Author Topic: MSP's private trout stocking…  (Read 9578 times)

Offline Mountain State Prepper

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MSP's private trout stocking…
« on: November 03, 2014, 08:16:26 AM »

Our private trout stocking experience…

This weekend a friend and I stocked trout in the Cheat River here in WV, a place we consider a little bit of Heaven on Earth.   I was going to do this in the "What did you do today to prep?" thread, but thought it was better suited to its own discussion.   We plan on doing this as an ongoing effort until one of two things happen.   Either the trout stay, thrive and we start to catch them over the next few years.   Or, we never see them again :).

I hesitate to put too much information for OPSEC reasons.  Unless you are from here it is probably too much information anyway.  I figure for the sake of contributing to the community, it would be beneficial to track at least the highlights. 
 

A little background...

My friend and his family own land on the Cheat River.  It is a great stretch of water (80 miles) that I’ve been fishing most of my adult life.   The confluence is comprised of the “5 Forks of the Cheat”, all of which are rivers (streams) that the State has adopted for trout stocking. 

Most of the state sponsored stocking is in rivers where trout do not naturally reproduce.  It is done for the sake of tourism and to benefit the resident sportsmen who enjoy fishing.  The state however regards the Cheat as not suitable for stocking.  Trout are sensitive fish and require cool clean oxygenated water.

Prior to the mid-1980’s (I’m told) this part of the river had a natural thriving brown trout population.  Without getting into the politics of it, the Cheat was impacted by pollution during the late 70’s and early 80’s.  Primarily acid rain, mine drainage and a general neglect destroyed this beautiful river.  Most of the trout had all but disappeared.   

Over the last 25 years though the river has come back to life.   There is a healthy smallmouth population, along with several other panfish like rockbass, sunfish, and bluegill.   There are at least two kinds of chubs including fallfish, which I find have similar feeding habits as trout.

It is not only the main tributaries that support trout.   Many of the cold mountain streams running into the Cheat are home to the native brook trout (our state fish).  Over the last few years, we’ve found our opinions at odds with the State biologists, who refuse to admit the river is healthy enough for trout again.  After one particular informal discussion at an outdoor expo, it seemed that we’d never see the state adopt this river for its stocking program.
 

We are not alone…

While the effort this weekend was solely a personal and private undertaking, there are at least two active groups that subscribe to our general opinion of the Cheat’s trout worthiness.  One of these groups, a not-for-profit, has been stocking parts of the Cheat for the last 12 years.

My friend did some research.    After calling the relevant State agencies, he found no rules or regulations forbidding private citizens from stocking the river.   So long as we purchased the fish from a State approved hatchery, nothing was keeping us from buying, transporting and putting the fish in the water by his property.

The following are pictures from our first attempt….enjoy!
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Offline Mountain State Prepper

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Re: MSP's private trout stocking…
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2014, 08:20:31 AM »

My friend converted a 55 gallon drum into a live well for the back of his truck.   



He put in an aerator, attaching it to a medical grade nebulizer  to provide fresh oxygen to the water.



And we have a working live well for a pickup...


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Offline Mountain State Prepper

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Re: MSP's private trout stocking…
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2014, 08:29:01 AM »

We purchased fish from a private hatchery near Franklin, WV.   This was a cool old place, been there for 60+ years.



Each of the runs had different sized fish



We chose 10" brown trout for our project.   They came from this run here...




Even though this place is 60+ years old, it reminded me a lot of the aquaponics systems folks are building.   Here you see that they have a solids reservoir that dumps into limestone (gravel) filtering and the water is recirculated back up to the head of the system for reuse.





I asked about the solids and if they use them for fertilizer in gardens.   The guy gives the stuff away, I may get some of the "green sludge" this spring for my garden.

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nelson96

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Re: MSP's private trout stocking…
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2014, 08:32:07 AM »
Interesting, I believe that is illegal to do in Oregon.

