Quebec Brook Trout | Lac Beauchene

Quebec Brook Trout | Lac Beauchene


(soft upbeat music) – Fish on. That didn’t take long. Wow, this one hammered it. This week, we’re part
of the egg collection at LacBeauchene in Quebec. I’m Bill Spicer, this is The New Fly Fisher. (soft guitar music) – [Announcer] The New Fly Fisher has been made possible thanks to Quebec Outfitters federation, Orvis sporting traditions, Rio Products, Superfly, fly fishing made easy. – [Bill] This week,
The New Fly Fisher crew is in beautiful Quebec at one of the top lodges in the province. Beauchene Wilderness
Lodge is a magnificent, exclusive 205 square
kilometer territory in the high hills of Quebec, with over three dozen lakes, each of which offers some of
the best fishing in Canada. Seven species and a
50,000 acre territory provide great opportunities
to introduce fishing to the first timers. Beauchene is especially
proud that it launched a growing popularity in
Quebec of catch and release. With special permits
and the assistance of qualified fish biologists, Beauchene Wilderness Lodge
identifies and implements spawning bed and fish
habitat improvement measures. Much of the effort is aimed
at further propagation of the wonderful Taggart Lake
native strain of brook trout. Biologist Mark Heading will be
leading a team of volunteers through the egg collection. We feel very lucky to be
invited to participate in this endeavor. – This week we’re
collecting brook trout from Taggart Lake, located at Beauchene
Wilderness Lodge. It’s part of a long-term
monitoring program for the brook trout population. It’s a wild population of fish. Part of the work involves
individually measuring length and weight
on the spawning fish that are coming in
this time of year. We microchip the fish
so that we can get unique information
on individual fish as we recapture them
from year to year. In some situations we’ve
captured brook trout four or five times over the
course of a ten year period, and that gives us precise
information on annual growth, both in terms of
weight and length. That helps us understand how
healthy the population is. If it’s not growing strong
you know there’s a problem. If it’s growing strong you know your population is very healthy. (soft guitar music) – Now right here, I
have a bit of structure, and brook trout are no
different than any other fish, they like structure. I’ve got a deadhead here, or an old tree
that’s fallen down, and any time I fish brook trout, structure’s what they want, and I’m gonna try
over there right now. I was told there were some fish rising around there
earlier in the week, so I’m hoping they’re
gonna still be there. There we go, fish on. Right by the log. Oh, yeah. That didn’t take long. Whoa, feels pretty good, too. Gotta get it away from that log. Now I’ve got an
olive wooly bugger, well black and olive, it’s
got some crystal in it. And these fish are right
now feeding up heavily, getting ready to spawn. And they’re feeding on leeches. Now hopefully the wind dies
down a little bit later and we can get some
top water action. But right now, this is great. And it is, it’s a really
decent brook trout. As good as anywhere
I’ve ever been to, and I’ve been told
by the biologists all the fish here are wild, so, that’s awesome. It’s a hen, yeah. Okay. Decent, decent four
pound fish, anyways. Really, really nice. Lots of fun to catch,
that’s for sure. Aggressive. – Just pop her right
in there, perfect. Yeah, she’s just full of eggs. Perfect. – Yep, I saw a fish
rise over here, and I casted towards it, and it’s an active fish. Not very big, but it’s an active fish. Well, maybe a little
bigger than I thought. Yeah, at this time of year, any time you see any
activity on top of the water, cast towards it, cause that’s
a cruising fish that’s eating. Oh, nicely colored, oh, yeah really
nicely colored male. Really nicely colored male. Yes sir, oh wow, this is
a lovely, lovely fish. I am barbless, which I generally am
all the time anyways. You can fish barbless
and be quite successful as long as you know
how to fight a fish. Now look at the colors on that. Isn’t that lovely? – The main lodge, the White
House, was built in 1924 for a gentleman named Lawrence
Jones out of Kentucky, distiller from Kentucky. The building was put
up by Roland Zeitz, who spent actually 50
years of his life here. Until the mid-seventies. Back then it was a private club. The Quebec government,
in the mid-seventies, de-privatized all those clubs, and from there were born
exclusive right territories. And Beauchene Wilderness
Lodge is one of them, actually formerly known
as LaReserve Beauchene. We just thought
we’d update the name to make it a bit
more family friendly. So the lodge and the
buildings around it in LaReserve Beauchene
was actually born in 1987, by our original
partner Dick Waterous out of Brantford, Ontario. – Fish on. I started casting
on the other side and gave that spot a rest, and the fish came back in. So I just cast it again, took a fish. Like I say I’m just
fishing wooly buggers, I’ve got an intermediate
sinking line, and the wooly bugger
has a bead head on it. There we go. Slimy. I’m not gonna handle it too long cause you want to put
it in a live cage. There you go. This is a hot fly
I’ve been using. It’s a cactus wooly bugger. We tie it with green
sparkly cactus chenille, it’s called. And I guess it’s imitating
the olive leeches that are in the lake and
the fish are cuing in on ’em pretty heavy right now. (lively guitar music) Beautiful. I think I got another
hen here, yeah. Lots of hens. – [Mark] Yeah, they’re staging. – Yep. Beautiful. – We’ve got a procedure
that’s pretty hammered out with the volunteers that we
have working with us this week. They’ve all been experienced
working with fish and measuring fish and
taking eggs from the fish. So we start off with
going into the site, setting up our fish cages, these are large pens that
we use for holding the fish. We have usually six
to eight anglers that are using barbless hooks, and collecting brook trout
either just off shore where the fish are staging to
get into the spawning areas, or we’re collecting them
off the spawning areas for the purpose of
getting ripe fish. Ripe females and ripe males. Once we’ve collected
the fish for the day we go thorough and process
