Yesterday I helped electroshock trout on the Middle Prong of Little River at Tremont. We worked 200 meters of the stream on the section followed by the gravel road. We were about a quarter mile from the end of the road.
There were a lot of biologists and volunteers involved. I helped net fish as they were stunned. These fish were put in buckets of water, then moved to large buckets of water on the bank. Biologists measured and weighed each fish and placed them in a mesh enclosure in the stream so the wouldn’t get picked up again as we continued to shock. We shocked the same 200 meters three times in to get as many fish as possible. All fish were returned to the stream when were done.
A big thunderstorm blew in a the end of the day so things got a bit chaotic as biologists were trying to wrap up their work as the severe weather blew in. For that reason I don’t have any hard numbers, but I can give you a quick synopsis of what I noticed.
There were at least a couple of hundred trout shocked up. All were rainbows; no brown trout were found here although there are some browns in the Middle Prong. I don’t think I saw any fish over 10″. Most looked like they were in the 5″-7″ range, but there were plenty of tiny trout that hatched earlier this spring. Dace were the only non-game fish we found. There were no sculpins, stonerollers, chubs, or shiners.
This was really a pretty typical sort of finding. Trout numbers did seem down after two years of drought, but there were still more than anyone could catch in an outing. The absence of brown trout wasn’t particularly telling since they’ve never been abundant at Tremont. The number of small trout showed that there are plenty more fish in the pipeline.
We’re heading over to Cataloochee for a few days to do some fishing during the “back to school” lull in the guide schedule. We should have some pictures to post when we get back.