New York fisherman Rick Beauchamp set the state record for brook trout after snagging a six-pound, 22.5-inch brook trout in Silver Lake in Hamilton County in the Adirondack’s Silver Lake Wilderness. The trout, caught on May 16, broke the record set last year by two ounces.
The Department of Environmental Conservation also sees this as a win for the organization, touting the state’s NY Open for Hunting and Fishing Initiative as a way to encourage residents to enjoy the state’s natural resources. The catch also represents another win:
The brook trout is not only a success for Mr. Beauchamp, it also reflects the ongoing recovery of Adirondack lakes from the effects of acid rain. Until a few years ago, Silver Lake was too acidified to support a trout population. In 1969 the lake was determined to be fishless and in 1976 it had a pH of 5.0 which is too acidic for brook trout to thrive. After water chemistry samples indicated the pH of lake had risen to almost 6.0, DEC began an experimental stocking program for brook trout in 2002. Currently DEC stocks Windfall strain native brook trout in Silver Lake and brook trout are the only fish species known to be present.
Mr. Beauchamp submitted details of his winning catch as part of DEC’s Angler Achievement Awards Program. Through this program, anglers can enter freshwater fish that meet specific qualifying criteria and receive official recognition of their catch and a distinctive lapel pin commemorating their achievement. The three categories that make up the program are: Catch & Release, Annual Award and State Record.
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Photos: Eat More Brook Trout (top); Fly Fishing 247 (above)