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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I went to my favorite close to home spot on Sunday to brush off the fly fishing cobwebs. The water was clear as could be and a little low. There wasn't a lot of bug activity but there was some.

Do stock rainbow trout usually make it through Colorado winters? I caught 2 brown trout further upstream from where they stock. Where they stock the rainbows I could not see any fish where mid to late summer I could count hundreds or at least see activity.

Do these fish die off every year? Move out to deeper water? Get pulled out by all the bucket fisherman?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
I just read that less than 5% off stock fish live through the season. I wonder what would result in spending money on building an ideal habitat vs stocking fish.
 

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Is your " spot " a put and take area or C & R?

Shocking read on 5% survival rate! :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Put/take. I don't see any bucket fisherman for the most part. A lot of fly fisherman catching and releasing. There are a few deep holes and really no where for the fish to make it upstream due to multiple dams. Downstream to a reservoir is likely.

This is just off putting since the late spring through late fall there is visually a lot of fish ranging from 9-16 inches.
 

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It really depends on where you are talking about. Some of our Front Range creeks suffer from mine-runoff pollution, some suffer from severely low flows in the Winter, and some suffer from both. That would be my guess as to the main contributors to stocker death rather than people keeping them.
 

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If you are up north, Boulder to Ft Co, the fishery north of Ft Co was damaged pretty heavily in the flood and they took those trout to 3 different lakes. But, last count as of the flood was over 4,000 fish per mile in the rivers, brown, rainbow, cutts and brooks combined. Heard that directly from a DOW officer. Not to mention they are going to be in the deepest and slowest moving water right now until it warms up, my guess is they are there, they just aren't presenting themselves too often.... my 2 cents
 

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I just read that less than 5% off stock fish live through the season. I wonder what would result in spending money on building an ideal habitat vs stocking fish.
Were those fish stocked fry?
 

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I just read that less than 5% off stock fish live through the season. I wonder what would result in spending money on building an ideal habitat vs stocking fish.
Your saying in said river only 5%,... yeh that's a pretty shitty ratio there.
 

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It wasn't on the web site. It was a PDF on a study they did.

Not sure how accurate it is, but does show that rainbows surviving the winter is a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Even the information on the site is 2012.

It seems unproductive to even stock rainbows. Catching and releasing them is also for not. Might as well feast. I was releasing them on the pretense that I would catch them again a year or two from now and allow for reproduction.

I understand stocking in heavily fished ponds and streams but they should really devise a better method for acclimating these fish into winter effected waters. Even if that means they use natural selection on a closed section of water to reproduce rainbows that survive winter and using that stock for reproduction.

I probably don't know enough about this to make an educated analysis but it seems like a waste of money and life. When I was younger my dad used to sacrifice a stocked rainbow to see if it was pink (naturalized). If so, we would keep a couple to eat. This was in lakes where survival rates are probably much higher.
 

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Have you fished that spot in late winter/ early spring before? If so were many fish visible during that time? A couple thoughts- as already mentioned, trout won't necessarily ( in fact rarely) hold in the same spots in winter that they do in summer. Look for the deepest holes you can find there, odds are that's where you will find them this time of year. Rivers are also constantly in flux, some spots may stay consistent year after year while other spots may change due to run off or other high water events. A third possibility as bleak as it sounds is that they may all be dead whether from over fishing, natural predation from animals/birds or simply not surviving the winter. At least you got some practice with the fly rod, right?
 

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Personally, I wish they'd give up on rainbows, and stock nothing but browns. They're much more of a challenge to catch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
I did catch 2 small brown trout in this river where there are usually hundreds of rainbows. Obviously fish can survive through the winter in the "holes" this river provides.

The rainbows either:
1. died
2. moved

They cannot move upstream further from where I was at (dam). Downstream or dead are the only options. Either way, they don't stick around. My guess is I will see hundreds again shortly after they stock them. :thumb:

It has put me off enough that I will probably try to find a better close(ish) to home goto fishing spot.

I live in Wheat Ridge, just west of Downtown Denver. I wish Clear Creek east of Golden/Coors had a good trout population. The river runs through multiple ponds near my house and my guess is that Carp are all to be had through the connecting sections.
 

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I'd still rather have brown trout over those slimers.
 
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