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Re: Big Spring Habitat & Management Meeting, Oct. 30

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2006/9/13 10:18
From LV
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Green Weenie, REALLY?
It was never a World Calls Bow fishery. Human interference made it so, at the expense of the World Class Brook Trout fishery that was developing.
Nearly everyone wanted the PFBC to restore the brook trout when the hatchery closed, no one wanted the bows to dominate, except for a few guides that loved the then stocked ditches bows. Nothing you say can change the facts.
Kudos to PFBC for realizing that the majority of anglers want the brookies.

Posted on: 2012/11/9 11:25
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Re: Big Spring Habitat & Management Meeting, Oct. 30

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I don't see how you come up with "most anglers want it as a brook trout fishery". According to Dave's summary, it was equal support for the brookies and the bows. If the brook is too fragile, let the bows have it. Let mother nature make the choice.

Posted on: 2012/11/9 14:18
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Re: Big Spring Habitat & Management Meeting, Oct. 30

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From Newville, PA
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I understand where you are coming from greenweenie and believe you speak from the heart. While I would also agree that the work completed thus far has changed the character of the stream for which we both have a shared love, I am overjoyed at having the opportunity to once again fish over wild brook trout in the stream of my youth. Please do not take this as short changing the wild rainbows as I believe they have more than proven they belong.

The PBFC is operating based on an agreement with CVTU/BSWA to restore brook trout population. This is an agreement I supported at the time, but I that was before any of us could envision the kind of rainbow fishery that we have today. Perhaps both groups should take another look at their long term goals for the fishery. Emotionally, I favor the brook trout. Scientifically, I favor the fishery and could never support the reduction of a thriving wild rainbow population to levels proposed by the commission.

Let me lay a little John Gresham on you. Close your eyes and imagine if you will for a moment a proposal to significantly reduce thriving populations of the world famous LeTort brown trout or the much prized rainbows of Falling Springs in deference to the native species. Suspect I do not need to tell your to open your eyes. We have something that neither of those streams have to my knowledge. Two sustainable wild tout populations.

As for other streams that could use some habitate enhancement funding, I would nominate Green Spring. I've watched that stream decline so severely as a fishery in the last 25 years. I'm hoping that the recent stocking of fingerling brown trout will take hold, but I have my doubts that will happen without some habitat enhancement.

Posted on: 2012/11/9 18:26
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Re: Big Spring Habitat & Management Meeting, Oct. 30

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2010/7/24 12:59
From Morrisville
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I have been sitting on the sidelines reading everyones point of view and the recap from the meeting, now for my .02 be it Big Spring or any other.

*Disclaimer I have never fished BS (it is on my list as I pass it routinly)but my opinion goes to any body of water*

To negativly affect any species (ie bows) that is increasing at the rate as in BS (roughly 4 fold) over one that is not, IMO is crazy. I am in no way saying to write off the Brookies but to activily target reducing bows, just doesnt make sense to me.

I aslo agree with GW that removing natural habitat to add artifical habitat eslewhere ????? WTF!!! Most consevation groups be it DU, TU, NWTF, RMEF are trying to protect and increase NATURAL habitat not remove it for artifical.

Back to the disclaimer having never fished BS I cant say if BS needs improvements however I feel most bodies of water could use some help to make it a better place for the fish and fisherman.

Instead of just expressing my opinion to ppl here I have also sent an email to PFBC, next best thing to attending meetings. Unfortunatly not everyone will be happy but hopefully in the end BS will be the winner.

Posted on: 2012/11/11 9:32


Re: Big Spring Habitat & Management Meeting, Oct. 30
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I am not overly familiar with BS and am not up on the studies or evaluations. What I have heard and based on a dozen trips there, or perhaps fewer, I found the water in certain areas shallow and devoid of structure and the "improvements" are trying to address these issues.

The unfavorable conditions in some sections may be a natural part of the process of stream metamorphosis, but as for now, if we are going through such a phase and it alters the recreational value of the water, I can support intervention that alters the natural course of things in favor of better habitat presently.

Since I don't think harvest is a serious threat to fertile waters like BS, I have no problem trying to alter the balance in favor of the wild brook trout. Though I don't think harvest on rainbows will actually cause displacement of the rainbows, it may open up areas for brookies to thrive without excess competition.

