Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Round Valley Lake Trout Dominate Catches

Here and Merrill Creek Reservoir remain active for open water fishing, although I've heard no word of anyone fishing or catching trout at the latter. Lake trout are all the news for weeks now, and this goes directly against the grain of what I assumed for a long time, that lakers are few and far between from shore, although apparently they wait until it really gets cold, and then they come in close, at least enough of them to dominate catches recently, not that I'm referring to a whole lot of fish. I had two trout on that got the shiners before I tried to set hooks. Lakers or not, they were surely trout, and while a hit is a lot better than nothing, losing the fish was disappointing.

Mike told me lakers over nine pounds are a rarity with the lack of forage in the reservoir. I've heard of some 10 to 14-pounders last year, though, and an eight-pounder from shore. Mike also told me about the shiners I heard got stocked last year, 800 pounds of them by the state. This just doesn't seem nearly enough to feed the trout populations, yet Mike pointed out the browns this year are fat compared to last year. The lakers are plump, too, compared to what I've seen before.

Mike slit this fish's belly and more than a dozen banded sunfish dropped out. I was amazed to see this species for perhaps the first time, tiny sunfish about an inch long, and they don't grow much larger. In addition, a killiefish, which made me wonder if the laker hadn't been feeding very shallow. None of the state-stocked shiners comprised the fish's recent diet.


They trolled along an ice shelf...

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