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Yough trout kill

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Malfunction kills 1,100 trout in Youghiogheny pens
Monday, August 30, 2010


CONFLUENCE, Pa. -- The Army Corps of Engineers says a power equipment malfunction cut off the oxygen supply to more than 1,100 trout that were killed in pens where they were being raised.

The pens are on the Youghiogheny River near Confluence and are owned and operated by the Chestnut Ridge Chapter of Trout Unlimited. The pens are also near the D/R Hydro Co., a hydroelectricity plant.

Authorities say a circuit at the plant malfunctioned, kicking off a circuit that was used to power a device that delivered oxygen to the fish.

The fish were killed Friday and the cause was discovered Saturday.



Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10242/1083746-455.stm#ixzz0y6oY1p7i

Posted on: 2010/8/30 12:52
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Re: Yough trout kill
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As I recall, these trout are in cages floating in the settling pool below the dam. Why do they need supplemental oxygen anyhow? Are any of the active help crew able to explain better what happened?

Posted on: 2010/8/30 12:55
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Re: Yough trout kill

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Yea, you would think the the water shot out of the dam would provide a decent amount of oxygen. What's that 10 yards away? Maybe that eddy heats up or something???

Posted on: 2010/8/30 19:00
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Re: Yough trout kill
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I know it is a big loss for CRTU, those trout were probably going in on Labor Day weekend. Now, everyone will be lined up waiting for nothing (except the thousands of trout already present in the areas stocked). Maybe the Corps will compensate them or if they have insurance?? Are any of the excess fingerlings left over or are they already in the streams? PFBC could give them several thousand fingerlings to get them started for next year.

Posted on: 2010/8/31 7:06
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Re: Yough trout kill

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This article discusses some of the oxygen/nitrogen issues:

http://www.post-gazette.com/sports_he ... es/19990530moyerfeat8.asp

Posted on: 2010/8/31 8:19


Re: Yough trout kill

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Sounds like a lot of effort for a few thousand trout.

Posted on: 2010/8/31 9:32


Re: Yough trout kill
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Quote:

franklin wrote:
Sounds like a lot of effort for a few thousand trout.


And now you know....

Posted on: 2010/8/31 11:08
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Re: Yough trout kill

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CRTU Annually raises 10,000 trout to stock in the Yough, for Kid's Days and the Laurel Hill Delayed Harvest Sections. The reason why oxygen is placed in the water deals with the hydro generation process. Water is pulled from the bottom of the reservoir which is an oxygen starved environment. The water leaving the turbine has air blown into it (air is mainly nitrogen) so additional oxygen is needed to get the water in the basin back to a decent level (7 to 8 PPM dissolved oxyegen). Before the hydroplant was constructed, water exited through the longer spillway tunnel which had more turbulent flow. The turbulent flow permitted the water to be well oxygenated.

We have had issues with DR Hydro before. With out the nursery they would be free to operate at much less stringent levels, something the chapter believes would be detrimental for the cold water fishery. The nursery serves not only to stock trout but as a nutrient source for the otherwise infertile Yough water. macro invertebrates dramatically increased after the nursery began operations. While the loss of the trout was unfortunate, the aeration problem might have gone unnoticed and uncorrected.

We get our new year class in November so those trout would have been stocked soon anyways. Personally, I am concerned with wasted feed for those trout. Myself and others in the chapter would prefer a monetary reimbursement to offset our feed and nursery expenses for this year. The Corps is a strong supporter of the chapter so I am sure something will come back to the chapter to compensate for the loss.

We stock mostly in the trophy trout section of the river so I doubt the meat fishermen will miss the trout which were lost.
I'll post more information on the CRTU facebook page as it comes available. We still have 500 or so trout left, so those interested in assisting in stocking should check the website and the facebook page for the next scheduled date.

www.CRTU.org

Posted on: 2010/8/31 21:55


Re: Yough trout kill

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Thanks for your explanation Albud. It seems this trout rearing operation is doing a lot more for the Yough than simply providing more trout. Thanks to you and the other active CRTU members for all your hard work!

Posted on: 2010/9/1 7:00
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Re: Yough trout kill

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When was the power generation facility added to the dam?

And has that affected temperature and flows in the Yough?

