Gunpowder River 08′ Shocking Survey Results

Thanks to Maryland Fisheries Service biologists Charlie Gougeon, Susan Rivers and Dennis Genito from Baltimore County DEPRM for stopping in the shop a few weeks ago to give an informational talk about Angler’s prevention methods for Invasives like Didymo and whirling disease. At the close of the meeting, Charlie shared results from the latest 2008 shocking survey. Backwater Angler intern Alex McCrickard provided the pictures for this post.

The Gunpowder Falls was surveyed in 2008 at the Dam/Falls station, the Masemore Road Station and the Blue Mount station as part of the annual DNR Fall trout survey. Many interested folks came out to watch or assist. The Dam/Falls station was estimated to have 184 kg/ha, (164lbs/acre) of brown trout adults and 2685 trout/km, (4321 trout/mile). Compared to last year, standing crop and density of brown trout adults were down 13% and 14%, respectively. The 2007 estimates were 189 lbs/acre and 5, 036 adult brown trout/mile. Two rainbow trout adults were collected during the 2008 survey as well as fourteen rainbow trout fingerlings that were stocked there on May 21, 2008. The fingerlings were the Kamloops strain used in previous years that were obtained from our Albert Powell trout hatchery in Hagerstown. The captured fingerlings were beautiful specimens that had grown to lengths ranging from 7 to 9 inches. The fingerlings were stocked in May with an average length of approximately 3.5 inches.

Wild Kamloops Rainbow with Parr Marks

The Masemore Road station was estimated to have 49 kg/ha, (44lbs/acre) of brown trout adult and 593 brown trout/km, (954 trout/mile). The numbers were estimated a bit higher in 2007, at 49lbs/acre brown trout adults and density of 1, 104 brown trout adults per mile. Generally, brown trout adult estimates for standing crop and density for 2008 were 10% and 14% lower, respectively. The Masemore road station exhibited excellent brown trout recruitment in 2008 yoy, (young of year), collected, resulting in a density estimate of 1, 665 yoy/km, (2,680 yoy/mile). This was indeed higher than numbers of yoy estimated there in 2007, (1, 676 yoy/mile).
Generally, Blue Mount station showed a 33% increase in standing crop of adult brown trout in 2008 and a 14% decrease in adult brown density when compared to estimates in 2007. The Blue Mount station was estimated in 2008 to contain 36kg/ha (32lbs/acre) of brown trout adults and 487 brown trout/km, (783 trout/mile). The Blue Mount station demonstrated fair recruitment in 2008, as 74 yoy brown trout were collected which resulted in an estimate of 271 yoy/km, (436 yoy/mile). Brown trout standing crop was estimated lower in 2007 at 24lbs/acre. Although adult density was higher in 2007, (911 trout/mile), the trout were smaller in average size. Recruitment at Blue Mount station was estimated as 436 yoy/mile in 2008 and 224 yoy/mile in 2007.

Wild Brown Trout

Overall, anglers will be met with a plethora of wild trout when fishing the Gunpowder Falls tailwater and they will find trout in fatter condition this year as compared to last. Assistance was provided by the staff from the MDDNR Inland Fisheries Western region, Gunpowder State Park, Baltimore City Watershed division, Baltimore County Department of Resource Management, Susan Rivers of Inland Fisheries, Trout Unlimited, Backwater Anglers and many interested volunteers. Our thanks to all of those who participated in the survey this year…