SEA-RUN TROUT, SHAD, WILD TIGER
TROUT AND HERRING PROGRAM
In the spring of 2015, the DEEP Fisheries Division stocked Alewife and American Shad in the Naugatuck River at the Riverbend Park in Beacon Falls.
1,000 Alewife came from Brides Pond ( Old Lyme)
163 American Shad from Holyoke, MA Fishlift
Naugy Shad 2014 June 13, 2014
Here’s the report researched by Bob Gregorski
with information from Inland Fisheries Division (IFD)
June 2014 Report; data has been confirmed by Tim Wildman –
Fisheries Biologist Diadromous Fisheries / Marine
AMERICAN SHAD – DEEP June 2014 Inland Fisheries Division Report
Transplanted 323 adult pre-spawn American Shad: (Farmington River = 160)
and (Naugatuck River = 163 stocked at Riverbend
Park Beacon Falls). Shad were transported from the Holyoke Fishlift (Connecticut River) to spawning habitat
upstream of fishways to accelerate restoration.
Another success story: TU & NRWA assisted Mike Horbal
& Don Mysling in designing Riverbend Park so stocking of: shad, herring, trout
& salmon would be easy.
Hopefully the young-of-the-year shad will use the new by-pass channel to
return to the ocean and later return as adults.
Alewife—Beacon Falls (5/8/2014) 800 were
released that came from Bride Brook in Niantic, CT.
WILD TIGER TROUT
By Bob Gregorski
Stocked Tiger Trout that was reproduced in a State
Tiger Trout that was reproduced in the wild
Photos are by Bob Jacobs a DEP Fishery
Are wild tiger trout being produced in
Naugatuck River system is the question that came to mind after reading a
recent Email from Steve Arkenbout. Arkenbout was one of the writers on our staff at The
Connecticut Fisherman’s Review magazine 1993-1995. The idea piqued my mind
and prompted me to do some research about Tiger Trout in Connecticut.
The following is the essence of Arkenbout’s Email. “I have been busy fishing for wild
trout. I just recently fished a small feeder to the Naugatuck River and
caught two tiger trout. I know the state has been stocking tiger trout in
the Naugatuck. This stream is not stocked so I would assume they migrated
into the brook. But what is more interesting is the two I caught were both
around 5 inches. The state says they stock 9-12 inchers. Perhaps it stocked
smaller ones. I have caught one tiger trout in the past that I know was
wild with brilliant colors. Just the fact that I caught two tells me they
are more likely stocked. Was wondering if you have any insight as to
whether any streams have been stocked with tiger trout.”
I in turn emailed Ed Machowski,
a DEP Fisheries Biologist to get information from the Fisheries Division.
The essence of Machowski’s reply was that it is
possible that those are wild fish. While not common, we do find tigers on
occasion in streams where browns and brookies
exist. “What is interesting is not every stream with good brown and brook
abundance produce tigers. An example of a stream with a large number of
tiger trout is Weewaka Brook (tributary to Lake Lillinonah). Many, many years back I caught naturally
spawned tigers in Sandy Brook,” noted Machowski.
I searched my library and found other two sources of reliable information.
Here’s some of what John Holt said in his book ALL ABOUT TROUT. Tiger trout
are a hybrid produced mostly from the eggs of a female (hen) brown trout
being fertilized by the milt from of a male (cockish) brook trout. “The
cross has the brookie’s vermiculations
(worm-like markings on its sides) and the brown’s coloring,” stated Holt.
