Re: Spring Creek/Oatka Creek
Hi Mr. Guida:
We surveyed the Veteran’s section of Spring Creek in late November 2014 in response to merganser predation during the cold winter of 2013-2014. Preliminary results of last fall’s survey was compared to results of the last time we surveyed the Veteran’s section in 2001 and Oatka Creek Park in 2003. While abundance may be lower, it appears that the numbers and percentages of the size/age groups are similar, although it did seem like the number/percentage of yearlings should have been higher. Given this data, the trout population in Spring Creek should recover fairly quickly.
We are aware that the mergansers returned during the equally cold winter of 2014-2015 and will survey veteran’s section again in 2015. At this point, I still think that Spring Creek is a very productive stream and the wild brown trout should recover on its own.
If this year’s survey data suggests further impacts to the brown trout population, we will consider implementing one or more of a number of management options available, if warranted.
I hope I have answered your inquiry. Thanks for your interest in New York’s fishery resources.
Senior Aquatic Biologist, Division of Fish, Wildlife, and Marine Resources