon enough!


Anyways, I don't expect any regulation changes, just some opinions.

Take care all.

Chris
 

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I'm with you on that one, As far as I'm concerned the provincial fishing regulations are old and outdated, and in need of an overhaul. I used to hunt when I was younger, but haven't gone in probably 10 years or more. Fishing has always been my passion. I'm happy to be able to fish year long now, for when I was a kid this wasn't the case, but we surely need more lakes open year round, or from my opinion a few lakes closed to all year fishing, but the majority should be open.
 

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Why dont you try for rainbows. They are open all year. Or if you really wanna fish in october you could start salmon fishing. You will never care if you catch a dirty ol brown again
 

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It does come down to conservation. Both Brook trout and browns spawn in the autumn in NS, and with Brookies being the primary concern (browns being non-native and arguably severely detrimental to Atlantic salmon), the month of October is the month to protect. Not only is capture during spawning potentially disruptive and harmful, but capture prior to spawning (how long before is debatable) may also affect the quality of eggs and subsequently the production of juveniles. That being said, I don't think that some more winter opportunities, starting in November even, would be a bad deal, provided the season did not interfere with salmon spawning in November.

Eddie
 

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ive been doing a lot of research into regulations and seasons in the other provinces
and in most of the bordering states
one of the big things ive noticed is that a lot list seasons for lakes and ponds separately from
rivers and streams
a lot have lakes and ponds open year round and then specify which species can be targeted at which times during the year
with some closed to angling but the majority opened
rivers and streams tend to closed in around oct 1 and reopen around jan1
or be off limites to winter fishing with a few that stay open

i think its time for a big change here
and have started trying to get some stuff lined up to try and bring about some changes
 

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athe last couple weeks I have watched some brookies spawn in a small stream on my property. Its as wiwfrm said they stack up on the spawning beds and it is wonderful to watch. The size of the trout in the brook in the rest of the year is on the small size 5-6 ins. Now they go as high as 12 ins so they are migrating up the brook from a lake. In the past myself included would target trout in the fall because they were concentrated, easy and big, now I just watch and enjoy. I like the way the laws have evolved to protect the spawning fish but maybe Shinear is right and we could look at post spawn but I would proceed with caution.
The part that bothers me is other than a few examples speckled trout are managed for the meat anglers and changes that would involve restrictions in the spring when brookies are most vunerable are difficult to get considered and passed to law. But I said the same thing about fishing in the fall and that changed.
The changes I would like to see are single hook barbless with artifical only on some waters. Restrictions on bag and size limits to encourage trophy waters. Encourage less hatchery stocking and redirect the revenue to encourage wild trout thru management and enforcement. I dont personally consider a hatchery trout a native species. I consider it a chicken with scales and fins instead of feathers and wings! Just saying! My opinion only!
 
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That's right Shienar agreed, I can't speak for the rest of the provincial regs across the country but in norther ontario for example the majority of lakes are open year round for fishing with a few closed during certain times of the year as a "fish sanctuary". It is the different species of fish that have different season.

For example pike and rainbows were open all year, where as brook trout, lakers, and browns would be open from jan. 1st to sept 30th.

Allowing for a winter fishery on the open lakes, and still protecting the fish during the autumn spawn.
 

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athe last couple weeks I have watched some brookies spawn in a small stream on my property. Its as wiwfrm said they stack up on the spawning beds and it is wonderful to watch. The size of the trout in the brook in the rest of the year is on the small size 5-6 ins. Now they go as high as 12 ins so they are migrating up the brook from a lake. In the past myself included would target trout in the fall because they were concentrated, easy and big, now I just watch and enjoy. I like the way the laws have evolved to protect the spawning fish but maybe Shinear is right and we could look at post spawn but I would proceed with caution.
The part that bothers me is other than a few examples speckled trout are managed for the meat anglers and changes that would involve restrictions in the spring when brookies are most vunerable are difficult to get considered and passed to law. But I said the same thing about fishing in the fall and that changed.
The changes I would like to see are single hook barbless with artifical only on some waters. Restrictions on bag and size limits to encourage trophy waters. Encourage less hatchery stocking and redirect the revenue to encourage wild trout thru management and enforcement. I dont personally consider a hatchery trout a native species. I consider it a chicken with scales and fins instead of feathers and wings! Just saying! My opinion only!
Hear! Hear! I second that opinion, altogether and completely. Well said.

chuck

P.S.

How about an open winter fishery on listed [not all-- I would exempt some for the sake of other species] lakes and ponds that are known to have strong populations of chain pickerel. That's when they taste best, anyway.
--=c.
 

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There already is a season long fishery for chain pickerel.
Aleast down this way,90% is open to catching them.
 

