Driftless Trout Anglers

Welcome Guest! To enable all features please Login or Register.

Notification

Icon
Error

Options
Go to last post Go to first unread
zpope  
#1 Posted : Sunday, April 7, 2019 2:05:25 AM(UTC)
zpope
Rank: Midge

Joined: 3/20/2019(UTC)
Posts: 3
Man
United States
Location: Minnesota

Thanks: 3 times
Hi All,
I'm trying to better understand the Wisconsin DNR trout stream "classification" methodology. Honestly it doesn't seem like the classification rating is really that reliable, looking only at Pierce County where I'm familiar (link below). Anyone else know more about this and have some additional insight or direction for me? Some examples: Trimbelle is Class II but it it has a tributary thats Class I? Meanwhile Big River is class I, which I hadn't heard of before looking at the maps so I assume its not great.

Should I just ignore these classes altogether or is there some rhyme and reason behind this rating system?

Cheers,
Zach

Pierce County: https://dnr.wi.gov/topic...erce_color_landscape.pdf

Class definitions: https://dnr.wi.gov/topic...treamclassification.html
Sponsor
NBrevitz  
#2 Posted : Sunday, April 7, 2019 2:43:02 AM(UTC)
NBrevitz
Rank: Super Fly

Joined: 3/16/2013(UTC)
Posts: 1,485
Man
Location: Lake Elmo, Mn

Thanks: 52 times
Was thanked: 54 time(s) in 45 post(s)
It’s fairly unreliable, but the thing is, these streams have improved a lot in the last 15 years. Trimbelle and Rush were still receiving plants until 6-7 years ago. Trimbelle went all natural just recently for Browns. So much has changed just in the last 15 years.

I will say this... I rarely fish a Class III stream and find tons of fish.
"I fish because I love to: Because only in the woods can I find solitude without loneliness."
thanks 1 user thanked NBrevitz for this useful post.
zpope on 4/11/2019(UTC)
zpope  
#3 Posted : Sunday, April 7, 2019 2:46:49 AM(UTC)
zpope
Rank: Midge

Joined: 3/20/2019(UTC)
Posts: 3
Man
United States
Location: Minnesota

Thanks: 3 times
Yea I figured. Wonder how often they even update those classification sections in the maps? I'd also assume they would/could change a lot based on stream restoration projects (theoretically...). I might reach out to DNR and see if they have more insight. Maybe its updated once every 15 years and shouldn't be taken too literally. Will update here.
shebs  
#4 Posted : Sunday, April 7, 2019 3:22:07 AM(UTC)
shebs
Rank: Dragon Fly

Joined: 5/12/2014(UTC)
Posts: 1,023
Location: Mpls

Thanks: 9 times
Was thanked: 46 time(s) in 38 post(s)
Originally Posted by: NBrevitz Go to Quoted Post
It’s fairly unreliable, but the thing is, these streams have improved a lot in the last 15 years. Trimbelle and Rush were still receiving plants until 6-7 years ago. Trimbelle went all natural just recently for Browns. So much has changed just in the last 15 years.

I will say this... I rarely fish a Class III stream and find tons of fish.


Rush stopped getting browns over a decade ago, but as of 2018 trimbelle is still getting 15k fingerlings per year.

While it's true that the classifications aren't updated nearly frequently enough, it's also useful to carefully read the definitions. Class I means the population fills the available habitat - there are plenty of class I streams that are piss trickles with nursery level fisheries. Class II just means they stock it because there is more habitat than can be filled by natural reproduction alone. Doesn't necessarily mean it's not a fantastic fishery, just that it can sustain more fish than are naturally produced.

