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Lime Lake Outlet (2007)

Fisheries Survey Summary

Lime Lake Outlet, located in north-eastern Cattaraugus County, was sampled by DEC fisheries staff on August 14, 15&16, 2007 at four long-term sampling sites to estimate the trout populations. These sites had also been sampled in 2002, 2000, 1998, 1996, 1994, 1992 and 1990. The stream supports a fishery for wild brown trout and rainbow trout and has not been stocked with trout since 1993. Lime Lake Outlet has been managed with a 9" minimum size limit since 1995 and has had an extended catch and release season during the normally closed season since 2004.

18.7 inch Lime Lake Outlet Brown TroutIn 2007, the abundance and biomass of yearling and older brown trout in Lime Lake Outlet was lower (581/mile, 91 pounds/acre) than the last several sampling times, and the #/mile greater than 9" was also the second lowest we have seen (242/mile). The opposite was true for rainbow trout in Lime Lake Outlet. Both the abundance and biomass were the highest we have recorded (660/mile, 31 pounds/acre), however the #/mile greater than 9" (38/mile) was less than the last sampling (Table 1). The largest rainbow trout sampled in Lime Lake Outlet was 11.1" and the largest brown trout was 19.9".

We are seeing plenty of natural variation in the brown trout populations, while we are seeing continuing increases in the rainbow trout populations in Lime Lake Outlet where rainbow trout have not historically (prior to 1980) been found. Some of the increases in numbers of rainbows in Lime Lake Outlet is due to a strong yearling year class. If these fish survive in similar fashion to age 3, the numbers of fish 8"-11" should be very good in 2009.

Table 1. Estimated biomass (pounds/acre) and abundance (#/mi age 1 and older) for brown trout (BT) and rainbow (RT) sampled in Lime Lake Outlet by year (1990-2007).
Year BT
lbs / acre
BT
# / mile
BT
# / mile ≥9"
RT
lbs / acre
RT
# / mile
RT
# / mile ≥9"
2007 91 581 242 31 660 38
2002 104 698 294 27 463 60
2000 112 597 284 12 179 25
1998 159 897 403 23 257 57
1996 141 696 310 8 123 21
1994 84 643 215 7 105 13
1992 99 748 260 8 106 14
1990 73 888 264 1 30 6