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which way is down your way zum must be down yarmouth

most other rfa have three lakes or less open to pickerel year round
although im pretty sure theres more the 2 or 3 lakes in each rfa that
have pickerel in them

i think a continues season for perch and pickerel on lakes and ponds would make
sense on many different levels

1 help manage invasive/nuisance species
i love perch but on checked in a body of water where a predator species
doesn't have a strong hold they can be every bit as devastating as
any pickerel ever was
i would imagine most of us on here can think of at least one decent trout
water that doesn't produce anything but perch now a days

don't get me wrong im not saying they are junk fish
they are actually my favorite species to target (whites or yellows)
and i dont hold with that fire them in the bushes mentality
im just saying that they are under utilized great table fare and a much more sustainable
species to harvest then say a brook trout

2 allow anglers to get more out of our fishing licenses
i know a lot of people that have more free time in the winter
ive talked to people out on the lake while ice fishing
that dont buy a license anymore cuz they aint got time to fish
during the summer
which leads me to

3 revenue the gov would like this one
a expanded winter fishing season would generate more money plain and simple
through license sales tackle gear gas atv sales you name it
ive been follow a topic on another site about how much money
ice fisherman have invested
its has post from across the northern
us and canada and the other night after i went through and
added up the numbers the average was about $4000 a head

and 4 more opportunity to get out of the house
unless you have a vehicle or live within walking distance of a lake thats open to winter
fishing you may not even get the chance to partake

so i guess im done for now
look for this to pop up under hardwater
there will be a dedicated forum to help bring about change
in winter fishing coming soon

oh yeah the continues season should be on most put and take waters as well
that's what they are there for (chickens with scales)
 

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Well said, folks!

Shienar's comment about "more opportunity to get out of the house" resonates with me. We live in a province with one of the worst - if not the worst - health records in the country and a health-care system which is horribly overburdened (and neither about "health" nor a "system"). Regular, moderate physical activity is proven to be one of the most effective means of improving general wellness and avoiding the morbidity and mortality of coronary artery disease, type II diabetes, and certain cancers. As such, encouraging any activity can only help increase the quality of life and reduce health care costs.

I therefore find it incredibly dysfuntional for any government department to continue to have regulations that restrict the ability to enjoy regular, moderate physical activity. Instead, they should be motivating Nova Scotians to get off their butts, especially in the winter when the opportunities for outdoor exercise are more limited than in the summer and/or inherently more difficult or expensive for a wide range of the population to enjoy (e.g., downhill skiing).

There should be a paradigm shift with respect to the regulations. The system as it stands regulates by species and RFA, with more specific regulation carved out by waterway. There is also the implicit message that fisheries should be closed unless there is a reason for them to be open. I'd like to see this paradigm reversed. Why not regulate by waterway, with the attitude that it should be open unless there is a sound fisheries management reason for it to be closed, and that it only be closed for the period of environmental sensitivity (such as during spawning seasons, as noted above)? This would maximize the opportunity for regular, moderate physical activity without economic or environmental cost.

My two cents,
Paul

P.S.: It's doubtful that I will make it to the RFAC meeting this evening, but feel free to share my opinion in that forum if you agree.
 
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athe last couple weeks I have watched some brookies spawn in a small stream on my property. Its as wiwfrm said they stack up on the spawning beds and it is wonderful to watch. The size of the trout in the brook in the rest of the year is on the small size 5-6 ins. Now they go as high as 12 ins so they are migrating up the brook from a lake. In the past myself included would target trout in the fall because they were concentrated, easy and big, now I just watch and enjoy. I like the way the laws have evolved to protect the spawning fish but maybe Shinear is right and we could look at post spawn but I would proceed with caution.
The part that bothers me is other than a few examples speckled trout are managed for the meat anglers and changes that would involve restrictions in the spring when brookies are most vunerable are difficult to get considered and passed to law. But I said the same thing about fishing in the fall and that changed.
The changes I would like to see are single hook barbless with artifical only on some waters. Restrictions on bag and size limits to encourage trophy waters. Encourage less hatchery stocking and redirect the revenue to encourage wild trout thru management and enforcement. I dont personally consider a hatchery trout a native species. I consider it a chicken with scales and fins instead of feathers and wings! Just saying! My opinion only!
I agree esp abt saving money towards managing and improving wild brookie stocks, it makes absolutely no sense to me that the gov continues to stock so many lakes down here in SWN as the majority of those stocked lakes contain bass and pickies. Putting in 6 to 8 inch brookies may look like the gov is doing something but all they are really doing is providing feed.
 

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Hi--

Shienar, extremely well put. Hear, hear!!

Paul, good point about health and exercise. Maybe it's time that the gov't removed all taxes from anything needed for recreational physical [i.e., large muscle] activity? Our kids are fat and our older adults all have diabetes. Myself included. It's a disaster that needs fixing now.

cheers,

chuck
 

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There already is a season long fishery for chain pickerel.
Aleast down this way,90% is open to catching them.
Although true Zum how often do we ever get enough ice down here to be able to go out and catch em. They say it is going to be a long cold winter so maybe better luck this year.