them for length, weight, sex, and also to determine whether they’ve got a microchip in them. If they’ve been
previously microchipped, the adipose fin
has been removed. If it’s a new fish that
we haven’t seen before, we micorchip it and then
remove the adipose fin for future identification. That may be next
year, the year after, sometimes five years out. Once we’ve collected the fish, gone through the measurements, then we’ll continue with
taking the eggs and milts from fish that we’re targeting
for incubation study. So we’ll usually take eggs
from four to five females, fertilize, allow the
eggs to water harden, that’s where the eggs swell up, and then from that
point we set them up in the incubators the night
that we’ve fertilized. So the next step that
we have for tonight is actually setting
up the incubators. It’s quite labor-intensive
for setting those units up, it’ll take probably
two to three hours to go through and
set up the incubators for a group of six
to seven people. Tomorrow, we’ll take those
incubators out into the lake, and they’re set up on
strings which have an anchor, a string about 20 feet
long with a float on top, and then we stagger the
incubators about 18 inches apart in the water column, close
to the outlet of the lake. And the reason why
we do that is because there’s always flow
leaving the lake. So if you put the
incubation units close to the outlet of the lake, you know you’re always gonna
have flowing conditions, and good oxygen supply to
the eggs as they develop over the course of the winter. If you watch how
the fish develop over the course of
that time period, it’s not until late February
that they actually hatch from the egg, and then as
the lake starts warming up in April and May, they
start growing very fast. And by the time we come
back around Mother’s Day, those fish are
ready to be released and ready to start
feeding on their own. (soft guitar music) – I think we need more wind. There we go, fish on. Feels like a good one, too. Yeah, I’m having myself a really good time this morning. Here with the ministry collecting eggs for
the spawning program, and fishing for
giant brook trout. Barbless hooks, just
keep a tight line on, that’s all you gotta do, you won’t lose ’em. I know some don’t
like to use barbless, but, unless you’re
keeping the fish. There we go. – The eggs are still
up in the skein, so we refer to that as green. – [Bill] So how long would it
be before that would be ready? – Oh, could be
three or four days. – [Bill] Okay. More brook trout
action when we return. (soft music) – Beauchene offers a variety
of types of accommodations. We also have a small campground of about seven sites. Very private, and a
beautiful location. We also have three
outpost camps, which are on a more
do-it-yourself package, we call the European plan. And then we have our main
lodge accommodations, which are offered
on American plan, so basically all-inclusive
with meals and housekeeping. And within those
American plan cabins, we have different types, smaller cabins up to
very luxurious cabins. So basically there’s something
for any type of getaway. (soft guitar music) – Now what’s happening is the
brook trout are staging up. They’re coming in from the
lake and they’re staging up just in this deeper
water out here, where we have to wade
out to about our waist and cast in deeper water. Later on, hopefully tomorrow
if we get some sunshine, they’re gonna move
in and start spawning within a couple
of feet of shore. We should be able to get some
fantastic photography then. And right now we’re
collecting eggs, and this is a blast,
I’m telling ya. There we go. Wow. This is just unbelievable. This one feels decent. Yeah. Boy they’re certainly
hammering it. They are goin’ for the kill, and I’ve always said
that about brook trout. They’re killers. They’re every bit
a killer as a pike. Just hold the net out, slide the fish
over, and lift up. That’s all you gotta do. Very nice brook trout. (soft upbeat music) – This is a microchip. It’s about the size
of a grain of rice. We’re using it for
putting a unique code inside the fish’s cheek, and this allows us to
track the animal’s growth in terms of weight as
well as length over time. Basically it just reflects
back a serial number. And then this is what
we use for scanning. So basically I wave the
scanner over the microchip, and it gives you a
serial number back. Each fish has it’s
own serial number. We’ve been doing this since 2005 and we’ve got a few
hundred brook trout marked here in Taggart Lake. – Fish on. Beautiful. – [Mark] That’s a good fish. – [Bill] We’ll be right back. – Beauchene is set on
a 50,000 acre territory dotted with 40 lakes and holds seven
species of game fish. Amongst those are
small mouth bass, brook trout, walleye,
northern pike, lake trout, whitefish,
and even splake in some of our lakes. Since 1987, we came
up with modified catch and release rules
on all of our lakes, with small mouth bass
and native brook trout being on a mandatory
catch and release basis. So strict catch and
release for them. All other species
have keeper sizes. You can eat fish
while you’re here, but you cannot leave home
with your limit of fish, which explains the
unusual success rate that our anglers have
here at Beauchene. (soft guitar music) – Here we go. Moved a little
closer to the log. I see now as the sun
gets a little higher it’s quite long, so
they’re hangin’ out down the end there right now. Fish the structure. Fish structure. Outstanding. And I think we gat
a male thins time. Yeah, we got a male this time. Nice, brightly colored male. Yes. This guy is completely orange. A quick show before
we put it in the floating cage. Beautiful. Beautiful brook trout. Male, brightly
colored for the fall. This is awesome. That is one pretty fish. Well, it’s that time
again and we must go. I’d like to thank
Beauchene Wilderness Lodge for inviting us along on
this educational trip. For more information
on this show, and others in our series, come visit us on the net
at TheNewFlyFishser.com. From all of us here
at The New Fly Fisher, thanks for joining us, tight lines, and we’ll
see you next time. – [Announcer] The New Fly Fisher has been made possible thanks to Quebec Outfitters federation, Orvis sporting traditions, Rio products, Superfly, fly fishing made easy. (soft music)

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