Offline Mountain State Prepper

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Re: MSP's private trout stocking…
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2014, 08:51:23 AM »


Here are our trout, hard to see I know



We netted them up and moved them to the truck.







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Offline Mountain State Prepper

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Re: MSP's private trout stocking…
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2014, 09:00:48 AM »

We had about 1.5 hour trip back over the mountains.   It snowed higher up in the mountain ahead of us!



Here is Seneca Rocks as we passed it

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Offline Mountain State Prepper

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Re: MSP's private trout stocking…
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2014, 09:06:02 AM »

We got back to the Cheat, cold rain coming down as we started to put them in.



All of the trout made it back safe and sound, sorry for the bad picture, but they are happy and swimming.

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Offline Mountain State Prepper

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Re: MSP's private trout stocking…
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2014, 09:30:10 AM »

We loaded a few at a time into a bucket....




and threw them in....



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Offline Mountain State Prepper

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Re: MSP's private trout stocking…
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2014, 09:34:11 AM »

So, that's it for now.   We will be monitoring and fishing.   Hoping that we start to see these fish stick around the area.   We'll try this again in the Spring too.   If we are still finding them through the Summer, I think we'll keep going until we are happy with the numbers.
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Offline Cedar

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Re: MSP's private trout stocking…
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2014, 09:34:19 AM »
Interesting, I believe that is illegal to do in Oregon.

I was cringing that he was going to be arrested any moment... and sighed relief when he said it was not against the law. It is illegal for citizens to transport live fish in Oregon without a permit. And I am sure we would end up in prison for 10 years for doing it. We can stock private ponds here however.. with permits of course.

It is hard to see (always in through water), but are they fry, fingerlings, M2's?

That is really cool you did that MSP. And sharing pictures too. May they grow to be trophy size.

Cedar - who thinks there is just NO other fish to fish for than trout
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nelson96

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Re: MSP's private trout stocking…
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2014, 09:43:16 AM »
We can stock private ponds here however.. with permits of course.

And they'll only give those permits if your pond can't spill in to a waterway that will allow fish to get free of the pond.

Offline Cedar

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Re: MSP's private trout stocking…
« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2014, 09:48:08 AM »
And they'll only give those permits if your pond can't spill in to a waterway that will allow fish to get free of the pond.

Exactly, and on species even if they cannot get out of the pond, or live in the colder waters.

Cedar
"Do not breathe simply to exist."
- Cedar

"Time shall unfold what plighted cunning hides,
Who covers faults, at last with shame derides."
- King Leer Act I, Sc I, Ln 263

"What happens when a nation, although acting consistently with its own laws, behaves so monstrously that other nations, and eventually history itself, are compelled to condemn it?" - R. Noak

"The free press is the despot’s enemy, which makes the free press the guardian of democracy. When a figure in power reflexively calls any press that doesn’t suit him 'fake news,' it is that person who should be the figure of suspicion, not the press"- J.F.

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Offline Mountain State Prepper

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Re: MSP's private trout stocking…
« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2014, 09:56:16 AM »

My friend did his research.   We did consider this, and from all the information we found, nothing was keeping us from doing it.    There are other private clubs that do this on the Cheat too.   We feel comfortable we are doing this legally, otherwise we'd have never done it.
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nelson96

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Re: MSP's private trout stocking…
« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2014, 10:01:06 AM »
My friend did his research.   We did consider this, and from all the information we found, nothing was keeping us from doing it.    There are other private clubs that do this on the Cheat too.   We feel comfortable we are doing this legally, otherwise we'd have never done it.

You contacted your local Fish & Game?  Referencing "on the cheat" doesn't sound like you're convinced it was all in the up-and-up.  ;)

Be careful.

Offline Mountain State Prepper

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Re: MSP's private trout stocking…
« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2014, 10:04:28 AM »
You contacted your local Fish & Game?  Referencing "on the cheat" doesn't sound like you're convinced it was all in the up-and-up.  ;)

Be careful.

