Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture Project Sampling (2011)
The Region 4 Fisheries Office completed the fifth year of a five year project to survey many of the smaller streams throughout the region to determine the presence or absence of brook trout. This effort is part of the Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture Project (EBTJV) of which New York is one of 17 participating states. The goal of this effort is to halt the decline of brook trout and restore fishable populations. To accomplish this goal, an updated inventory of brook trout waters is needed because many of these smaller streams have never been surveyed or the survey data is old and outdated. The focus in 2011 was to fill in the gaps from the previous four years. A federally funded two man survey team sampled 506 streams this year between June 2 and September 28, including 174 streams where trout were collected. Brook trout were found in 131 streams, brown trout in 78 streams, and rainbow trout in 39 streams.
One of the immediate benefits of this effort is that it identifies streams or stream segments that warrant upgrading of their water classification. The 2011 sampling effort identified 145 streams that are eligible for upgrading, including 88 unprotected streams to protected status. Protected streams require a NYSDEC permit to work on the bed or banks of the stream. Unprotected streams generally do not require a stream disturbance or Article 15 permit.
For the five year project, a total of 3,475 small streams have been surveyed throughout Region 4, including 1,468 streams that support trout. Brook trout were found in 1,226 streams, brown trout in 779 streams, and rainbow trout in 173 streams. A total of 559 unprotected streams are now eligible for upgrading to protected status.