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Ninemile Creek Electrofishing Survey (2007)

Electrofishing Survey to Evaluate Habitat Improvement Work (2007)

Survey Number: 707013
Survey Dates: July 25, 2007, and September 5, 2007

Sampling was conducted at Ninemile Creek to determine whether habitat improvement work completed in 2004 and 2005 had any effect on the standing stock of trout within the project boundaries. Habitat work at Site 1 (Marcellus Park upstream of the foot bridge), conducted in 2004, was funded and implemented by the Town of Marcellus in order to stop erosion problems. In 2005 funding ($40,000) came from a water quality violation at the old Marcellus Paper Company facility. During both years Carl Schwartz of the USFWS Cortland office oversaw all phases of habitat work design and installation.

Habitat work at the 2nd Fisherman Parking Area downstream of Marcellus (Site 2) was designed to:
(1) alleviate a scour problem at the RT 174 culvert, and eliminate a velocity barrier to fish migration;
(2) stabilize a high eroding bank, and;
(3) narrow an overly wide riffle area.

Habitat work below the 1st Fisherman Parking Area downstream of Marcellus (Site 3) was designed to protect a failing section of gabion basket retaining wall and in the process provide fish habitat. In this area boulders were strategically placed so that they reduced velocity along the toe of the gabion baskets and provided pocket water habitat for fish. Because gabion walls on both streams confined the channel, the stream in this area had down-cut over two feet in the past 40 years and was nothing more than a long (1,000+ feet), continuous riffle/run complex with no pool habitat.

Sampling conducted at Sites 2 and 3 revealed a significant increase in the number of trout within each section. The total number of trout caught in Site 2 increased from 31 trout with an estimated collection efficiency of 75% to 64 trout with an estimated efficiency of 65%. The total number of trout caught at Site 3 increased from 97 to 124 trout with about the same level of collection efficiency. We believe the increase in numbers in both locations is directly related to the improved holding water that was created by the work.

The catch rate of trout in Site 1 was similar to that observed in 2004. Although the pool habitat created in 2004 is a large improvement to what was previously there, high water temperatures in this stretch will continue to severely limit the potential for summer trout survival.

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