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Ditch at Big Spring Creek, Cumberland County Pa

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2006/12/3 21:01
From Mechanicsburg, Pa
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All the aquatic vegetation at the ditch is gone. Not sure what happened there, it was pretty thick back in July. The bottom is pretty barren and the trout are exposed to avian predators. A heron was circling as I took pictures. Anyone have ideas what happened here?

Posted on: 9/7 13:07


Re: Ditch at Big Spring Creek, Cumberland County Pa
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Could be a completely natural phenomenon.

Posted on: 9/7 18:16
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Re: Ditch at Big Spring Creek, Cumberland County Pa
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Beats me. The ditch water level was temporarily dropped a bit recently for survey reasons but this should not have had any impact on aquatic vegetation.

Broadly and relatively speaking, water levels and vegetation densities across the CV streams have really been up and down in the last year. Some of this is just natural and a drop down of weeds can have positive impact by clearing sediment. I think lower flowing aquifers from last year's weather patterns may have played some role.

I don't think we're seeing some sort of major change in vegetation across the CV streams. Generally speaking, the CV streams, and the ditch in particular, seemed to me to have a good bit less weeds back in the 1980s than they do today. But we shouldn't be surprised to see some fluctuation.

Posted on: 9/7 19:20


Re: Ditch at Big Spring Creek, Cumberland County Pa

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Dave
It was only at the ditch. Below the bridge things looked great.

Posted on: 9/7 21:34


Re: Ditch at Big Spring Creek, Cumberland County Pa

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It could have been caused by an herbicide.

Herbicides are very widely used. And there are many ways they can get into the water.

Posted on: 9/8 6:49


Re: Ditch at Big Spring Creek, Cumberland County Pa

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Could it have been deliberate? I've long thought that the filimentous algae in the Ditch was just locking up the nitrogen left over from the hatchery and preventing the growth of more typical spring creek flora like water cress, watercrowfoot and elodea.

I do know that since they finished the bridge repair, I've seen fewer and fewer fish in the ditch, and earlier this year it looked like there was no suitable spawning area in it at all.

I could be way off base, but if this is one time shot, I'm viewing it as a positive.

Posted on: 9/8 17:34
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Re: Ditch at Big Spring Creek, Cumberland County Pa

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FWIW I was talking along Spring creek this weekend near Benner Springs and I commented that the amount of vegetation was surprisingly low. Historic lows. If there is a connection, IDK

Posted on: 9/8 18:19


Re: Ditch at Big Spring Creek, Cumberland County Pa

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2006/9/13 10:18
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They really should restore the flow of the creek by removing the dam at the end of the ditch. All it does is block fish movement and create a fake stream environment. I realize that I may be the only person in the universe that feels this way, but it's so un-natural I can't stand the way it looks.
As for spawning habitat it'll be just fine.
I looked at the flows and the only time there is an obvious change in flows was on August 17, probably the day they did the survey. That doesn't rule out another impact, it's just the most obvious.

Posted on: 9/29 11:32
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Re: Ditch at Big Spring Creek, Cumberland County Pa

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I like the dam for one reason. It gives the ditch DEPTH which gives the trout security, and it is pretty much already at the immediate headwater. Maybe the spawn is better with the dam.?
It is after-all the last remaining spring creek that has a class A pop of brookies in the state.
I would hate to jeopardize that over a small dam removal.

I was there last weekend, and the ditch still has no aquatic veg, other than one big bed of elodea a few feat down from the hill side where it emerges.

Posted on: 9/29 16:43
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Re: Ditch at Big Spring Creek, Cumberland County Pa

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I noticed a similar phenomenon at the Rock on Spring Creek, The conditions exactly the same.

I had some video of the ditch last year at this time and there was ample vegetation. My recollection was last year's summer was harsher than this year. Still a mystery

Posted on: 10/5 12:52


Re: Ditch at Big Spring Creek, Cumberland County Pa

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I recently walked along Spring Creek downstream from the Benner Springs hatchery. There was plenty of aquatic vegetation on the streambed. I'm not sure what it's called. Maybe elodea?


Posted on: 10/5 15:26


Re: Ditch at Big Spring Creek, Cumberland County Pa

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I'd also love to see the dam at the ditch gone. It makes it too artificial, and who knows, it could be promoting the filamentous algae.

Posted on: 10/13 21:44


Re: Ditch at Big Spring Creek, Cumberland County Pa

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Quote:

LetortAngler wrote:
I like the dam for one reason. It gives the ditch DEPTH which gives the trout security, and it is pretty much already at the immediate headwater. Maybe the spawn is better with the dam.?
It is after-all the last remaining spring creek that has a class A pop of brookies in the state.
I would hate to jeopardize that over a small dam removal.


Actually there are other Class A brookie streams that are spring creeks. People just don't talk about them.

Posted on: 10/15 21:47


Re: Ditch at Big Spring Creek, Cumberland County Pa

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And anyone who believes that some magical historic strain of brook trout exist there, needs to take into consideration how long that place has been stocked. Not to mention that's it's still stocked with them lol. If there's any historic dna left in the brookies there, it's likely a miniscule amount.

Posted on: 10/16 23:49


Re: Ditch at Big Spring Creek, Cumberland County Pa

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I actually think it would be neat to raise the dam, create a true mill pond like back in ye olden days of yore and see how big of a brook trout that stream could grow...

Posted on: 10/17 9:34



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