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Eaton Brook Reservoir Fisheries Survey 2013

Survey Numbers: 713004 and 713014
Survey Dates: June 3 and 4, 2013 and July 16 and 17, 2013

Abstract

Eaton Brook Reservoir is a 272 acre lake located in the Towns of Nelson and Eaton, Madison County. Two fisheries surveys were conducted on the lake during the summer of 2013. The first was a two-night electrofishing survey in June, and the second was a two-day gill netting survey in July. The objectives of the surveys were to evaluate age, growth, abundance, and predator/prey balance of the reservoir's sportfish community. Additional objectives were to determine if stocked rainbow trout are surviving and if recent year classes of walleye are recruiting. Eaton Brook Reservoir is stocked yearly with 2,000 year-old rainbow trout and between 760,000 and 1.27 million walleye fry. In total 621 fish were caught, representing 16 species. Largemouth bass were the most numerous with 172 caught, 28% of catch, followed by 94 bluegill, 91 pumpkinseed sunfish, 66 smallmouth bass and 60 chain pickerel. Ten walleye and one rainbow trout were also caught. Walleye ranged in size from 17.2 to 27.8 inches and in age from 5 to 12 years. No young-of-year walleye were captured. The only rainbow trout caught was 12.8 inches and aged at 2 years old. That would make it from the 2012 stocking, which shows there is some potential for hold-over; especially considering the warm dry summer of 2012.

Gill net catches were unexpectedly low (68 fish), but the cause for this is unknown. Electrofishing conducted earlier in the year resulted in good catch rates of most species. Two of our six nets were missing one buoy each and the buoy lines had been cut. However, the nets were still straight and didn't appear to have been tampered with, indicating the buoys may have been caught in an outboard motor. Similar DEC gill netting surveys conducted in 1978 and 1979 caught 240 and 355 fish respectively.

Regulations

Eaton Brook Reservoir is managed under special fishing regulations for walleye and trout. Based on the abundance and other population characteristic of the species sampled, there appears to be no need to change either regulation at this time for Eaton Brook Reservoir.

Tables

Number of Fish Collected in 2013 During Electrofishing and Gill Netting Surveys on Eaton Brook Reservoir
Species Electrofishing Gill netting Sum
Chain Pickerel 57 3 60
Golden Shiner 12 8 20
Emerald Shiner 10 0 10
Spottail Shiner 4 0 4
White Sucker 1 2 3
Brown Bullhead 16 0 16
Rock Bass 33 4 37
Pumpkinseed 74 17 91
Bluegill 91 3 94
Smallmouth Bass 61 5 66
Largemouth Bass 170 2 172
Black Crappie 1 1 2
Tessellated Darter 1 0 1
Yellow Perch 17 17 34
Walleye 5 5 10
Rainbow Trout 0 1 1
Number of fish collected by inch group during 2013 surveys of Eaton Brook Reservoir

Length(Inches)

Chain Pickerel Bluegill Pumpkinseed SMB LMB Black Crappie Yellow Perch Walleye Rainbow Trout
1 1
2 3
3 9 5 1 1
4 13 7 0 3
5 15 9 5 6
6 18 8 2 10 6
7 1 16 18 0 3 1 0
8 4 16 40 2 2 1
9 2 3 4 2 16 6
10 2 3 20 2
11 3 4 9 1 5
12 2 5 17 4 1
13 2 16 25
14 1 17 41
15 5 6 10
16 10 4 6
17 14 5 4 2
18 10 2 2
19 2 1 2
20 1 0
21 1 0
22 2
23 0
24 1
25 0
26 0
27 1

SMB-smallmouth bass

LMB-largemouth bass