I toally agree with opening up the lakes in the rest of the prov to pickies andn perch like Shienar and I have said before it may put more pressusre on them. I know a lake down here that use to have a lot of trout but now all you catch is hundreds of stunted 3 to 4 in yellows. Although fun on an ultra lite I am sure they do not leave much for the trout to feed on.
 

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Paul, good point about health and exercise. Maybe it's time that the gov't removed all taxes from anything needed for recreational physical [i.e., large muscle] activity? Our kids are fat and our older adults all have diabetes. Myself included. It's a disaster that needs fixing now.
No kidding. Any society that taxes bicycles, kayaks, and canoes but provides angioplasty treatments and heart transplants for free is doomed to get what it deserves. A great topic for our next campfire discussion.

I'll also add that I'm willing to trade restricted tackle choices and/or the right of retention in exchange for greater access via increased season lengths and/or more open fisheries. I can always buy fish at the Superstore or Sobeys. It's the fishing - not the fish - that gets my butt off the couch.

Paul
 
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I agree esp abt saving money towards managing and improving wild brookie stocks, it makes absolutely no sense to me that the gov continues to stock so many lakes down here in SWN as the majority of those stocked lakes contain bass and pickies. Putting in 6 to 8 inch brookies may look like the gov is doing something but all they are really doing is providing feed.
Hi girlfisher.
Right on. But as I have pointed out a million times over the past 20 years, bureaucrats think in terms of their own jobs and budgets. Hatcheries and stocking programs included.
It's the main reason that they hate pickerel so much. Hard to justify money spent on raising pickerel feed.

Just as a matter of interest, I wonder if there are baitfish that could be hatchery raised and dumped for forage for trout, salmon, bass, stripers, etc.? I have done no research, and it's true that if DFO would simply ban, altogether, commercial fishing for gaspareau, smelt, and eels, we might restore a forage base that way, but that would not protect hatchery jobs.

True, fishery managers do not approve of adding forage fish [minnows, shiners, dace, etc.] to places that do not already have them, [I'm not sure why that is, to tell the truth], but surely they could have no objection to adding more forage to places that already do have them? Especially if it means jobs?


Or they could just let Nature do it by putting hatchery cash into de-acidifying watersheds and restoring habitat.

Well, that's going pretty far off-topic, I suppose. My apologies to all.

cheers,

chuck
 

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Lots of great ideas on here. I have spoken to people about this subject in the past. Anglers in Newfoundland can fish for brown trout throughout the winter and it is just as cold there as it is here. Ontario steelhead, B.C. So many oppportunities are out there. River (or lake) specific management is the way to go but the wheels of the government turn very slowly and people get grouchy when the angler's handbook gets thicker but that is what has to happen to allow more access.
 

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No kidding. Any society that taxes bicycles, kayaks, and canoes but provides angioplasty treatments and heart transplants for free is doomed to get what it deserves. A great topic for our next campfire discussion.

I'll also add that I'm willing to trade restricted tackle choices and/or the right of retention in exchange for greater access via increased season lengths and/or more open fisheries. I can always buy fish at the Superstore or Sobeys. It's the fishing - not the fish - that gets my butt off the couch.

Paul
I'm totally with ya Paul and chuck
 

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Opening lakes to winter fishing, especially lakes that are considered put and take lakes is what the province has been doing over the last 10 years and it has been well received so far. More of that would help. I too support natural production over hatchery supplimentation whenever possible. As others said, rivers and streams are more difficult to open in late fall/winter, but I think it can be done with a bit of education, opening/closure dates that take into consideration salmonid spawning activity and, of course proper gear restrictions.

Perhaps the biggest hurdle will be finding additional money to employ conservation officers to patrol these "new" fisheries. Although co's should be patrolling these areas regardless, opening a fishery requires more effort on their part and where will the money and manpower come from? I am not shooting these ideas down but trying to think of solutions.
 

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Perhaps the biggest hurdle will be finding additional money to employ conservation officers to patrol these "new" fisheries. Although co's should be patrolling these areas regardless, opening a fishery requires more effort on their part and where will the money and manpower come from? I am not shooting these ideas down but trying to think of solutions.
Good point. Are the CO positions just seasonal or are they full time? If they're seasonal, they'd obviously need more manpower if they choose to enforce a winter fishery to the same extent as the rest of the year. If they're full time, the dual pressure of the overlap of hunting and fishing seasons would cause greater pressure during parts of the year; otherwise, no more manpower would be required.

Incidentally, I've had my licence checked in both 2009 and 2010; the first time ice fishing and the second during the open water season.

Paul
 
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