Holt went on to say, “This cross has
extremely aggressive disposition, but unfortunately only about one-third of
the young are able to develop fully because of a disease inherent in the
sac-fry. This cross rarely occurs in nature and is unable to naturally
reproduce because it is a salmonid mule (sterile
adult). My second reference book Trout Biology by Bill Willers
confirmed that most tiger trout are produced by a female brown and a male brookie,
however, Willers said when brook trout eggs are
fertilized by milt from male brown the result is sometimes called tiger
trout (less frequently leopard trout). These fish can be quite different in
shape and pattern of vermiculation. There is no
explanation why this occurs. In one controlled study, when 100,000 female
brown eyed-eggs were incubated (fertilized by brook trout milt), 65,000
hatched and 4,000 reached fry stage. That’s a 4% survival rate. When 4,467
eggs from a brook trout were fertilized by milt from a brown trout, 128
hatched and 22 survived to fry stage. That’s a 0.5% survival rate. One can
conclude that survival of tiger trout when brown trout eggs are fertilized
is more likely to happen. Later I corresponded with Bill Hyatt, Director on
CT Inland Fisheries and several of the Division’s biologists and received
the following information. The Connecticut DEP stocks only a small number
of tiger in its annual trout stocking program. Here’s a sample of what the
DEP Fisheries Division stocked prior to Opening Day 2008. Brook Trout -
62,500 (10-11 inch); Brown Trout –214,300 (10-11 inch), Brown Trout – 7,900
(12 inch), Tiger Trout –8,000 (10-12 inch brook/brown hybrid), Rainbow
Trout – 89,000 (10-12 inch), Rainbow Trout –18,650 (12-14 inch) and 1,680
surplus broodstock (3-10 pounds). Note: After
Opening Day about 5,000 tiger trout (10-12 inch) were stocked. So, about
13,000 of the total 800,000 trout stocked annually in the state were tiger
trout. Or approximately 1.7 % of the total was tiger trout. The state
stocks tiger trout to add to the diversity of trout species. Recall the
some years ago golden trout were stocked. They were easy to spot in the
water, but difficult to catch. Tigers are aggressive. Anglers enjoy the
fight they display. One additional type tiger trout stocking involves the
Sea-run Trout Program. DEP Fisheries Division is trying to establish
sea-run trout fisheries in waters that are potentially favorable. In 2008,
the following yearling tiger trout were stocked in the lower sections of:
Salmon River (500), Saugatuck River (396), Naugatuck River (396), Niantic
River (396), Thames River (500) and Latimer Brook (396). The following are
listed in the 2008 Connecticut Angler’s Guide as sea-run trout fisheries.
Read the Guide for specific areas of river. They include:Eightmile
River (East Haddam –Lyme), Farm River, Hammonasset
River, Latimer Brook, Mianus River, Oil Mill
Brook, Saugatuck River and Whitford Brook.
Thanks to DEP Fisheries Supervisor Bill
Hyatt and biologists Bob Orciari, Ed Machowski, Bill Foreman, Bob Jaciobs
and Tim Wildman.
SHAD & HERRING STOCKING 2007 & 2008
By Bob Gregorski
The following fish were stocked by the DEP
Fisheries Division this spring: 162 adult American shad and 500 alewife. This has been on on-going program for many
years. The goal is to have these anadromous fish
species reproduce in the river. Their offspring return to the ocean and
return in a few years as adults to reproduce. No sea lamprey were stocked
In 2007, there were 118 pre-spawn adult
American shad from the Holyoke Fish lift stocked into the Naugatuck River
in early June. No lamprey were stocked in the
Naugatuck River. In 2006, there were 549 Alewife and 72 American shad
stocked. In 2005, the Naugatuck River was stocked with 399 alewives. No
shad were stocked.
Sea-run trout, American shad and alewives
stocked in the Naugatuck River in 2006 on 4/11/06, 250 adipose fin clipped seeforellen strain brown trout yearlings were stocked;
250 unmarked tiger trout yearlings on 4/11/06 and 549 Alewife on 5/5/06 and
72 American shad were stocked on 6/16/06.
In 2005, the Naugatuck River was stocked
with 500 seeforellen strain brown trout yearlings
and 450 tiger trout yearlings. No shad were stocked; 399 alewives were stocked.
Anglers who have caught any of the trout
(2005 - 2008) are encouraged to contact Bob Gregorski
email@example.com. with information about
the catches. Steve Gephard and Tim Wildman (DEP
Marine Biologists) are interested in the data.
Anglers are encouraged to practice Catch
& Release and give these fish a chance to grow.