12/10/12

Insects and other foods the trout
should be eating:
Hatching:
1.    BWOs (Little and baetis BWOs)
2.    Little Yellow Quills
3.    Needle Stoneflies
4.    Midges

Most available/ Other types of food:
5.    Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)
6.    Craneflies (larvae)


Stream Level, Weather Conditions and the Brown Trout Spawn
To put this in the proper perspective, understand that I am writing this at 4:30 AM this Monday morning. I
have an appointment with my doctor for a routine checkup this morning at U.T. Hospital in Knoxville. Getting
through the work traffic in the rain will probably reduce my odds of living, rather than increase them by having
a checkup. I would probably be better off to stay at home and pray nothing is wrong with me. All of this
rambling is just to say that I don't have a clue as to what the stream level situation will be by tomorrow
morning. There is a 100% chance of rain today.

I just checked the National Weather forecast and the first thing that hit me was the current temperature in
Gatlinburg.
It is 62 degrees. I also just checked the radar to see what I would face early this morning. The
edge of the front is showing dark green with spots of yellow and red. The front is just now touching the city of
Knoxville and Maryville headed in a southeasterly direction.

Let me start all over. I almost caught myself complaining about the rain. On second thought, I will be happy to
drive through the heavy rain showers this morning. I have been complaining for a month about the water level
situation. As long as it isn't heavy enough to hurt the brown and brook trout eggs or newly hatched fry, a
good rain will be welcome.

It's my understanding that the number of eggs a female brown trout produces is directly related to the size of
the female trout. A small fish may only produce 500 eggs but a very large one could produce as many as
3,500. I cannot find any specific data on the native brook trout but based on what the wild brook trout do,
they probably only produce a few hundred eggs.

These eggs are covered with a thin layer of gravel. It makes sense the female does this to protect them from
predators and possibly, and this is only my guess, to add some protection from strong current. The male
leaves the redd as soon as he finishes depositing sperm on the eggs. By the way, they apparently aren't very
monogamous. They swim away as soon as they are finished, looking for another female. The female will stay
on or near the redd for a day or maybe longer before leaving.

From what I have read, the time it takes for the eggs to hatch is directly related to water temperature. They
think the ideal temperature is around 50 degrees. At that temperature the eggs will hatch in about 21 days. I
am just guessing, but based on the spawning activity I have observed this year, that would put a lot of brown
trout eggs within that 21 day time period at risk. The water temperature has been fairly close to 50 during the
last few days. You also have to consider the fact the eggs aren't the only thing subject to being destroyed.
The young fry are also at a high risk. Only a small percentage of eggs hatch when conditions are good. Of
those that do hatch, only a small percentage of the fly survive. I feel sure that very heavy rainfall today and
tonight would hurt the brown trout spawn.

Today's forecast calls for showers and a possible thunderstorm. It is as warm as it is going to get right now.
Tonight's low will be around 35. There's still a 60% chance of rain early Tuesday. The high for the day will
only be 44 with a low that night of only 28.

Wednesday should be sunny with a high near 48 and a low that night of 28. Thursday's high should be near
53 with a low of around 27. Friday will be a little warmer near 55 with a low that night near freezing.

Saturday brings about another change of rain. The high should be about 55 degrees with a low not quite so
cold, or around 39. Sunday's long range forecast is about the same.

I hear loud thunder...........
Copyright 2012 James Marsh