2020 Trout Habitat Assessment and Restoration Prioritization: Upper Delaware River, Hancock, New York

The Upper Delaware River is a premier wild-trout fishery in the eastern United States and flows through New York and Pennsylvania. The New York Department of Environmental Conservation, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission and the Friends of the Upper Delaware River wanted to document habitat availability and suitability for wild trout in the Upper Delaware River system. Key objectives included: 1) determining the habitat conditions for wild brown trout and rainbow trout; 2) providing information to help prioritize future river projects related to the preservation and maintenance of trout habitat, and 3) providing a baseline of information that will be used to measure the impacts of future projects on the health of the river system. Trutta completed a High Definition Stream Survey (HDSS) of approximately 80 miles of the Upper Delaware River in approximately 5 days using a combination of inflatable rafts and kayaks. The survey area covered the West Branch from Deposit, NY to Hancock, NY; the East Branch from Downsville, NY to Hancock, NY; and the main river from the confluence of the East and West branches at Hancock south to Callicoon, PA. The HDSS involved two rafts to ensure documentation of the conditions of both stream banks, the streambed, and stream conditions. Trutta also completed cross-sectional transects at 1-mile increments for bathymetric modeling purposes. This project was funded with as part of a National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Contract aimed at enhancing the New York-Pennsylvania Joint Fisheries Investigation Plan.