Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A true friend of the brook trout

This evergreen tree of the northeast, the one that lines the sides of trout streams in my native state of Connecticut. This tree is under attack from a predator. A predator not with a chain saw, nor with a bulldozer. This predator, an invasive little bug that's sucking the life out of these majestic trees.

This predators name is the "Hemlock Woolly Adelgid". He's been identified and steps are being taken to rid our forests of him. May we succeed.

A pristine mountain stream in northwest Connecticut. The hemlock stands sentry.


Show me a stream where the hemlock is present, and chances are there will be brook trout swimming in that stream.


A fact, brook trout will be twice as abundant in a stream that's lined with hemlock as one that's lined with hardwoods.


The eastern hemlock can live to be 200 years old. A great deal of good can be accomplished in that many years.


Some hemlocks in the east have grown to 150 feet high....that is majestic.


Brook trout have survived in this stream for all the years I've fished for them. And all those years the hemlock has watched over them.












28 comments:

  1. Hopefully the Adjelid is defeated or at least managed so it does not cause more damage. Our north eastern forests would never be the same without them...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hibernation,
      Thanks.
      It's said they have a critter that loves the woolly adelgid to death. let's hope it's not to late.

      Delete
  2. Beautiful photos as always. Makes me miss my hometown in the Dacks.

    Ben

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    Replies
    1. Arizona Wanderings,
      Thanks.
      Ben, some of the beauty native to the northeast.

      Delete
  3. Brk Trt, I love your photos. They look cold, though beautiful.
    Thanks for inviting us along........Phil

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    Replies
    1. DRYFLYGUY,
      Thanks.
      Phil the sun was so very bright, but did little to move the thermometer.

      Delete
  4. just beautiful! i hope the trees can be sustained!

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    Replies
    1. TexWisGirl,
      Thanks.
      I believe they will be successful, having identified the critter early enough.

      Delete
  5. And they look so inviting any time of year! I once heard a theory that tabacco farming in the colonies changed the landscape of the east by introducing a worm to North America that made it possible for pines and hemlocks to gain a foothold in a forest originally dominated by deciduous trees!

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    Replies
    1. Mark,
      Thanks,
      Interesting, it sounds like a good choice. Most evergreens reach maturity much faster than hardwoods.

      Delete
  6. I have not heard this. Thanks for the education. These trees in jeopardy is scary. I hope the critters so the trick!

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    Replies
    1. Michael Curry,
      Thanks.
      I was made aware of this problem several years ago while fishing in the Pennsylvania's Poconos. While walking through a hemlock forest there were signs telling of a dangerous situation. The tree branches were falling. The trees were dying from the infestation.

      Delete
  7. I, too, have always loved the hemlock, and I hope that we can help it against the adelgid by not disrupting more of the natural balance. Hemlocks and brookies go together wonderfully. In fact, I once read that, years ago, a common name for the brookie was "hemlock trout."

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    Replies
    1. Walt Franklin,
      Thanks.
      Walt I once heard that too. I don't know where, perhaps a magazine I read.

      Delete
  8. Alan
    I hope that the Adjelid is eradicated there like the Pine Beetle in the south. We have the eastern Hemlock in the northern part of this state, but they don’t compare to the trees you guys have there. Thanks for sharing


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    Replies
    1. Bill Trussell,
      Thanks.
      I'm sure he will be put to rest. I was unaware that the hemlock was that far south.

      Delete
  9. Funny, my favorite streams are lined with hemlocks.

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    Replies
    1. LQN,
      Thanks.
      Long I've seen some of those streams you speak of in your blog posts. There is nothing prettier than a hemlock and birch lined freestone stream.

      Delete
  10. Replies
    1. Jim Yaussy Albright,
      Thanks.
      That it is Jim.

      Delete
  11. I fully agree the Wooly Adelgid is a problem. Here in the Smoky Mtns. of NC they are killing the trees that keep the Southern sun off the creeks. I fish one set of creeks a lot and I can see that the water temps in areas with down hemlock are on the rise. These creeks a fairly shallow and have few really deep holes for the fish to cool off in.
    Ray

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ray henley,
      Thanks.
      The trout can survive low summer flows as long as the stream is below 70. With the shade gone it's lethal.
      In NC are brookies known as "hemlock trout"?

      Delete
  12. Alan
    wonderful winter-scapes...I see that you are getting 2 know your camera quite well ....as these awesome pics appear before my eyes...

    well done...I've heard gramps talk about the Helmlock-Trout before.....and if memory serves me...LLbean had an issue around 42...I think...

    now im googling<<lol

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    Replies
    1. flyfisher1000,
      Thanks.
      It's getting better and better, the camera that is.
      LL Bean?

      Delete
  13. Indeed, it is a true, and very beautiful friend, of the Brook Trout in your area. Hoping that the Eradication efforts are as effective as possible. Those are much to beautiful works of Mother Nature to see damaged or destroyed. Thanks for sharing, Alan.

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    Replies
    1. Mel Moore,
      Thanks.
      We are hoping they have nipped this critter in time.
      Natural fly fishing..the best.

      Delete
  14. Thanks for sharing and educating us. So terribly sad when anything like that threatens our natural beauty. Have you noticed a lot of tree destruction on the streams you frequent?

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    Replies
    1. Atlas,
      Thanks.
      I have not seen any in my travels, but I've been told there is some noticeable damage in the south east part of the state.

      Delete