Why Some New York Trout Will Be Missing A Fin This Year
Fishing season is upon us, and some trout enthusiasts may be in for an interesting surprise this year.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) is always looking for new and helpful ways to maintain a healthy and thriving natural environment in the state, including for our finned friends. A new study, however, will leave some fish looking a little different.
Brown Trout in New York State
Trout season kicked on April 1st in New York state, and there was one specific strain of brown trout that caught the NYS DEC's attention. The Rome strain have been stocked in New York for roughly 60 years, but due to heavy inbreeding, their health has diminished. The NYS DEC's solution was to introduce a new strain, called Romiskany, to help "rejuvenate" the Rome strain. From DEC Fish Pathologist Andy Noyes:
We're trying to do this comparative fin clipping study where the domestic (Rome) fish are clipped with one fin cut off, and the other (Romiskany trout) had their right pelvic fin clipped.
Researchers expect the new Romiskany strain to survive better in the wild after they are stocked in selected New York streams. They will be able to confirm their hypothesis in the coming months when they return to take samples. The clipped fins (below) will help scientists to easily distinguish between the Rome and Romiskany strains.
Rome and Romiskany Trout in New York
The brown trout have been released after their clipping from the Catskill Fish Hatchery. Mr. Noyes describes the fin clipping to fingernail clipping, and stresses that not only does it not hurt the fish, but that the fins will eventually grow back. Hatcheries are active all across the country. Take a look inside the Giant Springs Trout Hatchery in Montana below, and keep scrolling to see the best places to eat fish in the Hudson Valley.