Many of you know that last year the CLC worked with Dick Fortin from Tin Mountain Conservation to add woody materials to Allen Brook on the CLC Scott Reserve. As part of a statewide program, and with our grant funding from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Dick and his crew added woody material to the stream to enhance brook trout habitat. The woody deposits help slow water and create deeper and cooler pools, provide shade, and help catch sand and gravel to create spawning sites.
This year an additional several thousand feet will have wood additions placed in August. Before additions begin, the crews survey the stream to determine how much or how little wood should be added. Trout surveys are also done before and after the application as a means to evaluate the success of the work. Electroshocking surveys last week by a crew from Tin Mountain, and biologist John Magee, Fish Habitat Program Coordinator at NH Fish and Game, will provide valuable information about the trout populations and how they respond to the additions of wood.
Electroshocking is done to stun the trout just long enough to allow them to be scooped into a net and then into a bucket. They are weighed and measured before being returned to the stream. A hard working crew netting trout, and another crew measuring, spent nearly a full day in the stream. There were a lot of little fish! (And a few salamanders, too!)
It’s amazing how many fish are in these little feeder streams emptying into the Chocorua River. The smallest trout caught was a little less than 2 centimeters; the largest was nearly 20. Beautiful colors and spots and some with full bellies!
We'll be excited to see how things look after August and look forward to next year’s surveys. If you’d like to participate, let us know.
Image: John Magee electroshocking with the Tin Mountain Crew. Photo: Lynne Flaccus