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Trout Brook (2012)

Fisheries Survey Summary

Overview

In July 2012, DEC Fisheries Staff, assisted by angler volunteers, sampled the Trout Brook trout population by electrofishing two sites. The same sites had also been sampled in a 2006 Survey and 2009 Survey. The stream is located in south-central Wyoming County and is one of the main tributaries to Wiscoy Creek. Trout Brook is not stocked (has not been for at least 50 years) and provides a fishery for wild brown and brook trout. Although there are 0.8 miles of Public Fishing Rights (PFR) on this 6 mile long stream, anglers should be prepared to ask permission to fish non-PFR sections. Fishing can be challenging due to the narrow stream width (15-20 feet) and abundance of overhanging alders.

Survey Results

Biologist holding a large brown trout
Eighteen inch wild brown trout from
Trout Brook.

In 2012, we captured both wild brown and brook trout at the two sites sampled. The abundance of yearling and older wild brown trout was 830 per mile at the Hardy's Road site and 1,500 per mile at the Hillside Road site, with the average of both sites being 1,131 per mile. This is lower than the 1,869 per mile found in 2009 and virtually identical to the 1,144 per mile found in 2006 (Table 1). There was a slight decrease in the abundance of wild brown trout at the Hardy's Road site, while the abundance at Hillside Road was about half of that found in 2009, but higher than that found in 2006 (Table 1). Habitat was similar at Hardy's Road from 2006 to 2012, while deeper water from a recently drained beaver impoundment and new rock rip-rap along the bridge provided somewhat better habitat at Hillside Road in the 2009 and 2012 surveys.

The abundance of yearling and older wild brook trout was 34 per mile and 736 per mile at the two sites, with an average of 350 per mile. This was higher than the 269 per mile average in 2006, but lower than the 475 per mile average in 2009. Virtually all the wild brook trout were found at the Hillside Road site (Table 2). Brook trout abundance at Hillside Road appeared to mirror the changes in abundance of brown trout at that site and is also likely related to the improved habitat mentioned above. With only three years of sampling data for this stream, long term trends in trout abundance cannot yet be ascertained. However, abundance appears so far to be quite variable. It should be noted that brook trout are only very locally abundant at Hillside Road and brown trout are still the dominant species throughout Trout Brook. The largest wild brown trout we captured in Trout Brook in 2012 was 18.1" and the largest wild brook trout was 9.8".

Table 1. Population estimate for yearling and older wild brown trout (BT) in Trout Brook in 2006, 2009 and 2012 electrofishing sampling.
Site 2006
Estimated BT/mile
2009
Estimated BT/mile
2012
Estimated BT/mile
Hardy's Road 1,080 966 830
Hillside Road 1,222 2,972 1,500
Average all sites 1,144 1,869 1,131
Table 2. Population estimates for yearling and older wild brook trout (ST) in Trout Brook in 2006, 2009 and 2012 electrofishing sampling.
Site 2006
Estimated ST/mile
2009
Estimated ST/mile
2012
Estimated ST/mile
Hardy's Road 0 11 34
Hillside Road 597 1,042 736
Average all sites 269 475 350