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Clear Creek (Arcade) (2007)

Fisheries Survey Summary

Clear Creek, located in Cattaraugus and Wyoming Counties, was sampled by DEC fisheries staff on August 16, 21, 22&23, 2007 at five long-term sampling sites and one new site to estimate the trout populations. The long-term sites had also been sampled in 2002, 2000, 1995-1998, 1991 and 1988. The stream supports a fishery for wild brown trout and rainbow trout and has not been stocked with trout since 1992. Clear Creek has been managed with a 9" minimum size limit since 1989 and has had an extended catch and release season during the normally closed season since 2004.

Electrofishing on Clear CreekIn Clear Creek, the abundance of yearling and older brown trout in 2007 was estimated to be 617/mile, which was consistent with past sampling years. The estimated biomass of brown trout was 73 pounds/acre. The estimated number of brown trout greater than 9" was 286/mile. Yearling and older rainbow trout biomass was the second highest ever measured in Clear Creek (40 pounds/acre) and the abundance was the highest (1182/mile) measured, however the #/mile greater than 9" was only moderate (39/mile), compared with other years (Table 1). The largest brown trout sampled was 18.3", while the largest rainbow trout was 11.3".

We are seeing plenty of natural variation in the brown trout populations, while we are seeing continuing increases in the rainbow trout populations in Clear Creek. Some of the increases in numbers of rainbows in Clear Creek 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 trout (RT) sampled in Clear Creek by year (1988-2007).
Year BT
lbs / acre
BT
# / mile
BT
# / mile ≥9"
RT
lbs / acre
RT
# / mile
RT
# / mile ≥9"
2007 73 617 286 40 1182 39
2002 75 703 297 37 920 53
2000 54 573 243 21 710 23
1998 83 742 237 27 458 87
1997 47 296 214 32 542 97
1996 68 470 212 21 494 14
1995 101 692 229 48 1071 56
1991 57 586 238 19 431 34
1988 58 771 187 19 442 40