Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture Project Sampling (2010)
The Region 4 Fisheries Office completed the fourth year of a five year project to survey many of the smaller streams throughout the region to determine 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 one 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trout waters is needed because many of these smaller streams have never been surveyed or the survey data is old and outdated. The focus in 2010 was the streams in the Delaware River drainage in Delaware County and finishing up the surveys in Columbia and Rensselaer Counties. A federally funded two man survey team sampled 671 streams this year between June 7 and November 15, including 418 streams where trout were collected. Brook trout were found in 355 streams, brown trout in 279 streams, and rainbow trout in 101 streams.
One of the immediate benefits of this effort is that it identifies streams or stream segments that warrant upgrading of their water classification. The 2010 sampling effort identified 295 streams that are eligible for upgrading, including 132 unprotected streams to protected status. Protected streams require a NYSDEC permit to work on the bed or banks of the stream. Unprotected streams generally do not require a stream disturbance or Article 15 permit.
For the four year period to date, a total of 2,967 small streams have been surveyed throughout Region 4 including 1,290 streams that support trout. Brook trout were found in 1,091 streams, brown trout in 708 streams, and rainbow trout in 134 streams. A total of 471 unprotected streams are now eligible for upgrading to protected status.