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A question or two about Clarks Creek?

Joined:
2006/9/9 20:09
From Harrisburg
Posts: 2194
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Dear Board,

This post is going to sound very similar to one I made at this time last year, but it isn't a repeat.

I fished Clarks Creek today and I was wondering if anybody has any idea why the upper end of the creek is so filthy with silt and crud, for lack of a better word?

The water looked a little dingy in sections of the Catch and Release section, as if we had just received some heavy rain. It didn't seem to bother the fish much though.

Later in the afternoon I headed upstream to the parking area at the Appalachian Trail crossing. To put things bluntly, the water was filthy. It looked more like cedar bog water than Clarks Creek. Visibility was about 8 to 10 inches at most in areas where the stream bottom should have been clearly visible. Wading stirred up sediment from the bottom and some areas that are usually sand and gravel were actually muddy.

Does anybody have any idea where the silt and crud came from, or is coming from? Is it a result of the June Flood? I would think that by now the sediment would have been more widely distributed. Is it possible they are drawing down DeHart Dam and the sediment is coming from the dam?

Spawning season is just around the corner and I didn't see much clean gravel. I have caught many wild brook and brown trout from Clarks over the years and I'd like to see the fish have the opportunity to continue spawning succesfully.

Regards,
Tim Murphy

Posted on: 2006/10/3 18:53


Re: A question or two about Clarks Creek?
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Joined:
2006/9/9 19:16
From Dallastown, PA
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Murph,

are they still loggin up there? I recall fishing above the Fly area near the AT area and a bridge that went to a logging road.

Maurice

ps. I also remember it being that way there. It is a slow stretch with little gradient. Kind of like parts of Stony Creek up near Cold Spring Road.

Posted on: 2006/10/3 20:32
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Don't hit me with them negative waves so early in the morning. Think the bridge will be there and it will be there. It's a mother, beautiful bridge, and it's gonna be there. Ok?


Re: A question or two about Clarks Creek?

Joined:
2006/9/9 20:09
From Harrisburg
Posts: 2194
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Dear Maurice,

This time last year I saw a log truck come across the bridge at the AT parking lot but today the gate was chained. I did see a loaded truck coming down Rte 325 at about 11:00 AM but I have no idea where it was coming from.

I was walking along stretches of the creek that have some slow moving water and deep pools, but the bottom is mostly sand and some cobbles. You can typically see the bottom clearly in 2 to 3 feet of water, and you should definitely be able to see the golden colored sand. I couldn't have seen a highway flare in the water if it was in there burning. It looked pretty pukey.

Maybe it was a one time thing and they had some equipment crossing the creek somewhere below the dam, but there was a lot of mud in the water that had settled to the bottom. I'll try to get back later in the week to check it out again.

Regards,
Tim Murphy

Posted on: 2006/10/3 21:59


Re: A question or two about Clarks Creek?
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Well my point is we got hammered with rain last week (Thursday/Friday am) and it may have put a slug of silt in the stream from that steep logging road down to the bridge. For the life of me I could not understand why there are no silt fences or protection around that bridge with that bare earth when I saw it.

If you see like scenarios at the bridge, I'd call the DEP.

Actually, Merle will be here next week and I will probably be up that way. I'll check it out too. We can compare notes.

Maurice

Posted on: 2006/10/4 0:38
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Don't hit me with them negative waves so early in the morning. Think the bridge will be there and it will be there. It's a mother, beautiful bridge, and it's gonna be there. Ok?


Re: A question or two about Clarks Creek?

Joined:
2006/9/14 11:09
From schuylkill county, pa
Posts: 139
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i was wondering the same thing. i fished clarks last week for a few hours. parked at the appalachian trail lot and went up stream. I seen a few logging trucks going through the gate when i was there.
john

Posted on: 2006/10/4 3:01


Re: A question or two about Clarks Creek?

Joined:
2006/9/9 20:09
From Harrisburg
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Dear cdog and Maurice,

Maybe it is the result of logging, but it is much worse than what I saw last Fall when they were logging up there. Except for a few rare spots, when I normally wade Clarks I never stir up mud and crud from the bottom. Up by the AT parking lot every step I made released a cloud of goo from the stream bottom like I was wading some bottomland farm crick.

