April 19th, 2004
The Premiere OnLine Magazine for the Fly Fishing Enthusiast.
This is where our readers tell their stories . . .
Southern Tier trout streams have been float stocked by volunteers (including FFF club members Bill Lavris and Ed Ryan, among others) starting in 1996. The first equipment used consisted of wooden rafts with wire mesh bottoms, which were guided downstream by volunteers wading in the stream alongside. The initial wooden rafts were constructed by students in the Conservation Dept. of the Chemung/Schuyler B.O.C.E.S. under the direction of Donald McNaughton and Diane Foster. This system worked, but the uncertain streambottom led to occasional spills of people, rafts, and fish. In 1999, volunteers began using rubber rafts to ferry the wooden float boxes downstream, instead of walking in the stream next to them. Initially, large 4-person rafts were used, and in time, the wooden float rafts were replaced with plastic 55 gallon barrels with a flotation collar. These were an improvement, but still rather clumsy and unwieldy to navigate through the stream courses.
In late March '04, volunteers from the Twin Tiers FFF, the Conhocton Chapter of Trout Unlimited, and students from the Wayland-Cohocton Central School successfully float stocked the Cohocton River with approximately 4000 trout, from the Village of Cohocton to Kanona, using the new equipment.
This is a great example of how a few people volunteering their time, organizing around a common interest, and supported by established organizations like the Federation of Fly Fishers, can have a real impact on the quality of our local fishing.
For more information on the float stocking equipment and operation, contact:
Hornell NY area: Don Graham, 607-324-6445
Publisher's Note: Our sincere thanks to the Twin Tiers-Five Rivers Chapter for sharing this with our readers. We hope it will inspire more groups to use this very effective way of stocking!
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