2010 Temiscamie Hybrid Brook Trout Shortfall
DEC staff report that there will be a significant shortfall in the number of Temiscamie hybrid brook trout (so called hybrids) available to be stocked this fall. State wide stocking policies call for approximately 300,000 fall fingerling hybrids to be stocked into nearly 300 different lakes and ponds in DEC's Region 5 and Region 6, but only 100,000 hybrids are on hand to be stocked this fall.
Standard practice has been to rear these fish at both Rome Hatchery and at Chateaugay Hatchery each year. No other DEC hatchery has hybrids on hand. Due to the construction of a new hatchery building at Rome during the past year, all of the hybrids had to be reared at Chateaugay this year. For unknown reasons, the mortality of eggs and fry was considerably higher this year than in recent years. In addition, some fish were also lost due to a leak in one of the raceways at Chateaugay Hatchery holding the fish.
Given the size of the shortfall, Region 5 and Region 6 fisheries management staff worked with Central Office staff to identify waters most in need of receiving hybrids this fall, waters where domestic brook trout fingerlings could be substituted for the hybrids, and waters where skipping this year's stocking was judged to be acceptable. Many of the lakes and ponds that are stocked with brook trout hybrids are stocked by helicopter or fixed wing aircraft. Air stocking is scheduled to begin in late September. Current plans are to stock about 40,000 domestic brook trout fingerlings into 66 waters and 100,000 hybrids into 158 waters.
Anglers planning to fish during the remainder of this year's trout season are reminded that fishing quality in ponds normally stocked with hybrids will be unaffected this fall by the current shortfall, because it takes 1-2 years after stocking for the hybrids to show up in angler catches. Anglers planning to fish some of these lakes and ponds in the future may wish to check with Region 5 or Region 6 fisheries management personnel to identify those waters that will offer the best fishing opportunities.
The Rome Hatchery construction project is nearly completed and DEC expects to resume its standard practice of rearing hybrids at both Rome and Chateaugay later this fall.