Surveying for Undocumented Wild Brook Trout Populations (2010)
Surveys focused on upper Genesee River and upper Allegheny River watersheds
Wild brook trout from small stream.
From June through November 2010, two seasonal Fisheries Technicians began a three year project conducting surveys on small streams across DEC Region 9. Most of these streams have never before been assessed. The primary focus for this work is to locate undocumented wild brook trout populations or other wild trout species. The work in 2010 focused on the upper Genesee River and upper Allegheny River watersheds, mainly in Allegany and Wyoming counties. Once these wild trout populations have been identified, the process to upgrade their water classifications, affording them legal protection can begin. Additionally, the streams will be prioritized for future habitat restoration efforts.
2010 Survey Summary
Wild brown trout from small stream.
During 2010, the crew assessed 385 streams. Of this total, 101 were found to be dry. In the 284 streams electrofished, they found wild brook trout populations in 44 of the streams and wild brown trout in another 42 streams. By the end of the field season, the entire upper Genesee watershed in Region 9 was completed. At least one sub-watershed (Cryder Creek) appears to contain a very high number of streams supporting wild brook trout. However, even in this sub-watershed, the fish are not abundant. They face continued threats to their existence such as competition with brown trout, elevated water temperatures, and poor land use practices. On the positive side, several surprisingly large specimens of both wild brook and brown trout have been found in the surveys. This project is planned to continue through 2012.