Angling Trade editors Kirk Deeter and Tim Romano recently returned from an adventure to Kau Tapen Lodge on the fabled Rio Grande River in southern Argentina.
The Rio Grande is perhaps the world’s perfect, pristine sea-run brown trout system. Though these fish are in fact not native to that region, the careful management of the species in the Rio Grande includes scientific study on the migration and habits of browns that may well broaden understanding of these fish that could be applied in other regions of the world.
Tagging studies to date have yielded a 5 percent recapture rate. The total population of brown trout in the system is now estimated to be around 90,000 fish (the river source is in Chile, and the Rio Grande flows 150 kilometers through Argentina to the Atlantic ocean). Seven angling lodges operate on the river, and anglers typically account for 12,000 caught fish each season. The average fish weight is between 7 and 10 pounds. The latest scientific effort involves radio tagging 55 fish in order to track specific movements.
Be sure to check out fieldandstream.com in the coming weeks, as well as future issues of TROUT magazine for more details. Angling Trade will also follow up with information on the studies, and how the industry might provide support.