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Dally's All Species Odyssey Offers Prizes for Unique Fish

Plus an update on lake trout's introduction to Yellowstone Lake, a troublesome seaweed mass headed for Florida, and Lahontan genetics, in this round of Fly Fisherman News Briefs.

Dally's All Species Odyssey Offers Prizes for Unique Fish

Dally's All Species Odyssey, slated for June 10-11, celebrates the diversity of fish that can be caught in Arkansas waters. (Photo courtesy of Dally's Ozark Fly Fisher)

Dally’s All Species Odyssey Highlights Arkansas Diversity

Dally’s Ozark Fly Fisher has announced a new fly-fishing competition called Dally's All Species Odyssey, which celebrates the diversity of fish that can be caught in Arkansas waters. The event will be held on June 10 and 11, and involves teams of two fly fishers trying to catch as many of the 33 target species as possible within 24 hours, according to a press release.

The prizes are worth almost $6,500 and are provided by sponsors such as YETI, Sage, RIO Products, Simms Fishing, Orvis, and more. The first five placed teams will receive identical prizes for each team placing, and there will be numerous drawings for all entrants.

The competition rules are straightforward: teams must fish only during daylight hours and can change locations during the closed fishing period to refuel and plan strategy. Each species caught must be photographed with a unique control item and submitted to the Odyssey HQ via the tournament app. In the event of a tie, judges will use a points scoring system based on the difficulty of capture of the species to separate the winners.

Click here or watch the video below for more information.

Huge Seaweed Mass Headed for Florida Shores

A giant bloom of sargassum seaweed, twice the size of the continental US, is headed towards Florida and other Gulf of Mexico coastlines. This year's bloom is expected to be the largest ever, reaching over 5,000 miles from Africa to the Gulf of Mexico. The sargassum bloom began forming early and doubled in size between December and January. It is expected to arrive on Florida's beaches around July, with piles up to 5 to 6 feet deep. The phenomenon is relatively new and is potentially catastrophic for fly-fishing tourism in this region.

Sargassum, a brown seaweed with berrylike air bladders, typically forms large floating masses which can be both a blessing and a curse for fly fishing. On the one hand, it can provide cover and shelter for baitfish, which can in turn attract gamefish like tarpon, snook, and redfish. This can make fishing around seaweed beds productive, as the fish will be actively feeding in these areas.

On the other hand, this seaweed can also be a nuisance. If there is too much in the water, it can clog up the fly line and make casting difficult. Additionally, if the seaweed is floating on the surface, it can make it hard to see fish.

Anglers planning a trip to this area this summer are encouraged to check in with area outfitters and fly shops.

New Theory Emerges About How Lake Trout Got into Yellowstone Lake

A report in the science and technology journal Water by Yellowstone National Park Fisheries Biologists Todd Koel and Colleen Detjens and Montana State University Ecology Professor Alexander Zale posits a relatively new theory about how lake trout, which have devasted native Yellowstone cutthroat trout in Yellowstone Lake, got there.

Lake trout were first discovered in the lake in the late 19th century. For many years, it was believed that the lake trout were introduced to the lake by humans who were illegally stocking the lake.

However, a new thought has developed suggesting that lake trout may have actually gotten to Yellowstone Lake naturally via Two Oceans Pass. Two Oceans Pass is a mountain pass located in the Teton Wilderness of Wyoming, which is approximately 20 miles southeast of Yellowstone Lake. The pass is so named because it divides the Continental Divide and is the point where water flows into two different oceans: the Atlantic and the Pacific.

An NPS fisheries worker holds a lake trout in a boat.
Lake trout were first discovered in the lake in 1994. (Photo courtesy of Neal Herbert/National Park Service)

The theory suggests that lake trout eggs or fry may have been carried by birds or other animals over Two Oceans Pass and into Yellowstone Lake. This theory is supported by several pieces of evidence. First, there is evidence that lake trout eggs and fry can survive being ingested by birds and other animals and then be deposited in new bodies of water. Second, there are records of lake trout being present in nearby lakes and streams that are connected to Two Oceans Pass, which suggests that lake trout may have already been in the area. Finally, genetic analysis of the lake trout in Yellowstone Lake suggests that they are more closely related to lake trout in nearby rivers and streams than to lake trout from other parts of the country where they were stocked by humans.

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While this theory is still being studied and debated, it provides a new perspective on how lake trout may have come to be present in Yellowstone Lake. If this theory is true, it could have implications for the management and conservation of the lake trout population in Yellowstone Lake and other bodies of water.

The full article is available here.

TU Using Genetics to Aid Lahontan Cutthroat Trout

The Lahontan cutthroat trout is a species threatened with extinction, with only 70 or so stream populations remaining across its range. These trout usually exist in small, high mountain streams and vary greatly in size, health, and abundance in their habitats. The fish has been on the Endangered Species list since the 1970s, and Trout Unlimited's (TU) science team is working to understand the factors contributing to its decline and explore options for restoring both the fish and its habitat.

TU’s senior scientist, Helen Neville, and other collaborators are using genetics to better understand the Lahontan cutthroat trout population. While demographic monitoring can provide insight into abundance, trends over time, and individual characteristics, genetics can reveal more specific risk factors such as hybridization and effective population size. By analyzing the trout's genetics, scientists can estimate their evolutionary potential, understand population connectivity, and identify ancestral genes that could help the species survive in a changing environment.

Learn more in this video:

Michigan Fly fishing Clinic Slated for Memorial Day Weekend

A beginner fly-fishing class is being offered by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources on the Saturday and Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. It will be held at Carl T. Johnson Hunting & Fishing Center at Mitchell State Park. Cost for the class is $40.

The Outdoor Skills Academy pro-staff will cover the basics of fly fishing, including demonstrations and instruction for various fly casts and instruction in fly selection based on target species. It will begin with a classroom session and then will move outside to the canal for the hands-on portion of the class. Sunday’s session will be on the Manistee River below Tippy Dam.

onX maps offers a discount on its smartphone app for each Outdoor Skills Academy student.

To register for this class, go to Michigan.gov/DNRLicenses and click on the "Purchase a license" button. For more information contact Edward Shaw at 231-779-1321 or ShawE@Michigan.gov.




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