The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: 2018 Smith River Study

Started by Woolly Bugger, December 07, 2018, 15:25:03 PM

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Mudwall Gatewood 3.0

Quote from: Fin on December 12, 2018, 13:08:10 PM
QuoteDid I miss some "diet" stuff in the presentation?

I don't think I've met a retiree yet that didn't nap half the day away.  Take a look at the 34 minute mark of the presentation.  Diet discussion.  You must have drifted off for a minute.  My take away is that the crawfish seem to be doing better (higher temps?).  Many of the browns sacrificed in the name of science had crawfish in their gut.  This is a big change from the past.  Still not many baitfish showing up though.  If I remember correctly, aquatic critters #1 food source, #2, neck and neck were terrestrials and crawfish.  Sound right Dougy?

My bad, I did not listen to the 57+ minute presentations; I only looked at the ppt.   I just listened to the 34+ minute mark discussing diet.   Thank you Fin! 
"Enjoy every sandwich."  Warren Zevon

Woolly Bugger

Quote from: Mudwall Gatewood 3.0 on December 12, 2018, 13:38:00 PMMy bad, I did not listen to the 57+ minute presentations; I only looked at the ppt.

like you got anything better to do....
ex - I'm not going to live with you through one more fishing season!
me -There's a season?

Pastor explains icons to my son: you know like the fish symbol on the back of cars.
My son: My dad has two fish on his car and they're both trout!


My takeaway was you need to tie up up some articulated hivis parachute tungsten pmd stonecray cdc flymphs. Size 8-20.

Or keep napping.

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"Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here? Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change? " -Oddball, 1970

"I don't wanna go to hell,
But if I do,
It'll be 'cause of you..."
Strange Desire, The Black Keys, 2006


I wasn't napping and I was there during all but one of the samples and of course if you looked closely at the slides you can see when they did the stomach samples it took place at my place. (My wife is still wondering how I caught all those trout I brought home)

My impression was about the same as explained in detail by George Palmer - Upper river is doing fine with the constant flows and even with only one turbine the water is remaining cool enough. The lower river is a different story - one turbine is not pushing enough cold water downstream. Combine that with unusually warm days and the fish down there are in an almost constant state of stress. We did not shock up as many in the lower river as in the past and those we did collect were not as fat.

Mudwall mentioned lack of forage fish noted in the stomachs - true but from talking to the DGIF crew that may have been becasue small bait fish are digested much faster than snails and crawfish. I know the ones we could identify were looking more like a blob of nothing than a bait fish.

One thing for sure - with only one turbine the periods of generation are almost 24/7 that makes for poor wading. From what I have heard via COE that is not going to change anytime soon.  May be time for some of you guys to invest in a raft.


Regarding the noted warmer temps on the lower river, the most obvious culprit after doing a little comp research are the tribs entering the river below the dam.  September 2018 was very wet, and very warm.  There were three major events this past Fall where flows in the area were between 10-80 cfs per sq. mile.  It is worth noting that the below dam watershed at Eggleston Falls is around 200 sq. miles which is almost as much as the river above the Philpott dam. 

If the Meadow River in WV can put an end to the trout fishery in the Upper Gauley canyon in WV due to the influx of warm water, then the drainage below Philpott can surely do the same, particularly if experiencing flows 3x-5x higher than normal at the same time record September warmth is being experienced.  It should also be noted that the warmest discharges from Philpott occur in late September.  I dare say the changes in the upper river are correlation, and are completely unrelated to the issues at the lower river.

Browns aren't walleye or flatheads, and are probably not fond of feeding in carrot soup colored waters at 5000 cfs on the Smith.  I have serious doubts that the lack of weight observed has anything to do with the amount of forage available on the lower river, but has more to do with the lack of access of forage due to muddy, warm, and high water.

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