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East Koy Creek Angler Use and Electrofishing Studies (2011-2012)

Overview

DEC fisheries staff electrofishing East Koy Creek.
Electrofishing East Koy Creek.

October 15th, 2012 brought an end to the second consecutive year of an angler use survey on East Koy Creek. A total of 86 days were surveyed throughout the season, resulting in 383 angler interviews. The vast majority of these interviews were in April, with low angler use noted through the summer and into the fall. There were considerably less interviews this year than in 2011 when 552 anglers were interviewed. Anglers in 2012 had an average angler catch rate of 0.41 fish per hour and reported releasing 76% of the trout they caught (Table 1). This catch rate is lower than that found in 2011, but not significantly. The goal for a stocked stream in NY is to have an average catch rate of 0.5 fish per hour (one trout caught for 2 hours of fishing).

Study Findings

A total of 7,678 hours were estimated to have been spent fishing East Koy Creek by anglers in 2012 (154 hours per acre). This was less than the 11,769 hours (235 hours per acre) found in 2011, indicating there was lower angler use in 2012 (Table 1). This is considered light to moderate fishing intensity and is considerably less than was found in 1996 and 1997 studies on the creek (Table 1).

Nineteen inch wild brown trout from East Koy Creek
Nineteen inch wild brown trout from
East Koy Creek.

The angler use study was done in conjunction with fish population sampling. In May and again in late- August both years, Region 9 Fisheries staff, assisted by angler volunteers conducted trout population sampling on East Koy Creek. The same four sites were electrofished in each of the four surveys. Preliminary analysis showed fair numbers of hatchery trout remained in the stream in May and also in August of 2011, where similar numbers of hatchery trout remained to those found in 1996 and 1997 (Table 1). In August 2012, a considerably higher number of hatchery trout remained compared to the other three years surveys. Remaining hatchery trout included fish from all three stocking increments (March, April and May). This was good to see after another brutally hot, dry summer. Water temperature monitoring done through the summer showed three of our four electrofishing sites had water temperatures in July that were marginal for trout survival. Moderate numbers of wild brown trout were also sampled, mainly at the upstream most site with the best water temperatures both years, with more being found in 2011. In-depth data analysis of the angler use and electrofishing surveys is being completed by Cornell University, as part of the state-wide "fate of stocked trout" study. Both the angler use survey and electrofishing survey will be repeated one final year in 2013.

Although plenty of trout remained in the stream to provide good fishing, the angler use survey showed very little use occurred from mid-August to mid-October. Anglers are missing out on a good time of year to fish in East Koy Creek.

Table 1. Results from angler use and fish sampling studies on East Koy Creek in 1996, 1997, 2011 and 2012.
Year Fishing use (hours per surface acre) Catch rate (fish/hour) Percent of fish released Number per mile (hatchery brown trout) Number per mile (wild brown trout)
1996 418 1.08 68% 220 367
1997 831 1.06 78% 241 251
2011 235 0.44 74% 219 494
2012 154 0.41 76% 400 365

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