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nelson96

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Re: MSP's private trout stocking…
« Reply #15 on: November 03, 2014, 10:15:20 AM »
Too funny. . . .  cedar just told me that "cheat" was the name of the river. . . .  My bad.

Offline Mountain State Prepper

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Re: MSP's private trout stocking…
« Reply #16 on: November 03, 2014, 10:20:40 AM »
Too funny. . . .  cedar just told me that "cheat" was the name of the river. . . .  My bad.

Oh, I see.   I expected that the legal part of this would come up, but didn't think we'd dwell on it as a first topic of conversation like this.   Trust me I don't want to get in trouble either!   If we thought at all we were doing this illegally, we wouldn't be doing it at all.....let alone putting pictures out on the net for folks to see :).

The Cheat is has many rumors as to how it was named, we like the story that the water's back currents are deceptive and have "cheated" men from their lives.   No one really knows the name origin for sure.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheat_River

I hope this helps clarify...   Section "B"

Quote
§20-2-64. Regulating release of fish, water animal and other aquatic organisms; stocking permit.


  (a) It is unlawful for any person to release any fish, water animal or other aquatic organism, alive or dead, or any part, nest or egg thereof into the waters of this state except as authorized by a stocking permit issued by the director: Provided, That nothing in this subsection shall be construed as restricting the release of fish, water animal or other aquatic organism into the waters of this state from which they were taken by lawful methods: Provided, however, That nothing in this subsection shall be construed as restricting the release of native or established species of fish in privately owned ponds.

  (b) A stocking permit is not required for the stocking of trout in waters of the state provided that the trout originate from a source within the state or meet the disease-free certification requirements for imported salmondiae set forth in section thirteen of this article.

  (c) A stocking permit is not required for the stocking of black bass provided that the Division of Natural Resources is notified prior to stocking and is provided a disease-free certification.

  (d) It is unlawful for any person to possess, sell, offer for sale, import, bring or cause to be brought or imported into this state or release into the waters of this state, in a live state, any bighead carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis), silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix), black carp (Mylopharyngodon piceus), largescale silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys harmandi), diploid white amur (Ctenopharyngodon idella) or snakehead (Channa spp.), gametes or eggs of the same, or any hybrids of these species. The director may not issue a stocking permit to any person for the species and their hybrids listed in this subsection, but may issue written authorization for the importation or possession of these species or their hybrids into this state if the importation or possession does not violate any federal law and if the use is limited to scientific research.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2014, 10:42:45 AM by Mountain State Prepper »
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Offline Mountain State Prepper

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Re: MSP's private trout stocking…
« Reply #17 on: November 04, 2014, 07:30:21 AM »
So, I got to thinking a little more about this and was wondering if we could even tag our fish?   They sell them online, but they are expensive.  $38 for 10.   But would it be worth it to see if can date the fish and size before we threw them in next time?

http://www.fishtagger.com/
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Offline Zef_66

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Re: MSP's private trout stocking…
« Reply #18 on: November 04, 2014, 10:26:47 AM »
Interesting. We own property that has a stream running through it. Much like your story, the once awesome trout stream can no longer support the fish because of acid mine drainage. But the state is working on the drainage and we have started to see small fish returning as well. On the west side of my property is a feeder stream that didn't receive much AMD and is a wonderful small trout stream.

Neighbors do stock a couple hundred fish for the kids to fish for in the spring. But the fish don't stay around long. Soon I am hoping that they will stay so my kids can catch some nice natives!
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Offline TexDaddy

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Re: MSP's private trout stocking…
« Reply #19 on: November 04, 2014, 10:39:54 AM »
...Lt is illegal for citizens to transport live fish in Oregon without a permit...
This sounds like you cannot go to the pet store, buy a live goldfish and take it home.  :o
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Offline Cedar

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Re: MSP's private trout stocking…
« Reply #20 on: November 04, 2014, 10:48:13 AM »
This sounds like you cannot go to the pet store, buy a live goldfish and take it home.  :o