Since we have very few, if any, limestone waters dominated by brook trout, I would like to see BS developed in that direction, since it has the potential to be so.

Posted on: 2012/11/11 9:47

Edited by JackM on 2012/11/11 10:47:41
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Re: Big Spring Habitat & Management Meeting, Oct. 30
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Quote:

Love2fish wrote:
I have been sitting on the sidelines reading everyones point of view and the recap from the meeting, now for my .02 be it Big Spring or any other.

*Disclaimer I have never fished BS (it is on my list as I pass it routinly)but my opinion goes to any body of water*

To negativly affect any species (ie bows) that is increasing at the rate as in BS (roughly 4 fold) over one that is not, IMO is crazy. I am in no way saying to write off the Brookies but to activily target reducing bows, just doesnt make sense to me.

I aslo agree with GW that removing natural habitat to add artifical habitat eslewhere ????? WTF!!! Most consevation groups be it DU, TU, NWTF, RMEF are trying to protect and increase NATURAL habitat not remove it for artifical.

Back to the disclaimer having never fished BS I cant say if BS needs improvements however I feel most bodies of water could use some help to make it a better place for the fish and fisherman.

Instead of just expressing my opinion to ppl here I have also sent an email to PFBC, next best thing to attending meetings. Unfortunatly not everyone will be happy but hopefully in the end BS will be the winner.




Don’t make the assumption that Big Spring was in pristine, unspoiled condition before the work was done.

Here is a description of the stream just after the state hatchery was closed:

Present impacts to Big Spring within the stream corridor include legacy sediment, farm fragmentation and development, stormwater runoff, sewage treatment plant effluent, past mining activity that still introduces sediment, and impervious surface of the state fish hatchery that carries runoff directly into the headwaters. Most impairment of the once renowned native brook trout fishery and the supporting aquatic community was very likely caused by fish culture at a private hatchery in the mid-1900s and at the state hatchery at the stream’s source between 1972 and 2001. Wild trout populations persisted above the private hatchery and are now recovering below the closed state hatchery. Other influences may have included sedimentation from mining and agriculture in the early 1900s, although brook trout persisted in apparently high densities during this time.

For riparian and aquatic plants, several species are invasive and therefore of concern. These include Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica), Tatarian honeysuckle (Lonicera tataria), multiflora rose (Rosa multiflora), and reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea). Additionally, Elodea canadensis (Canadian water weed) is an aquatic invasive that strongly controls sediment dynamics within the channel (Clapsaddle 2003). Potamageton crispus (curly pond weed) also an aquatic invasive, dominates slow deep waters in the middle reaches, and tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima) is rapidly invading disturbed areas along parking areas and roadsides. Garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) is
also listed in the Natural Areas Inventory (2005) as an important invasive in the Condoguinet floodplain. Watercress, water speedwell, and waterweed dominated the reach electrofished by Cooper and Scherer (1967), along with several other species.

During years of hatchery operation, Big Spring was overtaken by watercress. Aquatic plant diversity is returning, but there are still occasional large blooms of water cress and algae from non-point nutrient loading.


Link to source: http://webspace.ship.edu/tmhurd/BSWARCPFinal.pdf

While the stream will never be unspoiled or pristine the work done on the stream can be described as remedial and the fish population has exploded.

I too would like to see a limestone brook trout stream in PA. Time will tell if the brookies will continue increase and populate the lower reaches of the stream.

Posted on: 2012/11/11 10:44


Re: Big Spring Habitat & Management Meeting, Oct. 30

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2012/5/4 9:12
From D-Town
Posts: 615
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Well we cant piss everybody off but I say extend the regs downstream and put some kind of barrier below Nealy Road Bridge to try and keep the Bows separate from the brook trout... it is a shame how much the flyfishing only area is utilized but in the ATW the fish are almoat totally wiped out within weeks of opening day. It is very rare that I see anybody fishing in the ATW once the trout are killed. I don't believe Big Spring is a world class fishery at this point. Extend better regs beyond Nealy Road bridge and quit stocking and then were talking.

Posted on: 2012/11/11 14:45
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Re: Big Spring Habitat & Management Meeting, Oct. 30

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2012/5/4 9:12
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I would like to get more involved with somep of the work to take place on B.Spring.

