Eaton Brook Reservoir - NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation

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Eaton Brook Reservoir

Eaton Brook Reservoir is a small Y-shaped water body located in Madison County near the Hamlet of West Eaton. It is one of the numerous area reservoirs that was built to supply water to the Erie canal.

Physical Features:

Elevation: 1400 feet
Area: 272 acres
Shoreline Length: 4.9 miles
Length: 1.65 miles
Maximum Depth: 50 feet
Towns: Nelson, Eaton

Aquatic Plant Life:

Rooted aquatic vegetation can be found around the shore of most of the lake out to about 15 feet of water. The area south of the causeway and it's western arm have significant plant growth.

Access:

Off Eaton Brook Road (County Route 52), 2 miles east of the hamlet of West Eaton. Concrete ramp. Parking for 13 cars and trailers.

Fish Species:

Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, walleye, rainbow trout, chain pickerel, black crappie, pumpkinseed sunfish, bluegill, rock bass, yellow perch, white sucker, golden shiner and brown bullhead.

Fishing:

Eaton Brook Reservoir is fairly steep sided, with deep water often only a short distance from shore in some areas. This, coupled with the very clear water, can often make fishing challenging. Most anglers target the rainbow trout shortly after they're stocked in the spring but some hold-over fish are taken most winters by anglers ice fishing the reservoir. Walleye can often be difficult to catch, but when a lucky angler gets one, it's usually a nice sized one in the 20+ inch range. Largemouth bass are more abundant than smallmouth with fish in the 13 to 15 inch range common for both species. Chain pickerel are abundant, though most hover around the legal length of 15 inches.

Regulations:

Special fishing regulations apply (leaving DEC website to official Fishing Regulations Guide vendor website).

Fisheries Management:

Eaton Brook is stocked yearly with approximately 2,000 yearling rainbow trout and between 760,000 and 1.3 million walleye fry.

Fisheries Survey:

Eaton Brook Reservoir is a 272 acre lake located in the Towns of Nelson and Eaton, Madison County. Two fisheries surveys were conducted on the lake during the summer of 2013. The first was a two-night electrofishing survey in June, and the second was a two-day gill netting survey in July. The objectives of the surveys were to evaluate age, growth, abundance, and predator/prey balance of the reservoir's sportfish community. Additional objectives were to determine if stocked rainbow trout are surviving and if recent year classes of walleye are recruiting. Eaton Brook Reservoir is stocked yearly with 2,000 yearling rainbow trout and between 760,000 and 1.27 million walleye fry. In total 621 fish were caught, representing 16 species. Largemouth bass were the most numerous with 172 caught, 28% of catch, followed by 94 bluegill, 91 pumpkinseed sunfish, 66 smallmouth bass and 60 chain pickerel. Ten walleye and one rainbow trout were also caught. Walleye ranged in size from 17.2 to 27.8 inches and in age from 5 to 12 years. No young-of-year walleye were captured. The only rainbow trout caught was 12.8 inches and aged at 2 years old. That would make it from the 2012 stocking, which shows there is some potential for hold-over; especially considering the warm dry summer of 2012.

Gill net catches were unexpectedly low (68 fish), but the cause for this is unknown. Electrofishing conducted earlier in the year resulted in good catch rates of most species. Two of our six nets were missing one buoy each and the buoy lines had been cut. However, the nets were still straight and didn't appear to have been tampered with, indicating the buoys may have been caught in an outboard motor. Similar DEC gill netting surveys conducted in 1978 and 1979 caught 240 and 355 fish respectively.

Read the full 2013 report(PDF, 443KB)

Tables

Number of Fish Collected in 2013 During Electrofishing and Gill Netting Surveys on Eaton Brook Reservoir
Species Electrofishing Gill netting Sum
Chain Pickerel 57 3 60
Golden Shiner 12 8 20
Emerald Shiner 10 0 10
Spottail Shiner 4 0 4
White Sucker 1 2 3
Brown Bullhead 16 0 16
Rock Bass 33 4 37
Pumpkinseed 74 17 91
Bluegill 91 3 94
Smallmouth Bass 61 5 66
Largemouth Bass 170 2 172
Black Crappie 1 1 2
Tessellated Darter 1 0 1
Yellow Perch 17 17 34
Walleye 5 5 10
Rainbow Trout 0 1 1
Number of fish collected by inch group during 2013 surveys of Eaton Brook Reservoir
Length
(Inches)
Chain
Pickerel
Bluegill Pumpkinseed SMB LMB Black
Crappie
Yellow
Perch
Walleye Rainbow
Trout
1 1
2 3
3 9 5 1 1
4 13 7 0 3
5 15 9 5 6
6 18 8 2 10 6
7 1 16 18 0 3 1 0
8 4 16 40 2 2 1
9 2 3 4 2 16 6
10 2 3 20 2
11 3 4 9 1 5
12 2 5 17 4 1
13 2 16 25
14 1 17 41
15 5 6 10
16 10 4 6
17 14 5 4 2
18 10 2 2
19 2 1 2
20 1 0
21 1 0
22 2
23 0
24 1
25 0
26 0
27 1

SMB-smallmouth bass

LMB-largemouth bass