There are a few streams that get very limited reproduction, but you got to remember, these guys stay in the stream through summer. If it isn't spring fed,
and if it gets a lot of runoff, the water gets too warm and they die off.
I found this guy in a tiny, very tiny trib of the Cuyahoga a few years ago-
they are fertile and could reproduce if the water stayed cooler, but just because they dont sustain the fishery doesn't mean its put-n-take. those fish live through the run and come back every year, let them go and they come back bigger the next year, let them go enough times we might start seeing more 10-15lb fish
Thanks Liquid - That photo was in my fishtank. Kept the lil fellow for a year.
I got a 120 gal tank with giant pumps and ran lines outside in the ground to chill it. Here's a pic of the lil tyke when I first got him/her - about 2" long.
I've had the chance to talk to a few people who are in the wildlife and fisheries management fields on this topic. They're in agreement that it's not the first year in the stream, but the second that snuffs most of them out. It's the combination of high water temps. and the silt that lead to their demise. Some of the cooler and cleaner streams support natural reproduction, but not in great numbers.