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Discussion Starter #1
So I am not sure what I am missing. From what I understand Kokanee make a run up the dream stream September through November. Also, from what I understand, they do not reproduce here and all Kokanee are stockers. So, if they are making spawning runs how are they not managing to reproduce?

I probably have one or more of my facts wrong or am missing something entirely. It just seems that if males and females are all running up the same river and spawning in the same location that reproduction would occur. Are the fish sterile or something? Someone help me understand this.
 

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It's a good question. John Ewert would know the answer. Just contact him through his blog, he's pretty approachable -

http://coloradoheadwatersfisheries.blogspot.com/



Now that I've provided some useful info, it's time for me to guess at the answer.

I'm not entirely sure that they don't reproduce successfully. There is at least one population of known self sustaining kokes in this here state. I believe the kokes in Dillon reservoir are not stocked any longer, yet they remain. Rumor has it that the CPW makes a pretty penny off of selling the koke eggs to other states. Tis possible that they collect them just so they can sell the fry, or redistribute them amongst the CO reservoirs as they see fit.

Also, the koke population in Eleven Mile is rumored to have been decimated by gill lice. I don't think that they stock them there for the time being due to that. So if you want to find a koke run this Fall, the DS may not be the place to set your sights.
 

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The CPW says they don't reproduce successfully naturally due to a 1970s study. There are lots of lakes that have naturally reproducing populations among them are Willow cr. Dillon and Wolford. The problem is they don't know about the natural population unless they quit stocking. I believe Williams fork's natural spawners were shut down due to the egg taking operations that screen off the river.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I am bumping this for answers.

I need to contact that John Ewert guy but have not had time. I'll get to it but in the meantime I wanted to bump this.
 

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What else do you want to know? No they are not sterile, yes they can reproduce naturally with limited success.
 

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If it weren't for the devil lake trout, kokanee would grow to 28 inches long, would become the best sport fish in Colorado, and would cure cancer. If only we could get rid of those damned lake trout...
 

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If it weren't for the devil lake trout, kokanee would grow to 28 inches long, would become the best sport fish in Colorado, and would cure cancer. If only we could get rid of those damned lake trout...
For all the anti lake trout guys just head on up to Dillon "the wasted reservoir" that is the poster child of a reservoir without predators.
 

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For all the anti lake trout guys just head on up to Dillon "the wasted reservoir" that is the poster child of a reservoir without predators.
Yep.... No predators to control the sucker population means no food for any other species.

You know, I bet if you asked Jon Ewert privately and with no chance of word getting out what he said... I bet he secretly wishes someone would dump a ton of lakers in there. That would fix the 80% sucker biomass problem and create more of a fishery. I just think he can't say that in public and can't have his superiors thinking he has individual thoughts.

The more I learn about the CPW, the less I like. Jon could be the best guy in the world and the smartest biologist with the best ideas... and he still couldn't implement philosophies without the consensus of the wigs and brass.

Shame....
 

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You know, I bet if you asked Jon Ewert privately and with no chance of word getting out what he said... I bet he secretly wishes someone would dump a ton of lakers in there. That would fix the 80% sucker biomass problem and create more of a fishery. I just think he can't say that in public and can't have his superiors thinking he has individual thoughts.
I don't think so. What I've seen and experienced over the years is that biologists like control and it's tough/impossible to exert any control of significance on lake trout populations once established. You just have to figure out a cost effective way to feed them. And, I know that requires a lot of hoops to jump through.

As far as Dillon goes..Tiger Musky as Jon had mentioned before would be great. But, if you can't commit to the program and stock significant amounts ...large amounts...Why bother? Maybe in the future. I'm still hearing rumors of Woodmoor lake becoming a Musky brooder lake if they can get rid of the remaining pike.

I'd rather see one lake in Colorado, such as Dillon, managed for Tiger Musky than have the limited numbers of Tigers obtained stocked in numerous lakes throughout the state. If would be a huge economic boom for Dillon and it would become a destination fishery.
 