Posted on: 2012/11/11 15:10
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Re: Big Spring Habitat & Management Meeting, Oct. 30

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Afish,

Totally irrelevant and misleading information. You are referencing information that describes the condition of the stream in 2001 and this condition was certainly not the condition in 2010 - there are 9 years of substantial change that is being ignored. You want to argue that, how about the conditions of the polar ice caps and glaciers? Where they anywhere the same in 2010 as they were in 2001? And this is exactly what the PFBC and CVTU did – convince the public that the stream in 2010 was in dire straits (2001 condition) and needed improvement and if you don’t believe us, go to the stream and see if you can see any trout (you couldn’t) so see, the stream sucks it needs to be improved. Totally misleading information but brilliantly marketed to get what they wanted – a more easily fishable stream. The information you reference was the condition in 2001 but certainly not in 2010.

Chaz,

No not kudos to the PFBC, shame on them. This is a dummy the stream down project to make it fishable and it has nothing to do with brook trout improvement. It is being promoted in the name of brook trout improvement to get all the brook trout supporters on board but the work DOES NOT support the brook trout. If you want the brook trout to return you create habitat suitable to brook trout and this is not it. And removing the bows won’t do a friggin thing if the habitat is not suitable for brook trout so please stop saying remove all the bows and the brook trout will come back. Remove the brook trout habitat, remove the bows and leave the brook trout and guess what, the brook trout won’t come back because they don’t have the habitat to do so. It has nothing to do with the bows it has to do with favorable habitat for the brook trout and this work destroys it. And the PFBC’s own data supports that the work doesn’t favor the brook trout.

Look at the PFBC own data from this project that was just made public. In 2008 to 2009 in the control section the brook trout under natural conditions increased from 769/km to 1642/km – an increase of 873 trout in one year – a 113% increase. However, after the work was done in fall 2010 the 2011 survey data showed 2351/km, a 709/km increase from 2009 levels, which is a 43% increase over 2 years compared to 113% pre-restoration. For arguments sake discount the 2009 – 2011 period because the work was completed in 2010, which probably disrupted things, so look at 2011 to 2012, when the habitat was supposedly improved, only a 318/km increase occurred, which is only a 13% increase. So in a natural state one year prior to the work the brook trout in the control section increased 113% (873/km) in a 1 year period compared to a 13% increase (318/km) in 1 year 1 year after the work was completed.

What I find interesting is the PFBC sampling data from each year from 2001 through 2007reports trout densities are biomass (lbs/acre) and pure numbers (i.e., 165 trout collected) yet the data presented as part of their 2012 report on the restoration work is now presented as trout/km – so unless you know how they sampled you really can’t compare the data directly. Based on my understanding of the sampling events from 2001 – 2007 obtained from actually talking with the PFBC biologists who did the work, each sampling section was approximately 300 yards long beginning at the point referenced so looking at the PFBC biologist website, the 2006 survey from a section, “300 yards downstream of the dam at the downstream end of the ditch,” is basically the control sampling point in the 2008 – 2012 surveys, and the 2006 data shows the brook trout collected totals 162 brook trout in a 300 yard section beginning 300 yards below the ditch. Converting this means the 162 brook trout collected in a 300 yard section equals 540/km. In 2007 the brook trout was 165/300 yards, which is 550/km. Now look at the control data and from 2007 to 2008 the brook trout increased was 550/km from 2006/2007 to 769/km from 2007/2008, a 40% increase, then from 2008 to 2009 this section experienced a 113% increase from 769/km to 1642/km. In each year prior to the work in the control section, the increase is more than the percentage after the work. As I stated in prior posts (search my posts, this is what I said, unless my posts were deleted because I said something someone didn’t want me saying and that DID happen), the brook trout were increasing rapidly from 2007 to 2010 in the upper section and finally the PFBC has posted their own data which seems to support my observations that most said were wrong because I had no scientific fact. The facts are now presented by the PFBC.

Sounds like a great habitat improvement project to me.

