In case you didn’t know (and if you’ll pardon the inflamatory headline) the Farmington River has lots of trout. Lots of big trout. And lots of wild trout. All good news if you like to fish the Farmington.
We know this because every September, the MDC draws down the flow of the dam and electroshocks the river. The electroshocking has two purposes: trout census, and gathering broodstock for future generations, aka Farmington River Survivor Strain. (For more on Survivor Strain, see my article in the Spring 2014 issue of The Drake.)
I didn’t attend, but the DEEP delivered their state of the river address to the FRAA a few weeks ago. Here’s their story in numbers:
• Around 4,600 fish sampled in one day in the TMA.
• The highest number of fish in the 16″ class ever sampled
• The highest number of fish in the 20″ class ever sampled
• Two-thirds of the 16″ class were Survivor Strain, and the highest number of wild fish sampled yet. (I’m getting these figures second hand from the FRAA Facebook page, so I don’t know if that means there were more wild fish overall than ever before, or there were more wild fish in the 16″ class than ever before.)
Survivor Strain, taken in April 2013. Note red elastomer behind eye, indicating she was re-planted the previous fall.
Big ole’ wild thang taken on a Drowned Ant soft-hackle. Where’d all dem spots go?
I take a substantial number of wild browns like this guy on wets. It’s fun to return to the same spot the next year and see how everyone has grown.
Many thanks to the DEEP and to everyone who practices catch-and-realease. Your efforts are truly appreciated.