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Mud Creek (Fenton Brook) (2007)

Fisheries Survey Summary

Mud Creek, also called Fenton Brook, located in western Cattaraugus County, was surveyed at two sites on June 14, 2007 to check on the condition of the wild brown trout and wild rainbow trout populations in this stream. Mud Creek has not been stocked with hatchery trout since 2002 when a survey found an abundant wild brown trout population, numerous remaining stocked trout and a wild rainbow trout population that was unknown prior to 2002. The stream was last surveyed by DEC in 2003 for the purpose of evaluating the wild trout population.

Fenton Brook Wild Rainbow TroutThe stream at the two survey sites located above and below the Village of Leon had an average width of 15 feet. Both sampling sites had good trout habitat consisting of overhanging brush, undercut banks and deep scour holes. The bottom was relatively silt free with a mainly gravel and cobble substrate. At site #1 we captured 36 yearling and older wild brown trout,10 young of year brown trout and one yearling wild rainbow trout in 450 feet of stream. The estimated number of yearling and older brown trout at site #1 was 471 fish/mile. At site #2 we captured 37 yearling and older wild brown trout, 8 young of year brown trout and one three year old (11 inch) wild rainbow trout in 280 feet of stream. The estimated number of yearling and older brown trout at site #2 was 774 fish/mile.

Fenton Brook Wild Brown TroutFor both sites combined, there were an estimated 587 yearling and older wild brown trout per mile. Fewer wild rainbow trout were captured in this survey than in 2002 or 2003 surveys, indicating this population may not be expanding as we expected based on what we have seen in other regional waters where rainbow trout were introduced. The wild rainbow trout were not introduced by DEC, but were likely progeny of fish stocked illegally by anglers. Other fish species captured included blacknose dace, mottled sculpin, white sucker, northern hogsucker, creek chub, pearl dace, central stoneroller, fantail darter and rainbow darter.

This stream appears to benefit from cold water due to both deep glacial gravel deposits and sections of tributaries where flow goes underground before emerging in the main stream at ground water temperatures, thus keeping most of the stream at temperatures good for trout growth and survival. In the mid afternoon, with a bright sun and an air temperature at 81 degrees, the water temperature at site #2 was 61 degrees.

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