As for the Piper survey site, this was probably the least productive section of the entire FFO section and the one section that could have used a little work and I will say the work probably did help that section but there was no reason to ruin the most productive section of the stream (above) in the process. However, from 2006 to 2010 I watched the brook trout move downstream from probably 100 yards below the Big Spring Road bridge (the iron bridge) to probably 400 yards below the bridge so I seriously question how much the restoration work actually had to do with the increase in this section. I am of the opinion if the stream was left alone the Piper section would probably be at the same levels as it is now. But the reality is the best spawning areas for the brook trout were in the control section, above the Piper section, which they tore apart, and the PFBC’s own data supports that.

Seems to me the control section in its natural state represented the best condition so that’s the model that should have been implemented but it wasn’t.

As for the huge bow increase in the Piper and Thomas sections after the work, the majority of those bows are transplants from the 300 yard section upstream and beginning at Neely Road, which got silted over in many spots due to the upstream work. That section was never surveyed and if it was the biomass and sheer numbers of the bows would have been completely off the charts.

Emotionally, I favor the brook trout and unfortunately, if the PFBC/CVTU would have listed to Dr. Jack Black, Gene Macri and Dave Potts from the US Fish and Wildlife Dept, they would have a wonderful brook trout fishery in the upper half of the FFO section but this has nothing to do with saving the brook trout, it’s about creating an artificial easily fishable stream. The PFBC’s own data shows that first 400 yards below the ditch without any improvement was ideal for brook trout reproduction habitat yet the PFBC/CVTU ignored scientific data and instead had to screw with it and in the process destroyed the very natural habitat that supported the brook trout in the first place. What I fear is history has shown that everything the PFBC/CVTU has done to this stream hasn’t helped the brook trout and whether you like it or not, the bows have established a healthy population and I can’t see the logic in destroying a wonderful bow population that their own efforts created because of their own stupidity in the name of trying to create habitat ideal for the brook trout. Their efforts have failed time and time again yet people keep wanting to give them another go at it. At the end of the day what everyone will be left with is a stocked stream because the PFBC/CVTU is going to fudge this stream up beyond help and destroy the wild trout and all I have to say is for those of you who are supporting this and call me an idiot and rail road this through, I can’t wait until you get what you deserve.

Great example just_jon. Can you imagine the reaction of the PFBC and CVTU if someone proposed to kill the browns in the Letort and the bows in FS because they weren’t native? And if anyone wants further proof, when the Letort suffered the chemical kill the PFBC wanted to STOCK the stream and those two idiots Fox and Marinaro, you know, those two idiots who don’t have any scientific background but just thousands and thousands of hours on the Letort, said to leave the stream alone, don’t do anything and just let it recover on its own and it did? Remember them? Seems the stream came back without installing wing walls, plunge pools, V deflectors, rip-rap, lunker structure, lunker cover, etc.

I would whole heartedly support restoration efforts on Green Spring. GS was actually a good fishery until around 2009, much better than most probably know. Although stocked, there were wild bows, browns and brooks and it was really a neat stream to fish. Although a limestone stream, during heavy rains the stream does get a lot of runoff from upstream farms and the banks have eroded in many sections. It does get poached quite heavily and probably 3 years ago it suffered when a private fishing club dumped probably 200 disease infected large brook trout into the stream from one of their streams. This is a stream that is performing well below potential, could support wild trout (probably all 3 species), and would be a challenge to fish. WHOOPS! There we go, would be a challenge to fish. Can’t have that, got to be easy.

More casting platforms, observations towers, deep holes with neon signs, “Lunkers Hold HERE,”

That’s what the CVTU wants.


Posted on: 2012/11/14 16:18


Re: Big Spring Habitat & Management Meeting, Oct. 30
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From Chester County
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Each to his own GW. It's a shame you gave up on BS.

The survey says.............more fish and more brookies in areas downstream of the ditch (and my fishing pole agrees). Your reading those survey numbers like Karl Rove.

I've fished BS since the early 80's, right up until today, I can't recall catching so many brookies below the ditch, especially in the lower areas.

And in between the brook trout, the bows will put a bow in your rod. There's more fish and fishable water than ever before, Dude. You remind me of a guy that won the lottery, and all he does is complain about the taxes he paid on it.

Brighten up that gloom and doom......the water's fine...the fishin's good...string up that Winston and give it a go.

Posted on: 2012/11/15 9:51



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