Promising Signs of Rainbow Trout Recovery in Hazeltine Creek

In recent years, Hazeltine Creek has been the focus of extensive monitoring efforts aimed at restoring the rainbow trout population in Polley Lake. Recent observations were conducted in May 2023, and today we are pleased to share some news about the recent increase in adult rainbow trout sightings that indicates a potential recovery in their numbers. The chart below shows detailed results of the initial 2023 surveys conducted by our partners at Minnow Environmental.

These surveys involve counting individual adult trout using the creek for their spawning activities. The data collected from these surveys help us assess the progress of the reintroduced fish and the functionality of the constructed habitat.

Photo: Rainbow trout observed in Hazeltine Creek on June 13, 2023

Positive Trends

This year’s observations mark the second consecutive year of increased spawning sightings since the reintroduction of fish into Hazeltine Creek. The preliminary data indicates that the 2018 cohort of Hazeltine Creek and hatchery fish have reached reproductive maturity and are actively utilizing the constructed habitat for their spawning activities.

First Signs of New Life

During our observations we witnessed a group of young fry (young-of-year fish) in the early stages of development holding in some of the still water sections of the creek. This serves as a promising indication that the rainbow trout population is successfully reproducing and that the constructed habitat is functioning as intended.

Check out the below video in which Gabriel Holmes, Environmental Coordinator at Mount Polley, shares his observations of rainbow trout in Hazeltine Creek on May 15th, 2023.

Supporting Future Projections

The data collected from these surveys will play a role in supporting modelling activities to project the future population of rainbow trout in Polley Lake. By analyzing these observations, we can gain valuable insights into the recovery trajectory.

With ongoing monitoring and continued efforts, we look to a bright and sustainable future for the rainbow trout in Hazeltine Creek.

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