With the summer season well under way by the end of June, we continue to see this year’s cutthroat growing quickly. By now the largest trout have a fork length of 140 mms and look like they have been eating lots of freshwater shrimp.
Freshwater shrimp in Bee Creek eat mostly algae, bacteria, decaying plant matter. The gee traps collect the shrimp overnight along with the cutthroat, and are return when the trout are released.
Two species of shrimp are found in BC lakes and streams.
“Gammarus are the most widely distributed and easily recognized, as they can reach body lengths in excess of 15 millimetres (about 3/5 inch). They are found in a variety of colours, with light to dark olive the most common. Hyalella are much smaller shrimp that rarely exceed four millimetres (less than 1/5 inch) in length and are typically much lighter in colour, with a pale olive-green to light grey predominant”. (gofishbc.com)
With the abundance of shrimp in Bee Creek, we found that some trout, certainly not all, had eaten well. Notice the distended stomach of this healthy cutthroat.
We retrieved 19 cutthroat in June with fork lengths ranging from 70 to 145 mms, or 3 to nearly 6 months old. The creek temperatures have warmed slightly, and consistent through all sites at around 13.5 degrees.
This month Jordyn and Bree each chose a new site on the creek. Site selection was based on 1: shade, to protect the trout from sun and preditors, 2: current, with a current speed not too strong that a 24 hour soak would not be too exhausting and 3: depth, to ensure the trap was submerged at a level that did not endanger the fish.
Both new sites produced three cutthroat each, confirming that the trout have dispersed well throughout the creek.