People are often surprised to learn that yes, there are fish living in Nine Mile Run and in fact… there are rather a LOT of them!
Led by NMRWA Monitoring Committee members Brady Porter and Michael Koryak, fish sampling is performed on an annual basis, typically in the fall. Since the stream restoration was completed in 2006, their data have shown marked improvement in the number and diversity of fish in the stream.
Immediately post-restoration, the entire stream was electro-fished and only 116 fish comprising seven different species were found. Today, it’s impossible to sample the entire length of the stream in one day due to the number of fish and time it would take to process them all!
For example, last Wednesday, NMRWA Monitoring Committee members and other volunteers sampled for fish in lower Nine Mile Run. Beginning at the mouth of the stream near Duck Hollow in the morning, and traveling upstream to finish just below the pedestrian bridge in the late afternoon, we caught nearly 2,300 fish comprising 17 different species! This is the second highest species count ever found in this section of the stream – 21 species were found in 2011.
Additionally, we found two new species that had never been collected from Nine Mile Run before: Gizzard shad and Silverjaw minnows. The addition of these two species brings the total species count of fish collected from this stretch of Nine Mile Run since 1999 to 30!
This week, barring inclement weather, we will finish our fish sampling for the year when we sample a section of the stream in the main part of Frick Park.
As always, thanks to Brady and Mike and all the volunteers who help make this important sampling effort happen!
Want to learn more about our stream monitoring work? Head on over to our monitoring page for more information and nifty, interactive data maps!