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North Branch Wiscoy Creek (2009)

Fisheries Survey Summary

Introduction

DEC fisheries staff electrofishing the North Branch Wiscoy Creek

In late summer 2009, DEC Fisheries Staff, assisted by angler volunteers, sampled the trout population by electrofishing four sites on the North Branch of Wiscoy Creek. The stream is located in south-central Wyoming County and is one of the main tributaries to Wiscoy Creek. North Branch Wiscoy Creek is not stocked (has not been for at least 50 years) and provides a fishery for wild brown trout. Although there are 0.9 miles of Public Fishing Rights (PFR) on this 4 mile long stream, anglers should be prepared to ask permission to fish non-PFR sections of North Branch Wiscoy Creek. Fishing can be challenging due to the narrow stream width and abundance of overhanging alders. The stream averages 15-20 feet wide and has very cold water temperatures that are ideal for wild trout survival and reproduction.

Survey Results

Three of the fours sites sampled in 2009 were also done in a 2006 fisheries survey. In 2009, at the these three sites, we found that there were an average of 2,385 adult brown trout per mile of stream, varying from 789/mile at a site with very poor habitat to 6,475/mile at a site on private property where extensive stream improvements have been made (Table 1). The average abundance of adult trout was considerably higher in 2009 (2,385/mile) than in 2006 (1,424/mile) and was higher at each individual site as well (Table 1). The fourth site sampled in 2009 was located on a newly purchased 0.6 mile section of PFR. At this site, containing fair adult trout habitat, we found 1,015 adult wild brown trout per mile of stream (Table 1). This new PFR is located about 0.5 miles downstream of the area where extensive stream improvements were made by the private landowner. In the future, stream improvements made to this section would likely produce considerable increases in the wild trout population in this section. The largest wild brown trout captured in the 2009 survey was 19.5", but several trout >14" were found where ever good quality habitat was found. Although their abundance was not quantified in this survey, young-of-year brown trout were found in moderate numbers in the 2009 sampling.

Wild brown trout from North Branch Wiscoy Creek

While water temperatures were ideal for native brook trout in this stream, none were collected in the 2009 or 2006 surveys. A survey in 2005 sampled two sites in the headwaters of North Branch Wiscoy Creek, upstream of the sites sampled in 2009. All trout captured in the 2005 survey were also brown trout, except one young-of-year brook trout. It seems that brown trout have simply out competed brook trout in this stream. In order to monitor the health of this important tributary of Wiscoy Creek, this survey is planned to be repeated, utilizing the same sites in 2011 or 2012.

Table 1. Population estimates for yearling and older wild brown trout in North Branch Wiscoy Creek in 2006 and 2009 electrofishing sampling.
Site 2006
Estimated #/mile
2009
Estimated #/mile
Village of Bliss 1,536 1,881
PFR below Gary Road 237 789
New PFR below Kegler's Not sampled 1,015
Ray Kegler's property 3,450 6,475
All sites combined 1,424 2,049
Sites done in both '06 and '09 1,424 2,385

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    Bureau of Fisheries
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