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JIM
12-07-2011, 7:51 AM
ive noticed that at this time of year there seem to no longer be any fish in the creeks that i normally catch my fishes from, the water is crystal clear and still plenty deep to support fish. Most all of these lead eventually to the river, do they all go to the river and into deeper water til Spring and then migrate back up into the creeks or what ???

Pyramid_Party
12-07-2011, 6:50 PM
Another thing, I have seen creeks and streams completely dry out. Then when water comes again I find fish again. I wonder how they get there. I wonder where the minnows and other fish come from in these isolated secluded spots.

C L O W N K N I F E
12-07-2011, 7:07 PM
The fish hibernate at the bottom possibly, either that or they find somewhere warmer to go

Owain4
12-07-2011, 7:08 PM
I know here there is a bit of a cycle. Snow melts which causes river level to rise and more water flow and current through creeks and streams. Fish swim to these streams and creeks to mate ex; white suckers. Slowly as the water level drops fish make their way to bigger pools of water or to a large water body. Here the creeks dry up killing most fish and freeze over.

Shenanigans
12-29-2011, 9:13 AM
with small creeks and cold water, the fish drop off down river in search of deeper pools where food will be more plentiful and there is less risk of complete freezing

Shenanigans
12-29-2011, 9:16 AM
I know here there is a bit of a cycle. Snow melts which causes river level to rise and more water flow and current through creeks and streams. Fish swim to these streams and creeks to mate ex; white suckers. Slowly as the water level drops fish make their way to bigger pools of water or to a large water body. Here the creeks dry up killing most fish and freeze over.

Oh, also didnt read owains comment completely I suppose. You nailed it and thats the cycle many fish will follow

skjl47
12-29-2011, 11:47 AM
Hello; Fish do make their way into the deeper pools and portions of a lake or pond. There is less current to deal with in a deep pool of a river so less energy is needed. The water freezes from the top down, as mentioned, and a deep area will not freeze.
In lakes and large ponds there is a layering of the water with regard to temperatures. In the winter the surface layer can be colder than the deeper levels. This lasts untill spring when increased sunlight duration raises the surface layer temp to near equal of the bottom. The lake then does an overturn of the water during which the nutrient rich deep water is churned and mixed into the surface and the lake has similar temps throughout. This coupled with the increased daylight produces an algal bloom which charges the food chain. There is also a good mix of dissolved oxygen throughout the levels of the water allowing the biger fish to stay in the shallows. This is often the best fishing period of the year. By summer the upper layer becomes much warmer that the deeper levels and will hold much less oxygen, so the bigger fish can not spend much time in the shallows. By fall the upper levels cool down and another turnover happens with a second bloom and the next best fishing period.
There is also a thermocline layer that forms about 10 to 15 feet except during the turnovers. If you have ever dived deep into the water during the summer this thermocline layer can be felt.
Fish also have different levels of energy needs as the water gets colder. I believe their metabolism slows down as the temps drop.
There is also the possibility that the fish blend in so well that they are still present but cannot be spotted. They will get in behind a boulder or in a pool in a creek where the current is much slower and just hover with little movement. I have tried wading in creeks during winter in very clear water in the Smoky Mts and could not see fish untill I spooked them.

Shenanigans
12-29-2011, 5:40 PM
This is very regional and depends on the specific body of water. algal blooms depend on the nutrient levels as well as other factors such as temperature. pristine waters are often clear due to the lack of excess nutrients and these bodies of waters will not form algal blooms. there are a few lakes near me that have such a high nutrient load that the algal blooms become intense to the point that they are even deadly and there have been reported deaths from livestock drinking the algal bloomed water(some blue-green algaes produce a potent nuero toxin at high densities). Another point, along with dissolved oxygen varying and temps influencing where the fish decide to stake out winter, the lack of oxygenation due to the ice overhead can create a dead zone. this is usually deeper than 10 meters and is due to anoxic or near anoxic conditions. In extreme conditions or especially harsh winters, this can be a leading factor to winter die-offs