Posted on: 2010/9/1 11:35


Re: Yough trout kill

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Troutbert:


A Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) license for construction of a retrofit non- Federal hydroelectric generating facility at Youghiogheny Dam was granted in 1985. Construction of the facility, now operated by D/R Hydro Company, began in February 1988 and the plant has been operational since December 1989.

The hydroelectric plant is located near the east abutment and on the downstream side of the dam. It is adjacent to the downstream end of the outlet tunnel and utilizes flow drawn through a penstock that splits off the tunnel. The project’s total rated generating capacity was 7 megawatts (MW) at licensing, and is currently 12 MW.
Much of this power is used by the Seven Springs Resort.

The hydropower plant operates run of river; the volume of water released determines power generation. When the water discharge is greater than the turbines can accommodate (which occurs when flow exceeds 1,600 cfs) the wheel gate directs excess water to the stilling basin.

Under the FERC license, D/R Hydro is required to maintain a minimum dissolved oxygen concentration of 7.0 mg/l in the tailwaters. To meet this minimum requirement during the
summer season, they utilize blowers to force air into the water as it is discharged. The 7 mg/l requirement was not being met by the blowers alone, therefore pure oxygen is added to increase dissolved oxygen concentrations.

Towards the end of August a good portion of the cold water has been used up. It is not uncommon for river temperatures to be colder downstream than at the spillway of the dam. I don't believe the facility has a direct impact on the water temperature leaving the spillway. The temperature is dependent on lake levels and there are a variety of factors( other than power generation ) that take precedence on discharge rates from the dam.

Posted on: 2010/9/1 22:08


Re: Yough trout kill

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Albud,

Thanks for the detailed explanation. The reason I ask about the effects of the hydroelectric operation on water temps and flow regime, is because I've talked to people who fished the Yough regularly further back, around the early to mid-80s or so, and they said the fishing was really excellent back then, much better than in more recent years.

They said that there were a lot more large, adult trout in the river growing up from the stocked fingerlings, and that in more recent years they think a lot of fingerlings are stocked, but that not nearly as many survive long enough to grow up into large, adult trout.

And the reason they give is that they think there are more very warm water temps in the river now than before, and they think the hydro plant altered flows and temps.

Any thoughts on that? I've been at the bridge above Ohiopyle already when the water felt bathwater warm.

Posted on: 2010/9/2 10:52


Re: Yough trout kill

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As one of the guys who fished the Yough regularly back in the mid 80's I can tell you the fishing is generally better NOW. Hatches are better. Catching adult trout is more consistent. And I've hooked more "pigs" in the past ten years than ever before. IMO, no comparison.
The only difference is that there are more fly fishermen now than ever before without a doubt. Not that it's crowded now, it rarely is. But back then you literally had the river to yourself after Memorial Day. My 2 cents... worth about a nickel these days.

Posted on: 2010/9/2 20:51
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Re: Yough trout kill

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Quote:

Towards the end of August a good portion of the cold water has been used up. It is not uncommon for river temperatures to be colder downstream than at the spillway of the dam. I don't believe the facility has a direct impact on the water temperature leaving the spillway. The temperature is dependent on lake levels and there are a variety of factors( other than power generation ) that take precedence on discharge rates from the dam.


Those other factors, according to my correspondence with USACE are pool level maintenance, weather occurrences and recreation usage (rafting and cold water angling). Unfortunately, imo, angling comes in last. I honestly don't understand why averaging slightly lower weekend releases for rafting can't be done to extend cold water release for 2 to 3 more weeks into September, when ambient nighttime temperatures will temper the average river temperature. Rafters will still have enough water. And trout fishing can be extended a few more weeks too. I am thoroughly convinced we ALL can have our cake and eat it too.

Posted on: 2010/9/2 21:23
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"I used to like fishing because I thought it had some larger significance. Now I like fishing because it's the one thing I can think of that probably doesn't." --John Gierach


Re: Yough trout kill

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Quote:

greenghost wrote:
As one of the guys who fished the Yough regularly back in the mid 80's I can tell you the fishing is generally better NOW. Hatches are better. Catching adult trout is more consistent. And I've hooked more "pigs" in the past ten years than ever before. IMO, no comparison.
The only difference is that there are more fly fishermen now than ever before without a doubt. Not that it's crowded now, it rarely is. But back then you literally had the river to yourself after Memorial Day. My 2 cents... worth about a nickel these days.


That's good news. Always great to hear that the fishing has improved.

Posted on: 2010/9/2 22:50






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