I really can't blame it all on the rain we got Thursday night. It's less than a mile from the dam, and the dam is only at 90% capacity. The stream level itself is somewhat low right now. I've seen Clarks flowing much higher and much clearer many times before.

Maurice, if you and Merle are coming up this way next week let me know. Maybe we can meet up and fish.

Regards,
Tim Murphy

Posted on: 2006/10/4 8:51


Re: A question or two about Clarks Creek?
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2006/9/9 9:29
From Monessen, PA
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Quote:

TimMurphy wrote:
....it is much worse than what I saw last Fall when they were logging up there. Except for a few rare spots, when I normally wade Clarks I never stir up mud and crud from the bottom. Up by the AT parking lot every step I made released a cloud of goo from the stream bottom like I was wading some bottomland farm crick....


Tim, just a thought: have you gained a lot of weight since last year? Could explain things....

Seriously, though, why not call and report the issue to DEP. i think the correlation between nearby logging operations and excessive siltation is enough for them to look into it. Maybe catch basins in a few crucial areas would alleviate the problem.

Posted on: 2006/10/4 13:06
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Peace, Tony


Re: A question or two about Clarks Creek?
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2006/9/13 12:42
From Altoona, PA
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Tim,

I wanted to look into this before I replied, so I hope you don't mind my delay.

I spoke to the DFTU stream steward for Clarks Creek and he says the "crud" appears annually. It is the lake's "thermocline" turning over. The lake has warm water on top of cold water through the summer. When the warm water starts to get cool in the fall, it "drops" into the colder water. It "stirs" the lake and the layer between them (the thermocline) gets flushed.

The thermocline is rich in iron (naturally, not because of pollution). And so you are seeing this discharge.

The good news is, it should not interfere with spawning (according to a guy I spoke to in DEP). It just looks like heck.

Posted on: 2006/10/23 8:04
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Padraic
Never challenge a cat to a staring contest


Re: A question or two about Clarks Creek?

Joined:
2006/9/9 20:09
From Harrisburg
Posts: 2194
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Dear Padraic,

Thanks for doing some research and letting me know this is an annual occurence and nothing to be alarmed about. I was beginning to wonder if I was imagining things. Hopefully I will remember your post and not repeat myself next year.

Regards,
Tim Murphy

Posted on: 2006/10/23 9:09


Re: A question or two about Clarks Creek?

Joined:
2006/9/10 7:44
From Enola, Pa.
Posts: 2312
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Guys

I've notice that a lot in the Fall but never knew what cause it, good to know it's not harmful. Pad, thanks for clearing that up, always wonder about it!

Paul

Posted on: 2006/10/24 7:15


Re: A question or two about Clarks Creek?

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2006/9/10 16:07
From Pine Grove
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I just saw this post and have been meaning to ask. Is wierd Al the stream steward for Clarks? I read it somewhere and just kept forgetting to ask. He was a teacher of mine back in the day and is one of the more interesting folks I've ever met.

Boyer

Posted on: 2006/11/9 22:54


Re: A question or two about Clarks Creek?
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2006/9/13 12:42
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I wouldn't call him weird but the stream steward's first name is Al. And I believe he was a teacher.

Posted on: 2006/11/10 8:08
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Padraic
Never challenge a cat to a staring contest


Re: A question or two about Clarks Creek?
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2006/9/9 9:29
From Monessen, PA
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"Stock it!.... Stock it!...
There's no need to even shock it.
It does not matter, if you are right
Wild trout are picky, stockers will bite.
Now Stock it!"

Posted on: 2006/11/10 9:24
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Peace, Tony


Re: A question or two about Clarks Creek?

Joined:
2006/9/9 17:18
From lancaster county
Posts: 6456
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i noticed that also. we fished clarks shortly after the june flood and lots of sediment moved down and the water was off color for a long time. pad is right though.....what you see is an annual thing. go there in the spring next year. you will see a differnce.

p.s. clarks doesnt need stocked. but stoney creek needs a special regulation area!

Posted on: 2006/12/1 15:46
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