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And truthfully, it's for selfish reasons. You stock lakers in Dillon..unless they're transplanting large fish..I'll be dead before I'd go fish for them. On the other hand..Tigers..I could live long enough to have some fun catching those.
 

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I don't think so. What I've seen and experienced over the years is that biologists like control and it's tough/impossible to exert any control of significance on lake trout populations once established. You just have to figure out a cost effective way to feed them. And, I know that requires a lot of hoops to jump through.

As far as Dillon goes..Tiger Musky as Jon had mentioned before would be great. But, if you can't commit to the program and stock significant amounts ...large amounts...Why bother? Maybe in the future. I'm still hearing rumors of Woodmoor lake becoming a Musky brooder lake if they can get rid of the remaining pike.

I'd rather see one lake in Colorado, such as Dillon, managed for Tiger Musky than have the limited numbers of Tigers obtained stocked in numerous lakes throughout the state. If would be a huge economic boom for Dillon and it would become a destination fishery.
Tiger Musky in Willow cr., Shadow mtn. and Dillon, all talk and no action. Even if they stocked some I doubt they would ever stock enough to make it a viable destination fishery, better off with the few numbers available putting them in smaller ponds where they have more of a chance to be caught. I agree it's all about control, thats why we are dependent on the few hatcheries left and all their problems including budget cuts, then add in the good fish/bad fish attitudes and politics, it's no wonder our waters are not managed to their capabilities.
 

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You know, I bet if you asked Jon Ewert privately and with no chance of word getting out what he said... I bet he secretly wishes someone would dump a ton of lakers in there.
If you read through Jon’s many posts, one of them is Jon quoting a study where lake trout are not ideal for sucker control. He was clear that he would like sterile and controllable tiger muskies. Don’t quote me on this because it has been a long time since I read all of Jon’s threads, but I remember Jon hinting or flat out stating that lake trout in Dillon would make things worse, not better.

Back to the OP’s question… Kokanee try very hard to reproduce. They are not sterile and can be successful given the right conditions. The Dream Stream is not one of them. There are some places in Colorado where they do reproduce successfully enough to be noticeable. But no naturally reproducing population can sustain a quality kokanee fishery, let alone a quality kokanee + lake trout fishery.

Thinking out loud, there are several things that come to mind that are against them in the Dream Stream…
· When their numbers were up, the CPW took their eggs and they attracted a lot of fishermen. Granted it was C&R, but I saw many dead kokanee before the peak.
· Kokanee eggs have to survive months before hatching. This means that all the variables that allow them to hatch have to stay stable for months. It is not like trout where they hatch 2-4 weeks later.
· It seems like the majority of kokanee do not venture far from where the stocking truck dropped them off. Where the stocking truck dropped them off may be a poor spawning site. I assume they were stocked by the gauge, which would be a terrible place to spawn.
· The gravel matrix needed is pretty specific. It has to be the right size, with the right water flow, and without any sediment between the gravel. My observations on the Dream Stream is that the wading fishermen dislodge a lot of sediment which clogs up the gravel. Also, the flows from Spinney do not reach historical volumes to clean the gravel as would happen during a normal run off.
· The flows out of Spinney during winter are pretty thin. That does not leave much area for good water velocity.
· Like river spawning trout, kokanee redds are in shallower water and are vulnerable to foot traffic. The Dream Stream gets a lot of foot traffic.
· A kokanee fry trying to make its way back to 11-Mile in spring has quite a few mouths to get past.
· A juvenile kokanee in 11-Mile has a ton of big mouths to avoid.
· An adult kokanee in 11-Mile has a ton of hooks to avoid.
· Any kokanee in 11-Mile has gill lice to avoid or contend with.

The places in Colorado that do have noticeable kokanee reproduction seem to be obscure places with light fishing pressure. By that I mean, their specific spawning grounds are not well known and people are not lined up elbow-to-elbow. Is seems that any stocking truck induced kokanee run is doomed for natural reproduction. Everyone figures out where they are hanging out looking for the stocking truck and they get slaughtered. It seems that a few oddball kokanee have to find their own spawning habitat away from the stocking truck area in order to be successful.
 
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