Thursday, May 30, 2013

Brook Trout

Brook Trout in an aquarium at The Wild Center in Tupper Lake

New Record Brook Trout -- © Dave Spier

The D.E.C. announced a new state record Brook Trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) caught by Rick Beauchamp, who's from Mayfield, Fulton County, while he was fishing in Silver Lake, part of the Silver Lake Wilderness in Hamilton County, on May 16. The six-pound trout was 22.5 inches long.

The news release also stated that this "brook trout ... reflects the ongoing recovery of Adirondack lakes from the effects of acid rain. Until a few years ago, Silver Lake was too acidified to support a trout population. In 1969 the lake was determined to be fishless and in 1976 it had a pH of 5.0 which is too acidic for brook trout to thrive. After water chemistry samples indicated the pH of lake had risen to almost 6.0, DEC began an experimental stocking program for brook trout in 2002. Currently DEC stocks Windfall strain native brook trout in Silver Lake and brook trout are the only fish species known to be present."

The Brook Trout, actually a variety of char in the Salmonidae family, is New York's state fish. It eats smaller fish, crustaceans, frogs, other amphibians, insects, mollusks and an occasional aquatic vole.

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