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Thread: Voluntary "Spawning closure"

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    Default Voluntary "Spawning closure"

    With much of the Kenai closed to trout fishing for protection of spawning trout, I was considering heading along the Parks Highway. Upon asking advice of some more experienced trout bums, I was advised to leave the fish alone until they get off their spawning beds.

    Question: Is it generally agreed not to trout fish at all during spawning season? If so, how do you know exactly when that is unless you happen to specifically see fish hovering on their redds?

    Thanks

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    Member AlaskaHippie's Avatar
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    Rule of thumb is end of April to mid June.

    I've not fished the Parks or Kenai in that window for many years, if I recall the Parks has also begun instituting closures as well.
    “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” ― H.S.T.
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    Current regs issued April 30, 2015 state

    "flowing waters in the Palmer-Wasilla Zone are CLOSED to all fishing through June 14"

    "flowing waters along the Parks Highway are catch-and-release only for rainbow trout through June 14"

    "Parks Highway streams to the north should provide some action for rainbow trout, Dolly Varden while the Susitna remains clear"

    That makes it look to me as if there aren't any official closures, but I am wondering if a voluntary closure is followed by most?

    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaHippie View Post
    Rule of thumb is end of April to mid June.

    I've not fished the Parks or Kenai in that window for many years, if I recall the Parks has also begun instituting closures as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mhk View Post
    Question: Is it generally agreed not to trout fish at all during spawning season?
    It's pretty short-sighted to do anything else, isn't it? Of course there are people around who take pride and pictures in catching spawning salmon off the reds, so it's understandable that they'd feel it's okay to do the same to trout.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mhk View Post
    Current regs issued April 30, 2015 state

    "flowing waters in the Palmer-Wasilla Zone are CLOSED to all fishing through June 14"

    "flowing waters along the Parks Highway are catch-and-release only for rainbow trout through June 14"

    "Parks Highway streams to the north should provide some action for rainbow trout, Dolly Varden while the Susitna remains clear"

    That makes it look to me as if there aren't any official closures, but I am wondering if a voluntary closure is followed by most?
    As I said, I've not fished it in years, so I haven't looked at the regs.


    To answer your question, yes, most responsible trout bums voluntarily leave spawning trout alone. Not doing so is widely frowned upon.

    Just ask the last guy who posted up a photo of one on here that he caught in mid May.
    “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” ― H.S.T.
    "Character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you."

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    If you're not fishing them on their spawn beds, you're all right. For example, I caught a rainbow last night right at the mouth of the willow on a smolt pattern. We wasn't anywhere near his spawn bed and wasn't in spawn colors yet. If you're fishing with beads right on their spawn beds, then that could be a problem. If you're fishing smolt patterns right at the mouth of a creek, pretty low chance of catching the spawners IMO.

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    Member AlaskaHippie's Avatar
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    I'd disagree completely.
    It's their spawning season.
    Period.

    People wonder why the Kenai is now closed to ALL fishing from May 1-June 11?
    Attitudes like the above will see the same regs for Parks system rivers, and hopefully soon.
    “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” ― H.S.T.
    "Character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you."

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    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    I am Bubba, and Bubba likes to catch big fish too. Before they're all gone.
    If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

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    Just playing devil's advocate here....
    Should I not fish in the fall b/c char are on their way to spawn? How about steelhead.... you guys go steelhead fishing? Situk anyone? Should we not fish all summer b/c spawning salmon?

    I am tying to identify the line you've drawn here, but is not clear to me.

    Not all fish returning to the tribs are spawners although I appreciate the sentiment to protect them. I do encourage all fishers to STAY OFF THE REDDS and DON'T harass the spawners.

    If we REALLY cared we would all stop fishing, but that is not going to happen... is it?

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    lineburns, very well put. disregard anything anyone else said.

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    Yup. Just fishem till they're gone. How's you're golf handicap?

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    All fish are spawners. Whether in a day, a week, or 7 years, they will spawn. The question is, where in that cycle is it ok to catch them? If trout spawn in a particular area, and you love to catch and release trout, it is very short sighted to fish them where and when they are spawning. The stress of spawning is enough already, without possible hooking injury and further depletion of energy and fat from fighting an angler. Add in the act of shuffling around in the spawning beds, possibly crushing eggs and moving silt over them, and its just common sense to let them be during their spawn, on their spawning grounds.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lineburns View Post
    Just playing devil's advocate here....
    Should I not fish in the fall b/c char are on their way to spawn? How about steelhead.... you guys go steelhead fishing? Situk anyone? Should we not fish all summer b/c spawning salmon?

    I am tying to identify the line you've drawn here, but is not clear to me.

    Not all fish returning to the tribs are spawners although I appreciate the sentiment to protect them. I do encourage all fishers to STAY OFF THE REDDS and DON'T harass the spawners.

    If we REALLY cared we would all stop fishing, but that is not going to happen... is it?
    I agree with this. Ultimately, wouldn't ADF&G close it down if that was necessary? Seems like a bunch of fishery biologists would no more than we do about how this works.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KMac View Post
    Seems like a bunch of fishery biologists would no more than we do about how this works.
    It all depends on which one you talk to………they all have their opinion and not all of them are right. Try to direct your questions to the guy who has many years plus on the river system you want to inquire about, and it might not always be the bio who knows most……..there are a lot of knowledgable fish techs out there as well.

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    Well let us hear it fish Bio's and techs. Enlighten us on the intricacies of the spawn. How can we fishheads meet the need and do no harm? I know you are out there, watching, waiting, trolling. I am

    Matt

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    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    The answer, frustrating as it might be is, as always, it depends.

    Depends on the river and species. Popular rivers can be readily harmed by too much human traffic, but that begs the sticky political question of how much is too much? A remote river that sees light and infrequent traffic could probably sustain a mid-spawn fishery indefinitely. But then, fishermen love to talk and take pictures and the word would get out and what was once unknown then becomes popular. And it's not the popularity so much as the timeline. Pressure on a fishery tends to increase exponentially faster than F&G's ability to react to the change.
    If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

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