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If you fish the Tully read this
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For those who didn’t read the post in the conservation section of the forum, I have copied some info from that section about the Tully.

The fingerling stocking was halted on the Tulpehocken as of last year because it was believed that the survival rate for fingerlings was low. My fishing experience has been that the fingerlings were surviving quite well. I live fairly close to the Tully and fish it quite often. It was my favorite non-wild trout place to fish. I would catch the smaller fingerlings along with holdovers winter and spring. By late summer and fall even the fingerlings were great looking fish. I found under the fingerling stocking program, both the number of fish and size distribution was very good in the Tully. I regularly caught some hefty, well-colored rainbow and brown holdovers. Not exactly wild fish, but better than adult stocked streams.

Last year was the first year that the stream had both holdover fingerlings and stocked adults, so the fishing was good. I believe that stocking adults only, will decrease the overall number of trout, since far more fingerlings were stocked than adults. I’m not even sure if the size will necessarily increase either by stocking adults only.

I was disappointed when I recently fished the Tully and caught some pale, wimpy, freshly stocked fish. The Little J is a great example of the success of the fingerling program. I know it doesn’t work everywhere, but I believe it worked at the Tully. Just my opinion.

VC Regular made me aware of an article in the READING EAGLE about fingerling stocking on the Tully and sending feedback to the PFBC. Attached is the article and the address of the person to voice your opinion. If you fish the Tully, voice your opinion for or against fingerling stocking.


http://www.readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=23149

mkaufmann@state.pa.us.

Posted on: 2007/3/29 8:02


Re: If you fish the Tully read this

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I would like to know if the PFBC has any data that went into their conclusion that fingerlings weren't surviving well. Is it based on electroshocking surveys? Mike, if you're out there, can you answer this?

I only fish the Tully occasionally, and I have never had "banner" days in terms of catching a lot of fish. Maybe they're just too educated for my skills. I usually fish the upper section where the article said they believe the survivability hasn't been as good, though, and maybe this is why I haven't seen/caught good numbers. The fish I do catch are usually good looking trout with a lot of fight. I do know that since they started stocking adults again, I have seen and caught more fish (and they were no pushovers, they were well educated by the amount of pressure they were seeing). But I do love the idea of wild-like holdovers grown from fingerlings, if it's possible.

I think it's good and useful to get the input and conclusions of experienced anglers, but I also think that if there is actual data it would help in forming opinions on the subject.

Posted on: 2007/3/29 8:43
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Re: If you fish the Tully read this

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From Bozeman
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Good post afish.

My email is sent. I like the idea of the smaller trout and fingerlings.

Posted on: 2007/3/29 8:50


Re: If you fish the Tully read this

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Makes sense to me that the further downstream you get - especially with the influence of the Little Cacoosing (?) - the survival gets better. Habitat is prolly better downstream as well. Up near the dam, the water has little character. I would think the PFBC has data to back up this conclusion of little fingerling survival.

I used to fish the TUlly a lot back in the early late 80s/early 90s....and since then it has gone downhill imo. The water quality in the dam is not good. That is the biggest problem. Upstream development, and silt, and fertilizer have made the lake at its deepest points a pretty nasty place. No doubt the lake has filled in to. Not much in the way of cold water in Blue Marsh. I'd like to see the state work with the Corps to see what can be done re the lake. Maybe this is something for the new Hab department.

I plan to provide my thoughts to the PFBC.

Posted on: 2007/3/29 10:41


Re: If you fish the Tully read this
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One other thing about the upper section near the dam spillway. huge predator fish, muskies I believe, have been caught. The fingerlings would just be fish food. Also, I'm sure that any fish (especially rainbows) will migrate to find the best holding areas both up and downstream from where they are stocked.

Posted on: 2007/3/29 11:04


Re: If you fish the Tully read this

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There is some wonderful water through the pallisades stretch. IMO that should be considered, as well as the water works for fingerlings. The water at the deflectors fishes well, but aside from the deflectors themselves, there is no structure... this water tends to flow very quickly in high conditions. I'd imagine this would send many trout downstream or into the predators' jaws at the stilling basin. Due to this, I think the water up to the pallisades should be included, but nothing above.

Posted on: 2007/3/29 11:11


Re: If you fish the Tully read this

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As an angler who basically grew up fishing the Tully in the early 80s.....this is what I know about this stream.

Pretty much what VC said is correct about the habitat above Rebers Bridge area. The Palisades has some decent holding water but it is sparse above and below that area.

The water quality from the lake is not good. Based on my conversations with the Corps, the people who perform the water quality sampling never really look forward to sampling this lake. So that can not help the aquatic life below.

Until you get below Plum Creek (Rebers Bridge) will the water quality improve. Then you have some small tribs until the Cacoosing dumps in that provides a nice shot of cool and "cleaner" water.

