High, cold water delaying trout season

DEC Fish Stalking 007New York state’s trout season may have officially started last Tuesday but it may be a few weeks before the fish start to bite.

A long and prolific winter left many lakes and ponds covered under ice through last week and a thick snow pack has made for high and cold water on area streams.

“We’re off to a slow start,” said Jim Pinheiro, an aquatic biologist with the New York state Department of Environmental Conservation. “Most rivers are at the phase where the ice is just giving way.”

Early season trout fishing is largely dependent on water temperature and depth. Fish tend to be more lethargic when the water levels are high and cold. As temperatures warm up and water levels drop, the fish tend to become more active.

“The big thing is water temperature. Right now we’re in the 30s and until we get closer to 40 degrees the fish won’t be as active,” Pinheiro said.

Those temperatures have compelled DEC to hold off on stocking local rivers. Trout can suffer when they are transferred from the warmer waters of a hatchery to the cold waters of streams and ponds so biologists try to hold off stocking until water temperatures rise above 40 degrees.

Normally water temperature are at or near that level this time of year, but this season has been different.

Pinheiro said most local streams, including the Mettawee River, were set to be stocked in early April (locations in Granville were scheduled to be stocked April 9) but that schedule has been pushed back to the end of the month, with the exception of areas in the southern-most part of Washington County. Officials in Warren County have pushed back their stocking schedule as well.

When stocking finally does commence, officials plan to stock 2.3 million catchable-size brook, brown and rainbow trout in 307 lakes and ponds and roughly 3,000 miles of streams across the state.

Locally, the Mettawee River in Whitehall will be stocked with 4,370 brown trout and another 3,470 rainbow trout. The Poultney River in Hampton will see a total of 830 trout stocked this spring and the west branch of the Black Creek in Hebron will see an infusion of 300 fish. The Indian River in Granville will be see an influx of 530 fish when stocking begins later this year.

Fortunately, most native fish populations should be healthy when fishing does resume. Pinheiro said the movement of ice jams can create mobility problems for fish and a higher winter mortality is possible, but the low waters that affected fishing the past two springs should not be a problem this year. 

“The potential for this trout season is good, it’s just off to a slow start,” Pinheiro said.

Comments

comments

Read more in this week's Sentinel in newsstands now or click here to read right now with our e-edition.

Read more in this week's Times in newsstands now or click here to read right now with our e-edition.

518 Wheels – 10/20/17

518 Wheels 10-16-17.pdf-web.pdf

Railroaders roll over Horde, 55-12

white football4

By Matthew Saari An age-old rivalry was revived Friday night when the Whitehall football team traveled to neighboring Granville for […]

Hampton native, wife travel world

Ethan Atwood1

By Matthew Saari When the Whitehall Times last spoke with Hampton native Ethan Atwood, a Whitehall High School graduate, he […]

McEachron ‘made the world a better place’

mceachron

By Keith Harrington Before Wednesday night’s game against Warrensburg under the lights, the scoreboard at Granville’s field hockey field was […]

Scott trial begins Dec. 19; Defense motions for charge to be thrown out

putnam town court

By Krystle S. Morey A trial date of Dec. 19 has been set for former Granville mayor Thomas Scott to […]

Weekender – 10/13/17

Weekender 10_13_17.pdf-web.pdf

Lakes Region Freepress – 10/13/17

Lakes_10_13_17.pdf-web.pdf

North Country Freepress – 10/13/17

FreePress_10_13_17.pdf-web.pdf

Northshire Freepress – 10/13/17

Northshire_10_13_17.pdf-web.pdf

518 Wheels – 10/13/17

518 Wheels 10-9-17.pdf-web.pdf

Granville-Whitehall face off Friday night

GranvilleWhitehall

By Keith Harrington An event that was once billed as “one of New York’s longest-running high school football rivalries” will […]

Act 46: Pawlet-Rupert merger committee votes for choice

act 46

By Krystle S. Morey The seven-member committee tasked with merging Pawlet and Rupert school districts under Vermont’s Act 46 voted […]