Hey there everybody, its slowly but surely inching closer to Brown Trout spawning season. Although the temptation is there to target some of those larger trout that will be digging redds and doing there thing, it is in our best interests as anglers to give those fish a break to further help support the propagation of wild fish. Even more importantly, make a conscious effort to refrain from walking through the nests/redds that are made by these wonderful creatures to help support their growth. If you walk through a nest, chances are very good that you probably damaged all of the eggs underfoot, and further more, deterred any chance of those eggs hatching into small trout. If you have no idea as to what to look for, I will give you some guidance in terms of what to look for.
A Trout Redd/Nest typically looks like a freshly dug/raked portion of river bottom that is typically found at the tails or heads of pools. The trout who dig these nests, typically dig them in areas which are rich in oxygen, and the stream bottom is primarily consisting of pea to golf ball sized gravel. These areas, once your eyes are tuned into looking for them, appear to be lighter in color to their surroundings, and consist of a pit and mound. The mound is typically on the downstream side of the pit, and is the result of the female digging up the bottom with her body and tail, displacing the materials downstream of the nest. Typically, the size of the redd and material moved usually equates to the size of the fish. If you aren't certain as to how they appear, take a look at the picture above for reference, it depicts what a redd looks like.
Once things get going on, both during and after the spawn it is in our best interests to refrain from walking through these areas. On my home waters of the Farmington there are various strains of Brown trout that spawn from anytime in Late October through February, so these nests will start popping up in those aforementioned areas very shortly and continue to do so into the middle of winter. Please do your best to prevent walking through these areas, and if you happen to encounter other anglers who are walking through these most precious trout nurseries, kindly educate them on what I speak of. If we all work together on this topic, we can further ensure the quality of our fisheries will continue to grow in a positive direction.