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Old 05-05-2022, 10:12 AM   #1
Jwojcik1990
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Largemouth Bass In A Small Trout Lake

My favorite spot in the Adirondacks to catch Brookies has a large abundance of Largemouth Bass, and I am curious how the Brook Trout there seem to be competing so successfully against them.

I do not want to disclose the exact location, but this lake has apparently not been stocked since at least 2011, if not much earlier than that. The DEC reclaimed this lake multiple times in the 1980s, but apparently the Largemouth keep getting back in there. I know this can be devastating for most Brook Trout fisheries, but for some reason these particular Trout seem to be having no trouble competing against these invasive fish. I have had banner days on these waters where I caught 20+ fish in a single day, everything from large beautiful trophy fish, to small fingerlings. Looking up the lifespan of a Brook Trout, it seems impossible that these are the same fish stocked in here so long ago, and they must be naturally reproducing and successfully feeding. How is this possible? Why is the Bass so devastating to other Brook Trout fisheries, but not this one?
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Old 05-05-2022, 11:51 AM   #2
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Great question. They do coexist in places but usually at the Brook Trouts eventual demise. If it's the lake I might have seen you in last fall it's got more bass than I've ever seen.
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Old 05-05-2022, 12:00 PM   #3
Jwojcik1990
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It is indeed that lake! I did a bit of research over the winter about it's history and was shocked to see that it had been reclaimed several times, apparently unsuccessfully in the long run. It is not just the number of Bass there either, but how big they are. There are some truly heroic sized Largemouth roaming around those waters, and you would think that to reach and maintain such a size they would need to consume a good bit of forage. Somehow though, against those odds, the Brookies always seem to be doing fine when I make a trip out to this lake. I almost wonder if it warrants some kind of study or research by the DEC to figure out if it can be replicated in other water that has been devastated this way.
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Old 05-05-2022, 05:22 PM   #4
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It is indeed an interesting question. I would point out that the demise of other bass-infested lakes was long and slow. Sargents, Lows, Lila, Little Tupper all had coexisting populations of bass and brookies for years and years. Until they didn't.
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Old 05-06-2022, 01:12 AM   #5
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Please Pay Attention to this advice
https://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/31920.html

In this non-mentioned lake (easy to figure out if you pay attention) if you are a bass fisherman save your catch, give it away, or take it home. Reduce the number of these invasive FORAGERS of the official fish of NY.

Actually Brook Trout are not native to NY but to Germany. NY started stocking them in the late 1800's. One reason they might be surviving among large Bass might be due to the water temperature and regeneration of the species. They prefer colder water where bass like warmer water so the thermocline may be one reason.
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Old 05-06-2022, 06:32 AM   #6
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Schultzz, I think you mean brown trout, not brook trout....I know browns came from Germany
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Old 05-06-2022, 09:47 AM   #7
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There are 3 ponds not far from the one in question that have limited spring fisheries along side significant bass populations. All three have one thing in common, a large tributary system that has wild brook trout and clearly a spawning and nursery area where trout are protected from predators. The pond in question here has one small tributary that is clogged up with beaver dams. So any brook trout recruitment is coming from lake shoals and as vt mentioned, this recruitment will slowly be eliminated. I kept 3 large bass from the water in question last year and found that the bass were eating perch, another trout competitor. I theorize that the bass could be helping trout by suppressing the perch which are far more likely to eat trout eggs and fry. Working against the trout currently would be the unnecessary spot burning from wannabe influencers that are engaging in some sort of branding exercise.
I also like schultzzys point on thermal separation, there is probably some truth to that. As for the German brook trout and trying to kill off the bass population through angling, not so much.
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Old 05-06-2022, 09:48 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by St.Regis View Post
Schultzz, I think you mean brown trout, not brook trout....I know browns came from Germany

Yes, you are correct. My mistake.
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Old 05-06-2022, 11:48 AM   #9
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Wow, I had planned to keep a lot more Bass this year to try and help the lake out, but if they are eating the Perch maybe that would not be helping anything? I really love this spot for camping and fishing and want to do anything I can to keep it healthy and productive. I release every Trout as safely as I can, keep the name of the lake out of any videos I make there, I clean up and pack out garbage every visit. Is there anything more I can do? I suppose targeting and removing Perch might help, but I also guess I could never take enough to make a dent in the population?
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And lungs are poisoned and shoulders bowed,
In the smothering reek of mill and mine;
And death stalks in on the struggling crowd?
But he shuns the shadow of the oak and pine?
― George W. Sears Nessmuk, Woodcraft and Camping
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Old 05-06-2022, 06:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jwojcik1990 View Post
Wow, I had planned to keep a lot more Bass this year to try and help the lake out, but if they are eating the Perch maybe that would not be helping anything? I really love this spot for camping and fishing and want to do anything I can to keep it healthy and productive. I release every Trout as safely as I can, keep the name of the lake out of any videos I make there, I clean up and pack out garbage every visit. Is there anything more I can do? I suppose targeting and removing Perch might help, but I also guess I could never take enough to make a dent in the population?
It's an admirable desire, wanting to keep the place healthy and productive. So far, the biologists haven't figured out a viable path to this. There is some interesting research (ironically on invasive brook trout out West) that genetically modifies and then introduces males into the population. The product of spawning is then all males and eventually the population dies out. No idea whether this works on Bass. I'll look for the article and post it here if I find it.
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Old 05-07-2022, 03:37 PM   #11
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I think that bass and trout can co-exist in a body of water due to the fact that bass prefer much warmer water than trout.
I'll make an example with Pharoah Lake.
That lake is loaded with sun fish but it supports a healthy trout population.

Last edited by JimVroman; 05-08-2022 at 04:18 PM.. Reason: after thought
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Old 05-12-2022, 07:44 PM   #12
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I think that bass and trout can co-exist in a body of water due to the fact that bass prefer much warmer water than trout.
I'll make an example with Pharoah Lake.
That lake is loaded with sun fish but it supports a healthy trout population.
Jim, what do you have to say about the counter-examples? Low's, Lila, Little Tupper, Cranberry, Raquette and many others? And why did the brook trout situation improve markedly when bass were removed from numerous reclaimed ponds???
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Old 05-13-2022, 02:30 PM   #13
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Jim, what do you have to say about the counter-examples? Low's, Lila, Little Tupper, Cranberry, Raquette and many others? And why did the brook trout situation improve markedly when bass were removed from numerous reclaimed ponds???
My thought is reclaiming eliminated all competitive fish populations.
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Old 05-15-2022, 03:56 PM   #14
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My thought is reclaiming eliminated all competitive fish populations.
But, that doesn't work. Eventually "trash" fish repopulate the water.
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