Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture Project Sampling (2009)
The Region 4 Fisheries Office completed the third year of a multi-year effort to survey many of the smaller streams throughout the region to document the presence or absence of brook trout. This effort is part of the Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture Project (EBTJV) of which New York is 1 of 17 participating states. The goal of this effort is to halt the decline of brook trout and restore fishable populations. To accomplish this goal, an updated inventory of brook trout waters is needed because many of these smaller streams have never been surveyed or the survey information is old and outdated. The focus in 2009 was on the small streams in the Susquehanna drainage located in Otsego and Delaware Counties. A federally funded two man survey team sampled 776 streams this year between June 1 and November 17, including 466 streams where trout were found. Brook trout were found 442 streams and brown trout in 184 streams. Rainbow trout were absent.
One of the immediate benefits of this effort is that it identifies streams or stream segments that warrant upgrading of their water classification. The 2009 survey effort identified a total of 320 streams that are eligible for upgrading, including 177 unprotected streams to protected status. Protected streams require a NYSDEC permit to work on the bed or banks of the stream. Unprotected streams do not require a stream disturbance or Article 15 permit.
For the three year period to date, a total of 2,296 small streams have been surveyed throughout Region 4, including 872 streams that support trout. Brook trout were found in 736 streams, brown trout in 429 streams, and rainbow trout in 33 streams. A total of 339 unprotected streams are eligible for upgrading to protected status of water quality class C(t) or C(ts).