Pretty much. So yes, it is illegal to put a goldfish into a pond.
http://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/498.222
http://www.oregonaquaculture.org/PowerPoints/messmerppt.pdf

Here are some of the regs:
https://nrimp.dfw.state.or.us/FishTransportPermit/
http://www.dfw.state.or.us/fish/license_permits_apps/fish_propagation_lincense_process.asp
http://www.dfw.state.or.us/fish/license_permits_apps/fish_propagation.asp

That said.. you can stock ponds on your property.. with the right paperwork. My very first boyfriend back in 1983, has a 3rd generation farm. And they put fish in their stock pond in the forest. AWESOME trout are being pulled out of there. I ought to see if I can take SP there actually.. Hmmmmmmmmm...

Cedar
"Do not breathe simply to exist."
- Cedar

"Time shall unfold what plighted cunning hides,
Who covers faults, at last with shame derides."
- King Leer Act I, Sc I, Ln 263

"What happens when a nation, although acting consistently with its own laws, behaves so monstrously that other nations, and eventually history itself, are compelled to condemn it?" - R. Noak

"The free press is the despot’s enemy, which makes the free press the guardian of democracy. When a figure in power reflexively calls any press that doesn’t suit him 'fake news,' it is that person who should be the figure of suspicion, not the press"- J.F.

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Offline TexDaddy

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Re: MSP's private trout stocking…
« Reply #21 on: November 04, 2014, 10:51:24 AM »
I meant as a pet in an aquarium.

You have to 'transport live fish' if you want to have one.
"I went down Virginia, seekin' shelter from the storm.
Caught up in the fable, I watched the tower grow.
Five year plans and new deals, wrapped in golden chains.
And I wonder, still I wonder who'll stop the rain."

...A quote from the book 'Mataroda' comes to mind:
'To do more than your best is impossible, to do less is unthinkable'
WWCD = What would Cedar do?

Offline Cedar

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Re: MSP's private trout stocking…
« Reply #22 on: November 04, 2014, 10:56:13 AM »
I meant as a pet in an aquarium.
You have to 'transport live fish' if you want to have one.

If they wanted to push the issue getting your pet fish from the store to the house, according to wordage, I believe they could.

Cedar
"Do not breathe simply to exist."
- Cedar

"Time shall unfold what plighted cunning hides,
Who covers faults, at last with shame derides."
- King Leer Act I, Sc I, Ln 263

"What happens when a nation, although acting consistently with its own laws, behaves so monstrously that other nations, and eventually history itself, are compelled to condemn it?" - R. Noak

"The free press is the despot’s enemy, which makes the free press the guardian of democracy. When a figure in power reflexively calls any press that doesn’t suit him 'fake news,' it is that person who should be the figure of suspicion, not the press"- J.F.

“Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.”
-Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Offline Mountain State Prepper

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Re: MSP's private trout stocking…
« Reply #23 on: November 04, 2014, 11:41:42 AM »


I get why states would regulate this, in fact i thought for sure we'd need some sort of permit too, but the law is pretty clear about trout specifically (and black bass).  I guess with trout, they are good with it, the more the better?   In fact, the state has adopted streams after private stocking has proven out, the cost is on the land owner, and over time if it becomes popular enough, they add it to the stocking schedule.

Our biggest worry is that folks floating and fishing the river will just take, instead of  practicing catch and release.   We almost always do this.  Sure a few times of year we will keep our catch and have a nice grill out, but mostly we are in it for the fun.   So, we'd like to see these fish stick to the area and grow.   That's what got me thinking about tagging them to track that part....only wish I'd have thought about it earlier :).

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Offline mxitman

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Re: MSP's private trout stocking…
« Reply #24 on: November 04, 2014, 02:28:35 PM »
That's a great idea, hope they work out. I just bought some land with 2 ponds that I plan on stocking, no access to river or streams and found a few hatcheries to get some trout from which are my favorite. Plan on just using a solar aerator and see if that works since right now they are just Mosquito breeders