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Nine Inch Size Limit Streams Angler Diary (2007)

An angler diary program was conducted in 2007 on four wild trout streams in Region 9 managed with a nine-inch minimum size limit. The streams were Clear Creek (Arcade), Lime Lake Outlet, Hosmer Brook and McKinstry Creek. Participating anglers returned 27 diaries with information at the end of the season. Table 1 summarizes the information from these diaries by stream and compares the 2007 results with those from a similar diary program done in 2000.

Rainbow TroutThe 27 diarists recorded information from 197 trips, accounting for 368.5 hours of fishing effort. The average trip length was 1.87 hours. The most trips occurred on Clear Creek (81 trips, 41% of total), followed by Lime Lake Outlet (76 trips, 39% of total), McKinstry Creek (24 trips, 12%) and Hosmer Brook (16 trips, 8%). Fifty one percent of the total fishing hours were spent on Clear Creek. Diarists reported fishing with flies on 76% of their trips, while they used lures on 19% and bait on 5% of their trips.

In the 2007 diary program, the most effort occurred in June (50 trips), followed by May (47 trips), July (36 trips) and April (34 trips) (Table 11). For both brown trout and rainbow trout, the highest monthly catch rates were reported in September (1.31/hr and 3.21/hr, respectively) and lowest were reported in April (0.14/hr and 0.46/hr, respectively).

In all four streams combined, a total of 161 brown trout were caught by the angler diarists, of which 157 (98%) were released and 4 were creeled. Fifty five percent of the released brown trout were =9" (legal size). The average size of the brown trout that were released ranged from 8.7" on Lime Lake Outlet to 10.0" on Mckinstry Creek. The average size of those brown trout creeled was 10.7" on Clear Creek and 9.7" on Hosmer Brook. No brown trout were creeled on Lime Lake Outlet and McKinstry Creek. The average length of all brown trout caught was 9.2".

Brown TroutOverall on all four streams, 877 rainbow trout were caught by angler diarists, 875 (99%) of which were released. Twelve percent of those rainbow trout released were =9". The average size of rainbow trout released varied from 6.4" on McKinstry Creek to 6.9" on Hosmer Brook. Rainbow trout were only creeled in Clear Creek (2 fish) (avg. length 10.6"). The average length of all rainbow trout caught was 6.7". The largest rainbow trout reported by diarists were 12" from Clear Creek and Lime Lake Outlet, while the largest reported brown trout was from Clear Creek at 19.75".

The catch rate for brown trout and rainbow trout combined varied from 1.23 trout/hr in McKinstry Creek to 4.01 trout/hr in Lime Lake Outlet. A catch rate of 1.0 trout/hr is considered good on high quality wild trout streams in New York State. Individually, the catch rate for brown trout ranged from 0.16 trout/hr in McKinstry Creek to 0.63 trout/hr in Lime Lake Outlet. For rainbow trout the catch rate varied from 1.07 trout/hr in McKinstry Creek to 3.38 trout/hr in Lime Lake Outlet. The catch rate for brown trout was lower than that found in a 2006 angler diary program on Wiscoy Creek of 1.34 trout/hr. Wiscoy Creek does not have rainbow trout and when they are added in, the total catch rates for three of the four streams exceeds that found in Wiscoy Creek.

Comparing angler diary results between 2000 and 2007, a few changes in angler effort and catch can be seen. Similar numbers of trips occurred in both years on Clear Creek, Hosmer Brook and McKinstry Creek, while quite a few more occurred on Lime Lake Outlet in 2007 than in 2000. Catch rates for brown trout were lower on all four streams in 2007 than they were in 2000, while rainbow trout catch rates were higher in 2007 than in 2000 for all streams except Clear Creek.

Table 1. Trip, catch and catch rate information from 2000 and 2007 angler diary programs on Clear Creek, Hosmer Brook, Lime Lake Outlet, and McKinstry Creek. Brown trout (BT), rainbow trout (RT).
Clear Hosmer Lime McKinstry
2000 2007 2000 2007 2000 2007 2000 2007
Number of trips 91 81 16 16 49 76 19 24
Total hours fished 252.5 186.25 43.5 34.5 106.5 117 34.75 30.75
Number of BT caught 125 62 34 20 83 74 18 5
Largest BT caught 21" 19.75" 13" 13" 17.5" 14" 14" 16"
Number of RT caught 511 386 31 63 135 395 25 33
Largest RT caught 13" 12" 9" 11" 12" 12" 11" 9"
BT catch / hour 0.61 0.33 0.65 0.58 1.06 0.63 0.35 0.16
RT catch / hour 2.73 2.07 0.67 1.83 1.50 3.38 0.94 1.07
Total catch / hour 3.34 2.40 1.31 2.41 2.56 4.01 1.29 1.23