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hbb
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PostTue Sep 03, 2019 9:36 am 
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There has been at least one thread over on Washington Fly Fishing regarding the WDFW high lakes information. As I recall, the explanation was that WDFW had migrated to a new website, and not everything from the old website made it over.
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Bedivere
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PostTue Sep 03, 2019 5:31 pm 
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Brian Curtis wrote:
I am 100% sure about stocking in Circle Lake. It was last stocked with rainbow in 1949. CT were stocked in 1977 and 1986. Are you positive you aren't thinking of a different lake that listed a bunch of CT plants?

Nope, I can't be positive.  My memory may be confusing Circle with other lakes in the area that no longer have information available.

The only thing I'm positive about is that I caught a big, old Rainbow - you know the type; massive head with a hooked nose - the first time we went up there which would have been mid-late-ish '90s and never caught another after that.

Got your PM, will respond soon.  THANKS!

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Sky Hiker
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PostWed Sep 04, 2019 5:52 am 
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In most environments, the average life span of a trout is six to seven years,but this can be extended up to 25 years or more in some cold, high elevation mountain lakes.
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Bedivere
Why Do Witches Burn?



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PostWed Sep 04, 2019 9:46 pm 
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Sky Hiker wrote:
In most environments, the average life span of a trout is six to seven years,but this can be extended up to 25 years or more in some cold, high elevation mountain lakes.

I've always wondered about the outliers that go longer than the "average."  In order for ~7 years to be the average, that means there have to be some that live longer.  Also, in what environments is this average measured?  Given that fish are cold blooded, their metabolism slows way down when the water is cold so it certainly seems that could extend their lifespan.

It sounds like Circle isn't being stocked because the Cutthroat are reproducing there.  Cutthroat typically will reproduce more readily in high lakes than Rainbows, but that doesn't rule out the Rainbows reproducing also, just maybe not as successfully.

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Sky Hiker
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PostThu Sep 05, 2019 5:04 am 
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Then throw in the fact that they could be hybrid as has happened in many lakes. I fished Circle a couple years back on my way to Shovel and did quite well. Timing has a lot to do with fish success.
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Brian Curtis
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PostThu Sep 05, 2019 7:15 am 
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Trout longevity is highly variable depending on conditions. They love longest in cold water where they don't get too much food. They grow very quickly in warm, productive water but don't live as long. Longevity also varies between species (lake trout are the ones that live out to the 25 year range).

At one extreme in a very high productivity low lake like Lake Washington most rainbow trout will die after spawning at age 3. They grow extremely quickly but have a lot of stress including high parasite loads. Those that do survive their first year spawning get quite big.

It is not uncommon to see small fish in cold, overpopulated lakes that are 10 to 12 years old. The oldest stocked high lake rainbow trout that WDFW has aged was, I think, age 16. The oldest I've knowingly caught was age 15 and it didn't look like it was going to survive the winter. But those are extreme outliers. By age 7 or 8 there normally aren't very many fish left.

In many of the warm, shallow lakes north of White Pass we rarely see anything live past age 3 or 4. But they grow quickly enough to produce some great fishing.

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that elitist from silverdale wanted to tell me that all carnes are bad--Studebaker Hoch
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Sculpin
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PostThu Sep 05, 2019 8:02 am 
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Brian,
A question for you.  I was just up at Little Caroline Lake last week, when I looked down in the water and saw the most beautiful golden trout.  Are goldens selected for specific conditions, or is it just random which lakes have them?  They seemed to be growing to good size out in the deeper water, but you would need a packraft to get out there.  The smaller ones I could see did not have that characteristic big-head/skinny-body of overpopulated lakes.

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Even my best friends, they don't know, that my job is turning lead into gold. When you hear that engine drone, I'm on the road again, and I'm searching for the philosopher's stone - Van Morrison
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Brian Curtis
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PostThu Sep 05, 2019 8:26 am 
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Those are westslope cutthroat in Little Caroline and they are naturally reproducing.

Goldens are typically put into higher elevation lakes so the selection process is not completely random but the locations are somewhat of an accident of history because we cannot stock a species into a lake that has never been stocked with that species before without going through the state's environmental review process.

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that elitist from silverdale wanted to tell me that all carnes are bad--Studebaker Hoch
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Leafguy
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PostThu Sep 05, 2019 7:36 pm 
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Brian said "Trout longevity is highly variable depending on conditions. They love longest in cold water where they don't get too much food. They grow very quickly in warm, productive water but don't live as long. Longevity also varies between species (lake trout are the ones that live out to the 25 year range)."

Brian is right on with trout longevity. A friend and I caught some goldens in the very upper Chants in 1991. I showed some pics to one of the local biologists at the time (LB). He was thrilled to see the pics and told me the last time they had planted that lake was 1977! 14 yo fish all 11-14". One of the pics showed 3-4 wrinkles  in the skin behind the adipose fin. LB attributed it to old ages and explained it was just like a person getting old and having their skin wrinkle up. Dayhiked up the following year and saw one a couple inched bigger but missed the one chance he gave me to hook him.
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