Notes from the Outdoors

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Around the Fish & Boat Commission

- The Fish and Boat Commission will stock brown trout into Lake Erie's tributary streams as part of a new effort beginning Sept. 29.

The 7-inch long fish will be fin clipped for identification purposes before being stocked the next day. Planned stocking locations are Trout Run, Presque Isle Bay, Crooked Creek, Godfrey Run and Orchard Beach Creek.

All the fish will be released as close to the mouths of the streams as possible, based on adequate water flow. If flows are down, the fish will be stocked near each stream's mouth.

Lake Erie biologist Chuck Murray said the goal of the stocking program -- in its first year -- is to "emulate the brown trout program on Lake Ontario, but on a smaller scale."

The goal is to create a fishery in Lake Erie and its tributary streams similar to the steelhead program. The fish will, he hopes, create a near-shore springtime fishery and enhance the offshore summer boat fishery. The trout are taking the place of the Coho salmon stocked prior to 2003.

About 100,000 browns, provided by New York, are being stocked. The commission plans to develop its own brood stock and plant 50,000 to 100,000 browns in the stream each year in future seasons.

Some trout, meanwhile, have already been stocked. program in 2003. Earlier this year, 3-CU and the Wesleyville Conservation Club stocked 35,000 browns in the streams.

Creel surveys and existing assessment programs will be carried out over the next few years to gauge whether fishermen actually find and catch the fish.

- Fish and Boat Commissioners may yet list the salamander mussel as a state-threatened species.

They first proposed doing that back in January but ultimately backed down in the face of pressure from dredgers, who convinced state and local lawmakers that the ruling would quickly put them out of business.

Commissioners deferred making a decision until meeting with dredgers twice in May. They reached an agreement in June.

Dredging will continue as always in the Allegheny River, while the commission will step up sampling efforts to look for salamander mussels. …