I'd like to see WIDNR use the Minnesota model a bit more and stop stocking browns in some of the class II waters. I'd rather catch fewer bigger fish tbh.
A bad day of fishing is better than a good day of work. ~Author Unknown
Modern Translation, with respect for the Notorious B.I.G. : "Fuck Money, Get Fishes"
thanks 1 user thanked shebs for this useful post.
zpope on 4/11/2019(UTC)
weiliwen  
#5 Posted : Sunday, April 7, 2019 2:29:45 PM(UTC)
weiliwen
Rank: May Fly

Joined: 4/16/2014(UTC)
Posts: 433
Man
United States
Location: Madison, Wisconsin during the week and Lincolnshire, Illinois on weekends.

Thanks: 106 times
Was thanked: 40 time(s) in 34 post(s)
I'll be darned. I was under the impression that Class 1 meant that the stream has good natural reproduction, Class 2 a little but not much,and Class 3 meant no natural reproduction.

I agree on the "piss trickles" comment; I made a point, a couple years ago, to check out streams that were Class 1, and many of them were 2 or 3 feet across, and many of THOSE, I couldn't even see the stream because they were 100% overgrown.
Bob Williams, "Weiliwen"
William Schlafer  
#6 Posted : Sunday, April 7, 2019 9:01:28 PM(UTC)
William Schlafer
Rank: Super Fly

Joined: 7/24/2011(UTC)
Posts: 3,379
Location: Sussex Wisconsin

Thanks: 115 times
Was thanked: 136 time(s) in 111 post(s)
Bear in mind that the stream classifications were created by biologists to explain the Trout reproductive capabilities of streams. Not necessarily how many Trout a stream holds, or the quality of the fishing there. Public access mapping tools and satellite maps are better options to determine accessibility and how fishable a stream might be.


From the WDNR website:

Trout Stream Classifications

Class 1
High quality trout waters that have sufficient natural reproduction to sustain populations of wild trout, at or near carry capacity. Consequently, streams in this category require no stocking of hatchery trout. These streams or stream sections are often small and may contain small or slow-growing trout, especially in the headwaters. There are 5,365 miles of Class 1 trout streams in Wisconsin and they comprise 40% of Wisconsin's total trout stream mileage.

Class 2
Streams in this classification may have some natural reproduction, but not enough to utilize available food and space. Therefore, stocking is required to maintain a desirable sport fishery. These streams have good survival and carryover of adult trout, often producing some fish larger than average size. There are 6,120 miles of Class 2 trout streams in Wisconsin and they comprise 46% of Wisconsin's total trout stream mileage.

Class 3
These waters are marginal trout habitat with no natural reproduction occurring. They require annual stocking of trout to provide trout fishing. Generally, there is no carryover of trout from one year to the next. There are 1,786 miles of Class 3 trout streams in Wisconsin and they comprise 14% of Wisconsin's total trout stream mileage.



As mentioned, some of the Class 1 streams are barely fishable, but somehow meet the requirements for Class 1. You shouldn't assume that a Class 1 rating means the stream is either accessible or fishable. It just has all the ingredients to make it a stream capable of producing naturally reproducing Trout. For example, there are many Class 1 streams in NE Wisconsin that are only fishable if you're an Otter, or if you have a helicopter to drop you in and pluck you out.

Some of my favorite Trout streams are Class II & III streams. Those have tributaries that are Class I water and Trout move back and forth between creeks chasing food. Early spring is an excellent time to fish Class III streams to hunt big Trout. When the temps warm up, they move back into the smaller cooler waters.

WDNR stream classification maps by county can be found here.


-Bill

Edited by user Sunday, April 7, 2019 9:05:26 PM(UTC)  | Reason: damned typos!

“You'll never look back on your life and wish you had spent more time in the office." -- Brian Trautman, Captain SV Delos
thanks 2 users thanked William Schlafer for this useful post.
zpope on 4/8/2019(UTC), draik11 on 4/8/2019(UTC)
Users browsing this topic
Forum Jump  
You cannot post new topics in this forum.
You cannot reply to topics in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.

Powered by YAF.NET | YAF.NET © 2003-2019, Yet Another Forum.NET
This page was generated in 0.253 seconds.