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Cayuga Inlet Fishway (2008)

Survey Number: 708141

Survey Dates: March 7-July 26, 2008


This is an annual survey conducted at the NYSDEC Cayuga Inlet Fishway (CIF), located in Ithaca, NY. The CIF has been operated by NYSDEC personnel annually since 1975 during the spring and early summer. The CIF allows passage of rainbow trout, serves as a facility for the Finger Lakes Strain rainbow trout egg take, facilitates data collection on the rainbow trout spawning run and functions as a mechanical sea lamprey control (removal). The CIF was open for 141 days in 2008, from March 7 through July 26. The period of operation was slightly longer than both the average for the last ten years (117 d) and historical average (118 d).

Rainbow Trout Numbers

The total number of adult rainbow trout handled during the spring 2008 run was 528. This is almost a four-fold increase over the previous two years of operation (141 and 146 in 2007 and 2006, respectively). The average number of rainbows handled historically during the spring spawning run is 827, and the average number of rainbows encountered during the spawning run during the last ten years is 400. More than an adequate number of adult spawners were retained in holding ponds at the fishway in 2008 to allow the NYSDEC Bath Fish Hatchery to achieve egg harvest goals.

Biological Data

Biological data was collected on all 528 rainbows collected at the fishway in 2008. The average length and weight of fish collected was 17.5 inches and 2.6 lbs, respectively. Wild fish accounted for 60% of the run and 40% were stocked (clipped) fish. Female fish comprised 57% of the catch (43% males). Fish were examined for sea lamprey wounds as well, with an average of 0.12 adult stage I, II and III wounds per fish in the 19.75 to 21.6 inch length class. This is below the threshold value of 0.27 wounds per fish that would trigger a potential TFM treatment on the Cayuga Inlet.

Sea Lamprey Numbers

The total number of adult sea lampreys captured during 2008 was 4,108. This was the highest number of adult lampreys caught at the fishway since NYSDEC began operation of the facility in 1975, and well above both the historical yearly average (1,530) and average for the last ten years (1,471). Data was collected on 175 adult lampreys. Average length and weight of these fish was 467 mm and 229 g, respectively. Males comprised 45% of the sample.