For the first time in four years an electrofishing survey was conducted at Beaver Brook. We started at 9 and finished a little after 1. The excitement of finding lots of fish overshadowed the discomfort we felt from below freezing temperatures. Steve DeSimone of Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery operated the backpack electrofisher. Heidi O’Riordan and Kathleen Marean of NYSDEC kept the measurements with help from John Fischer of Long Island Trout Unlimited, I was joined by two of my graduate students, Maryanne Grey and Brian Bartlett.
In this video you can see from right to left Steve, John, Maryanne, and Brian electrofishing
Later I will have a more thorough post of what we found, but here are some preliminary findings. We found somewhere around 20-25 brook trout running from 200 (8″) to 300 (12 “) mm and pretty much along the entire stretch of the brook. This is comparable to the earlier surveys performed in the mid-2000’s. One of the trout we found was good ole #18 or at least we are pretty sure it’s 18. It was hanging out right about where we detected it last month when the battery ran out.
Unfortunately none of the trout had PIT-tags. Where did those 100 fish go?!?
We also found lots of large-mouth bass (one was 1 or 2 pounds), a bull-head catfish, yellow perch, lots and lots of pumpkin seeds, blue-gills, golden shiners, killifish, a mosquito fish, ten-zillion eels, and one rather cute (if that is the word) lamprey.
So, all-in-all, a very fun and interesting day.
Brian releasing a few of the trout we caught
UPDATE on (presumed) Trout #18. This trout was tagged on 10/22/2012 and released the next day. At the time of release it was 150 mm length and 29.1 grams body weight. Today it measured 204 mm and 84 grams body weight. Apparently it seems to be eating well. (Short of surgically removing the tag and reading its ID number it is not possible to be 100% certain this is 18. But given its location and the lack of other alternative tagged fish its pretty certain).