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Bushkill Creek (Northampton Co.) Fish Population
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Here's the latest PFBC population survey for Bushkill Creek. Wild trout populations are down a bit.

Bushkill Survey

Posted on: 2012/11/6 17:39


Re: Bushkill Creek (Northampton Co.) Fish Population

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Not good news, I was there a couple of times this year, once on a day that I though was ideal, but didn't even see a fish, which isn't all that common for this stream because unless there's a hatch on the fish generally hide.
I didn't see any brookies either that's telling me that something negative happened.

Posted on: 2012/11/6 18:44
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It's time to stop stocking all wild trout streams no matter what Classification they are, and time to eradicate brown trout in some of our limestone streams and re-establish brookies in them.


Re: Bushkill Creek (Northampton Co.) Fish Population

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Sounds bad for the browns. The 5-6 times I've hit the Bushkil this yearl, I've done very well. It would've been nice to know the numbers for the rainbows because I've caught many small ones with parr marks plus numerous large ones later in the year.

Posted on: 2012/11/6 18:49


Re: Bushkill Creek (Northampton Co.) Fish Population

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Quote:

Chaz wrote:
I didn't see any brookies either that's telling me that something negative happened.


Brookies in the Bushkill? Are you mistaken this for the Bush Kill (different county)? Never caught or heard of anyone catching wild brookies in the Bushkill.

Posted on: 2012/11/6 21:43


Re: Bushkill Creek (Northampton Co.) Fish Population

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My I remind you that brookies are native to the Bush Kill, no matter how you spell it. This is the Bush Kill in Easton, Northampton County, not Monroe County, where brookies are also native. There have always been some brookies in the Bush Kill.
As for rainbows they come and go, and I don't think there will ever be a stable population of rainbows in the Bush Kill because the water conditions are such that the browns dominate and that's it. To many sewer plants.

Posted on: 2012/11/7 9:29
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It's time to stop stocking all wild trout streams no matter what Classification they are, and time to eradicate brown trout in some of our limestone streams and re-establish brookies in them.


Re: Bushkill Creek (Northampton Co.) Fish Population

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Thanks for the update on the Bushkill.
I have fished this stream for many years. It was once one of the best fisheries one could hope for, particularly within such an urban setting.
The fish commission graphs verify my suspicions.
Not only is the fish population at an all time low, the bug population and hatches are also very lean. One can speculate what brought about the changes to the stream and I've heard many theories - floods, pestisides, pollution, land development, depletion of the water table, and the list goes on.
Perhaps, it is cyclical.
There is a TU chapter and the Bushkill stream Conservancy that looks after the Bushkill, scheduling yearly stream projects, and tree plantings.
One can only hope that with their good efforts and time that the Bushkill and its inhabitants will rebound and flourish in the coming years.

Posted on: 2012/11/7 9:49


Re: Bushkill Creek (Northampton Co.) Fish Population

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One of the biggest threats caused by overdevelopment along streams is the use of fertilizers and pesticides. Homeowners use this stuff all the time because of misguided efforts to make their lawns pretty. Lawns aren't natural. Towns and townships make ordinances to make sure people maintain a lawn when it is one of the most unnatural things you can do in the environment.
Landowners still want to mow their lawns down to streams edges. This concept is promoted by townships and town by suggestion by the way local authorities maintain their property along streams. It's bad management.
I think the problems along the Bush Kill are the repeated floods mostly, but also the washing of fertilizers and pesticides into the stream during floods. It's very important to maintain a good riparian buffer long this stream with it being highly developed. A buffer will help filter the junk.

Posted on: 2012/11/7 16:14
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It's time to stop stocking all wild trout streams no matter what Classification they are, and time to eradicate brown trout in some of our limestone streams and re-establish brookies in them.


Re: Bushkill Creek (Northampton Co.) Fish Population

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From SE PA - Montgomery County
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Wasn't there a fish kill there several years ago from an accident at the cement factory in Tatamy? I am sure that had a big impact on the size range they speak of.

I have fished that stream many times and I have never caught a brook trout in there. They must be in the very uppermost sections of the stream. I have fished it from Tatamy down to below 13th street and browns mostly with bows that come up from the stocked water below 13th street.

Posted on: 2012/11/8 14:34


Re: Bushkill Creek (Northampton Co.) Fish Population

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Posted on: 2012/11/8 14:37


Re: Bushkill Creek (Northampton Co.) Fish Population

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Reading that old thread got me to thinking ,what ever happened to tabasco_joe ?

Posted on: 2012/11/8 20:08


Re: Bushkill Creek (Northampton Co.) Fish Population

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A biologist friend of mine's thoughts...

Quote:

I find it interesting that the size group that has decreased in number is 7" to 13.9" (harvest size), but they say overharvest can't be the issue because it's c&r. Habitat impairments would likely affect all age classes, especially the dinks, if the primary impairment is indeed excessive sediment deposition due to flooding as the report suggests. The greatest impact would be to nursery areas that get choked out with silt and gravel. Sounds more like a poaching issue...


Sounds like a perfect reason for the PFC to yank the Class-A rating and begin stocking, especially given the demographics of the region (Lehigh Valley, NJ border). Discuss.

Posted on: 2012/11/9 11:09
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Re: Bushkill Creek (Northampton Co.) Fish Population

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Quote:

Sounds like a perfect reason for the PFC to yank the Class-A rating and begin stocking, especially given the demographics of the region (Lehigh Valley, NJ border). Discuss.


I hope you are kidding. That is never the right answer. There is plenty of stocked open marginal water there. That section should be better managed. It is decent water considering where it is located. I wish they would remove all of the dams on it though.

Posted on: 2012/11/9 12:41


Re: Bushkill Creek (Northampton Co.) Fish Population

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Quote:
I hope you are kidding. That is never the right answer. There is plenty of stocked open marginal water there. That section should be better managed. It is decent water considering where it is located. I wish they would remove all of the dams on it though.


Haha yeah I was being sarcastic! Should have included a or something lol... I would hate to see that happen.

You're absolutely right about the dams.

Posted on: 2012/11/9 14:28
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Re: Bushkill Creek (Northampton Co.) Fish Population

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PA is so large, there can be seasons in which one area, say Cental around Centre county, gets little rain while here in SC, we might get quite a bit to help freshen the freestones. I know that this summer in Franklin county, though it was baking hot, we seemed to have perfectly timed rain and the lawns around Chambersburg stayed green all summer (and admittedly August was relatively cool).

I have never been to Bushkill so I have no data but perhaps three consecutive brutally hot, low water summers took its toll on it's trout. They conducted this survey in mid July (it is often standard practice to check under worst case conditions such as summer) and from what I recall it was awfully hot at that time. There are no water temperature or other water quality data in this report so we can't infer the possibility of thermal refuge seeking though that is tempting.

Also note that a few years were not surveyed, in particular the last really nice, cool wet summer that we had in 2009. It would have been nice to see how Buskill trout population looked at that time.

As mentioned in the report, the abundance of sublegal trout (data not provided) may very well make up for the current deficit in coming years but it's mother nature's call.

Posted on: 2012/11/9 18:18


Re: Bushkill Creek (Northampton Co.) Fish Population

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Im also very dissapointed nowadays with the bushkill. Fished it a couple weeks ago on an ideal day and only landed 5-6 bows. The water levels were perfect. Fished the section that a few call the chute down by herco. Also there access is getting harder because the guys at herco have some chemicals in the factory tha dont allow fisherman to walk through the lot anymore. Have been warned several times now found a different route in on bushkill drive. I think chemicals have been doing this to the fish population decreasing.-Kev

Posted on: 2012/11/9 22:45
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