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Chenunda Creek (2013)

The Stream and Fishery

Region 9 Fisheries staff, together with angler volunteers completed trout population sampling on Chenunda Creek in June, 2013. The stream is located in southern Allegany County and provides a fishery for both stocked and wild brown trout. Chenunda Creek was stocked in mid-April with 220 brown trout yearlings over 2.2 miles from Roeske Road to Hallsport. The stream has supported a moderate population of wild brown trout in past surveys. Wild brown trout and brook trout are found in several tributaries, particularly Fulmer Valley Creek.

Sampling was done in 2013 to monitor the trout populations on this tributary of the Genesee River and also to gather baseline trout population information prior to a proposed regulation change to allow year-round angling beginning in the spring of 2015. There are currently no public fishing rights easements on Chenunda Creek. Most areas of the stream are not posted, however anglers should be prepared to ask for landowner permission if posting is evident. The stream averages 15-30 feet in width and summer water temperatures generally stay within the range for brown trout survival and growth.

Electrofishing Results for Wild Trout

Technician holding 22.6 inch wild brown trout from Chenunda Creek.
Large 22.6 inch wild brown trout from
Chenunda Creek

In 2013, three sites were sampled, two of which duplicated sites done in 1992 and 2001. Site lengths were 445 ft, 255 ft and 336 ft. Adult trout habitat was good at all sites, consisting of log jams, undercut banks, deep pools and at the lower site, rock habitat enhancement structures. The average abundance of yearling and older wild brown trout for all sites combined in 2013 was 423/mile and the average biomass was 64 lbs/acre (Table 1). For only the two sites that were also sampled in 1992 and 2001, the average abundance of yearling and older wild brown trout for both sites combined in 2013 was 470/mile and the average biomass was 58 lbs/acre (Table 2). In 1992 and 2001, we found 148 yearling and older wild brown trout/mile and 246/mile, respectively. In those years we found 22 lbs/acre of wild brown trout and 68 lbs/acre, respectively (Table 2). It appears the wild brown trout population in Chenunda Creek has been slowly improving, likely as a result of the abandonment of farm land and improvements in stream shading. In 2013, we captured a number of trout in Chenunda Creek that had reached impressive proportions. Of the 79 wild brown trout we captured, six fish were >18 inches. The two largest fish were 20.4 and 22.6 inches!

Electrofishing Results for Stocked Trout

View of Chenunda Creek below Roeske Road.
Chenunda Creek below Roeske Road

Hatchery trout abundance and biomass in June 2013 was very low at only 8 fish/mi and 1 lb/acre. This was a considerable drop from 1992 and 2001 (Table 2). The sampling at three sites in 2013 (corresponding to the stocking locations) yielded only one stocked brown trout in 1,036 feet of stream. The stream had been stocked at a rate of 100 fish/mile. As with many other stocked trout streams in the region, we are seeing very few stocked trout surviving into the summer. With relatively low angler use, it is unlikely that angler harvest accounts for the poor survival on Chenunda Creek. It is more likely that the hatchery fish are not well suited for surviving conditions in the wild for long after they are stocked.

Conclusions

Overall, Chenunda Creek supports a healthy population of wild brown trout along with hatchery brown trout early in the season. This should provide good trout angling in a rural, mixture of agricultural and forested lands. Anglers should be sure to ask for landowner permission before fishing on posted sections of the stream.

Table 1. Average abundance and biomass of wild brown trout (BT) and hatchery brown trout for all three sites combined for Chenunda Creek in 2013 electrofishing sampling.
Year Wild BT (#/mi) Hatchery BT (#/mi) Wild BT (lbs/acre) Hatchery BT (lbs/acre)
2013 423 5 64 0.5
Table 2. Average abundance and biomass of wild brown trout (BT) and hatchery brown trout for two sites sampled on Chenunda Creek in 1992, 2001 and 2013 electrofishing samples.
Year Wild BT (#/mi) Hatchery BT (#/mi) Wild BT (lbs/acre) Hatchery BT (lbs/acre)
1992 148 81 22 6
2002 246 23 68 8
2013 470 8 58 1