Tuesday, October 4, 2011
This week the Missouri Department of Conservation is conducting their yearly trout sampling on the North Fork River. I was fortunate enough to be asked to join them for their first day of sampling on the upper stretch of trout water. We put in at Kelly Shoals and they went upstream to Lamb Shoals where they started the sample. Hundreds of rainbows were sampled with the biggest being about 22". We also sampled smallmouth which showed up in mass with good numbers of fish between 12-17 inches. We ended the sampling just below ROLF where we got the biggest fish of the day a 26" brown. Several other browns over 20" were also sampled, as well as quite a few bows between 15-18". The young of year rainbows were few and far between, which does not surprise me considering the low water we had last winter during the rainbow trout spawn. It was a fun, yet backbreaking day, clipping fins and measuring fish. Gives me a new perspective on how many fish are in this river, and how few I catch in relation to what is there.