Early SRBTC Presentation

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Originally for Pepperell MA TU Chapter

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  • When most people think of trout on Cape Cod, they think of stocked fish in the kettle ponds.
    But… there is also a native trout:
    The Eastern Brook Trout.
  • Cape Cod geology creates cold spring-fed streams
    Several streams historically had brook trout
    Pop decline beginning 1800s
  • What these do- warm rivers, hinder migration, change riverbed, increase food competition.
    Maybe not say, but know:
    Dams- mill dams- silt accumulation, block movement
    Bogs- sand, warming, chemicals
    Dev’t- esp. municipal wells taking water
    Introduced species- brownies
  • Since early 80s…
  • Some fish have distinctive metallic sheen, suggestive of salter behavior
    Emphasize differences between these fish
    Research suggests distinct behaviors may still exist, but extent unknown
    So…
  • What this study aims to find out…
  • Typical fish
  • Like highway scanner…except no traffic!
    At head of tide, interface between river and more estuarine habitat.
    Constantly working
  • Observed “movements”:
    Add % of each behavioral type?
  • Mention TU financial/voluneer contributions, Fran financial/volunteer contributions
    Mass/RI Council
    Cape Cod
    SE Mass
    and Boston chapters
  • Early SRBTC Presentation

    1. 1. About this Presentation • Created by Michael Hopper and Geoffrey Day • Many slides came from Steve Hurley, South East District Manager, Mass Wildlife – Presentation was originally to the Squan-a-Tissit Chapter of Trout Unlimited in approximately 2010 – Michael Hopper, Geof Day, Warren Winders and Steve Angers began formally working on creating the Sea Run Brook Trout Coalition in 2009 with formal 501-c-3 recognition granted in 2011. – Learn more about SRBTC at www.searunbrookie.org
    2. 2. Coastal Stream Restoration
    3. 3. Red Brook is a 4.5 mile long salter brook trout stream The headwaters are owned by cranberry growers, the A.D. Makepeace Co. The stream then runs through the Red Brook Wildlife Management Unit. The brook enters Buttermilk Bay at the Lyman Reserve, owned by the Trustees of Reservations. Red Brook Reserve totals 1,100+ acres, is jointly managed by TTOR, MassWildlife and TU.
    4. 4. Mouth of Red Brook
    5. 5. Tidal section of Red Brook
    6. 6. Tidal pool at dead low water
    7. 7. 16 inch Red Brook Salter
    8. 8. Red Brook Salter
    9. 9. “Football” from Red Brook June 1, 2007. Note the small head and very fat body; this indicates rapid growth in the marine environment.
    10. 10. Salter June 2008
    11. 11. Reasons for Decline • Dams • Cranberry Bogs • Overfishing • Development • Introduced Species
    12. 12. Wild Brook Trout Streams of Massachusetts
    13. 13. Dams! • Trap Sediment • Block Fish Passage • Warm water • Safety Issues
    14. 14. Massachusetts Dams Over 2645 Dams
    15. 15. Road culverts may act as mini dams and impact fish passage Prevent Fish From Seeking Refuge Habitats
    16. 16. Previous Work on Quashnet - Annual census (Hurley, MA DFW) Total Number of Fish Sampled 0 50 100 150 200 250 1985 1987 1989 1991 1992 1994 1995 1997 1999 2001 2003 2005 2007 Brook Trout Brown Trout end of brown trout stocking (no data)
    17. 17. Objective Identify what migration patterns exist today How many fish move? What size fish move? How far do fish move within the river? ? ?
    18. 18. Steve Hurley & Andrew Tweel
    19. 19. PIT Tags Assign unique ID to fish No battery Tiny, low impact to fish Inserted into abdominal cavity
    20. 20. Inserting PIT tag
    21. 21. Stationary Antenna -Tag # -Date/Time -Travel Direction at head of tide
    22. 22. Quashnet data recorder and batteries in the “Box”
    23. 23. Portable Antenna • Can be used throughout river –Habitat usage –Non-intrusive • Will be used in future research
    24. 24. Spawning season – frequent up and down movements, pattern continues throughout day Observed Brook Trout Behaviors Commuter - regularly scheduled movements. Out at dusk, in before sunrise. Migrants – Active, then no records for over a month
    25. 25. Spawning activity- frequent up and down movements pattern continues throughout day Migrant- Active, then no records for over a monthCommuter- regularly scheduled movements. Out at dusk, in before sunrise November December January February noon dusk dawn
    26. 26. 2008 Fall Salter
    27. 27. • Small dam removal at Red Brook 2006,2008, 2009 • Work performed by A.D. Makepeace Co., funded by: Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration (Riverways Program), American Rivers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and others Red Brook Habitat Improvement
    28. 28. Placement of Large Woody Debris
    29. 29. Robbins after dam removal
    30. 30. After Habitat Reconstruction
    31. 31. After Habitat Reconstruction
    32. 32. Waquoit Bay
    33. 33. Childs River Restoration • September 2006 Electrofishing Surveys • No brook trout reproduction but occasional wanderers • Habitat was suitable but trout broodstock was lacking
    34. 34. • 19 trout moved from Quashnet River on June 4 2008 • PIT tagged • Adult fish 145 to 249 mm • Included 3 recaptured trout Brook Trout Transplantation
    35. 35. Brook Trout Transplanted into Childs River June 4 2008
    36. 36. Homing Movement • 7245232 174 mm • Released into Childs River June 4 2008 • No records until Nov. 2008 • Headed upstream on Quashnet River 11/25/08 • Several detections in March at Rt 28 • 3.7 miles through salt water of Waquoit Bay • Relocated in Childs River Aug. 2009
    37. 37. Brook Trout Reproduction confirmed in March 2009
    38. 38. Report of Frank Weston Benson (1862 - 1951) • April 2, 1893 -All drove to Fresh Brook, South Wellfleet to try for Trout. Tied the Horse and fished down stream to the Railroad [bridge]. In the pool above the track F.W.B. [Frank W. Benson] caught a half pounder, then another half pounder then a one pounder. The others arrived and we caught from the pool 13 more fine Trout… The 15 fish weighed 17 pounds after they were brought home and washed
    39. 39. Fresh Brook – Wellfleet (AKA Trout Brook) • 1914 Warden Report E.B. Mercata -Excellent fishing, has been stocked, never dries up • Mullan, James W. 1957. A fisheries investigation of Cape Cod coastal streams “fishermen report fair trout fishing last year (1955)
    40. 40. Fresh Brook - Wellfleet • No recent reports of trout • 2008 Electrofishing Survey • American eel • Largemouth bass
    41. 41. Fresh Brook Wellfleet Potential for coldwater restoration • Blocked culverts under old railroad now Cape Cod Rail Trail • Tidal restrictions at Route 6 • Primarily on Cape Cod National Seashore • Early signs of support from CCNS, Mass Audubon, town officials
    42. 42. Future Salter Trout From Fresh Brook in Wellflleet??
    43. 43. Other Diadromous
    44. 44. Acknowledgements • Steve Hurley, Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife • USGS Conte Anadromous Fish Laboratory: Ben Letcher, Todd Dubreuil, Matt O’Donnell • Waquoit Bay NERR: Brendan Annett and Morgan Potter • Trout Unlimited

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