Naples Creek Electroshocking!

Fishing Index  =>  Naples Creek Electroshocking pt. 2

Naples Creek Rainbow Trout Shocking, Spring 2007

Naples Creek, Canandaigua Lake:  A beautiful early spring day and the rainbow trout run is in full force.  Many fish and fishermen, some quite small, were on hand to start the season with the annual electroshocking of Naples Creek. The tributaries have been frozen and locked up tight since late January but a recent thaw has made for excellent conditions.  The trout have just begun to move and the season is looking good region-wide!

Many thanks to the fine folks at the DEC for doing this!  Sure, it's their job, but the kid-friendly atmosphere and good-natured DEC personnel really deserve a big round of applause for doing their job and doing well, not to mention tolerating hordes of spectators.  Thanks everyone!

A fine haul of rainbows!  They collect the trout in this big basket before weighing and measuring the fish.  It looked like a lot of work, flows were up and pulling these fish upstream couldn't have been easy, the whole project must be tough on the legs.  I wonder, how many of them return to their original locations after being released?  It probably depends, many of these fish were fresh and probably still moving upstream anyway.  A few females were ripe and came off of beds, they will probably return.

Sometimes the DEC guys had to net several fish at once.  A good lie can hold more than a netful of fish!  The relatively high flow and colored water meant trouble seeing the rainbows and many drifted downstream, out of the reach of the netters.  I heard one worker say they were missing one-third of the fish they were shocking.  Some of them get stunned instantly, some get a lighter shock and can escape.  The immature fish are not purposefully netted but a few are captured, the smallest I saw measured was twelve inches.  

A nice male on display for the crowd.  Some fish had color but most were fairly bright, and the females were generally tight.  Good sign for the season!  I hope the creeks stay high until April first and beyond to give these beautiful fish a fighting chance.  I'd like to see a one-rainbow limit on the Finger Lakes Tributaries to spread the wealth around.  Better yet, practice catch, click, and release.  A good photo can be a trophy!  The numbers aren't the same as they used to be, so let's give them a chance!

A basket of fish.  Most of these trout were from 2-4 pounds, with a few 5 pounders and even a few in the 7 lb class.  "A good year" said the lead biologist.  I'll say!  Last year was very disappointing, the streams were low and clear on opening day and the trout were long gone.  This season is shaping up to be much better, especially if it keeps raining.  The shocking also went well at Catherine Creek this year, including one big rainbow trout over ten pounds!  I bet all the creeks in the Finger Lakes are holding such gorgeous trout!

Great fish!  A big silver female, this one was 6.4 pounds.  The DEC guys held the biggest fish up for the crowd to see.  A quiet roar would go up every time one of these big beauties floated to the surface.   This was one was nearly perfect and dime bright!  Maybe some little kid will be lucky enough to hook into her and zap! Instant life-long fisherman!

What a net job, three fish at once!  And a branch to boot.  There were a few spots where rainbows just came out of the woodwork, fish everywhere, it was pretty exciting!  As the day wore on the crowd thinned out, I myself only lasted until lunchtime.  Speaking of crowds, did I mention the school bus?  A bunch of kids came in for the electroshocking, what a great way to get them interested early!  I wish I had that kind of field trip when I was a boy, what fun.

More pictures in part two!

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