Rick Beauchamp, of Mayfield, Fulton County, is the new holder of the state record for brook trout after catching a six-pound, 22.5-inch brookie in Silver Lake on May 16, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today. The previous record holder was William Altman of Athol, who caught a 21-inch, 5 pound, 14 ounce brook trout in the West Canada Lakes Wilderness in Hamilton County in 2012.
Beauchamp reeled in the new record-breaking fish while fishing Silver Lake, also in Hamilton County in the Adirondack’s Silver Lake Wilderness. The new record brook trout, caught on a lake clear wabbler (the same lure used to catch the previous record fish) and worm, weighed in at slightly more than 6 pounds, surpassing the previous state record set in 2012 by two ounces.
Until a few years ago, Silver Lake was too acidified to support a trout population. In 1969 the lake was determined to be fish-less 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.
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.
Information about the Angler Achievement Awards Program, including past winners and a downloadable application form, can be found on the DEC website or by contacting DEC Bureau of Fisheries by phone at (518) 402-8891 or e-mail at [email protected] Program details and an official entry form can also be found in DEC’s current Freshwater Fishing Regulations Guide, available at town clerk offices and outdoor sports shops around the state.
Photo: Rick Beauchamp with his record breaking brook trout.