As I understand it, the PFBC knows why the fingerlings are not surviving that well and I believe its because of a multitude of reasons. The question is does the PFBC plan on working with the Corps and the local TU to correct or try to improve the problems?? Or will the PFBC continue to dump cookie cutter stockies into the Tully and just write it off as they so often do with other streams that have problems as well.

Mike - Please share any information. I understand there was a meeting that discussed this very issue.

LR.

Posted on: 2007/3/29 11:26


Re: If you fish the Tully read this

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I remember reading here recently that there are habitat improvement funds available for the Quitty and Tull drainages.

In my opinion, one of the best things that could happen to the Tully would be the destruction of the dam on the cacoosing creek at the paper mill just before the creek enters the Tully. There are springs above that dam which are the reason the cacoosing improves the Tully, but it would be much better if the dam didn't warm the spring water before it enters.

The paper mill commercial property is currently for sale BTW.

Posted on: 2007/3/30 13:44


Re: If you fish the Tully read this

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I contacted the PFBC when this program went off-line last year. I really am frustrated with this one. I agree 100% that the fingerlings were doing well. I had tons of 50+ fish days on the Tully - even in July and August in the past couple of years.

It just doesn't make sense. If my math is correct, the fingerling stocking should have even been cheaper, let the fingerlings grow up in a natural setting rather than a raceway... Why not?

On another note - as soon as I saw the paper mill property go up for sale, I thought great - the PFBC should acquire this property, remove the dam and do something to improve this area. The Cacoosing is a great advantage to the Tully.

I have voiced my opinion and will continue to do so.

Posted on: 2007/4/2 9:01


Re: If you fish the Tully read this

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To West Chester angler:

When the fingerlings no longer survive very well in the Tulpehocken it is no longer a cheap stocking program. The price paid is lost fishing opportunities and lost angler participation on public land as well as the cost of lost fish.

Mike

Posted on: 2007/4/3 22:49


Re: If you fish the Tully read this

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Mike,
I'm not a biologist and I do respect your opion. I believe that any natual population will have it's ups and downs. I've seen this on the Tully, on other streams and in other ecosystems. Some years the fingerlings did great, other years they did not do so well. If the goal is to create a consistent population of fish, period, there's no doubt that the only way to acheive that will be by stocking adult trout in the spring. If the goal is a unique, "semi wild" population of trout in SE PA then the fingerlings were working very well. Some years the fishing was great. Other years it was poor. Exactly what you would expect from a wild population. The Tully is not a hatchery. I hope it will not become just another put and take fishery. We've got plenty of those. Just my opinion for what it is worth.
Steve

Posted on: 2007/4/4 0:11


Re: If you fish the Tully read this

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Mike, I think you mis-read me. I am saying that why not stock fingerlings every Fall, make it catch and release and see where it goes. This tailwater is a unique setting in this part of the state - why not try to maike it as wild and self-sustaining as possible.? We already have tons of other waters that are put and take.

Posted on: 2007/4/4 12:48


Re: If you fish the Tully read this

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TDB and Steveo

Mike probably has a pretty good idea why the fingerlings are not surviving. I would even venture a good guess he DOES know why.

I know there are a multitude of issues with this stream and potential compounding reasons why the fingerlings are not surviving.

I use to fish it in the 80s at least 2 times a week. Today, I dont fish it much at all because, IMO, I feel the quality of the fishery has gone down. The aquatic life is not as prevelent as it use to be. The Trico hatch is dismal compared to the 80s. The larger size caddis (14&16) are not as abundant. Now adays its all SMALL stuff, like midges and caddis that are size 18 or less.

And it has been this way for some time now. So all this means the system is stressed from a variety of reasons.

As I stated before, will the PFBC try to work with the various groups and try to correct the problem, OR with the PFBC just write off the TUlly and use for a "hatchery".

This is the real underlying story with this fishery.

Posted on: 2007/4/4 19:36


Re: If you fish the Tully read this

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It's good to see a response from Mr Kaufmann.

Here's what he sent back to me. (I suggested that I like the fingerlings due to the "wild trout" feel of the stream when it's got holdover fish.)

Mr. Leinbach,

Thank you for your concise comment. I appreciate your having responded. If you fish a few times this spring in the Tully, please let me know of your impression of the fighting ability and weight of the adults that have held over from last year (if you can tell them from freshly stocked fish). I am wondering how you feel that the holdover fish now compare to adult trout that originated from the previously stocked fingerlings.

Mike Kaufmann
Area Fisheries Manager




I'll be responding with what I find later this spring, and if anyone wants to contribute their opinions i'll be sure to include them.

Posted on: 2007/4/5 15:29


Re: If you fish the Tully read this

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From LV
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Unless or until the Tully gets a constant supply of cold water all summer the fishing will never be anything but put and take. The storage will have to be increased to accomplish better cold water flows. Even then the water quality has to be good, and aparently it isn't.

Posted on: 2007/4/9 23:20



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