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Re: Spring Creek Allegheny NF Fishing Info

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Great stuff pcray! Thanks for the info.

Posted on: 2013/2/21 13:13


Re: Spring Creek Allegheny NF Fishing Info

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I'm admittedly only good enough to be dangerous, I need to get more organized and look closer, stream by stream, etc. Those were my initial thoughts. The only thing I'm fairly confident I got right is:

green = bad

Posted on: 2013/2/21 13:22


Re: Spring Creek Allegheny NF Fishing Info

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Thanks for posting enough to keep guys out of the clarion tribs. They are all bad and don't hold any wild trout at all! Again thanks again I will enjoy everyone fishing over in Tionesta area.

There are some over looked streams in the Clarion basin there are also some streams that do hold trout pretty well after stocking.

Posted on: 2013/2/21 13:59


Re: Spring Creek Allegheny NF Fishing Info

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Quote:
There are some over looked streams in the Clarion basin there are also some streams that do hold trout pretty well after stocking.


Agreed.


Posted on: 2013/2/21 14:38


Re: Spring Creek Allegheny NF Fishing Info

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The East Branch Spring Creek, the largest headwater trib, holds wild brown trout.

I checked 12 other direct tribs to Spring Creek, and 8 out of 12 are on the reproduction list.

And the upper part of Spring Creek itself is on the reproduction list. The lower part of Spring Creek is not.

But the reason the lower part of Spring Creek does not support wild trout is clearly not because it's too infertile because of the geology.

The real reason must be some other factor(s).

Posted on: 2013/2/21 20:08


Re: Spring Creek Allegheny NF Fishing Info

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2010/6/23 21:57
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And that is the question exactly - why does the bottom not currently have wilds? The bottom part - from East Branch the whole way to the Clarion - used to have wilds wilds year round, not just migratory fish. And within the past 10 years, the bottom part of the stream doesn't hold stockies real well either.

This is why I am so interested in the gauges, especially on Spring. The creek has some decent hatches and a ton of baitfish and crayfish.

Posted on: 2013/2/21 20:30


Re: Spring Creek Allegheny NF Fishing Info

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2007/6/19 21:49
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Quote:

pcray1231 wrote:
I'm admittedly only good enough to be dangerous, I need to get more organized and look closer, stream by stream, etc. Those were my initial thoughts. The only thing I'm fairly confident I got right is:

green = bad


The 1:250,000 series map is a bit dangerous to draw too many conclusions from. Better to look at a 7.5 or 15 minute quadrangle (like series 61 geological quadrangle maps) - link here - caution series 61 is a large download. And a geological formation may have a wide range of lithofacies in it. It may thin significantly in one area and thicken considerably in another. It may contain sandstone, conglomerate, shale, and calcareous cemented particles (or any other rock types), meaning green might be good in one area and bad in most areas. That being said, I'm certain there is a correlation between bedrock units and the ability of trout to survive and thrive in water. Its just one factor, along with habitat and macros, and others, that influence water inhabitants.

This map will let you zoom into an area and identify the formation name for you, as well as provide you more details and information about the formation (like what its members are, the predominant rock types, etc.).

This whole discussion has rekindled an idea I had a few years ago, which would be to overlay all state HQ-CWF and EV waters extracted from Chapter 93 classifications, along with Class A and natural reproduction data overtop geological data.


Posted on: 2013/2/21 22:15


Re: Spring Creek Allegheny NF Fishing Info

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Troutbert,

I don't know of a single tributary to the Tionesta which is NOT on the natural repro list. Upwards of 40, at least. The natural repro list is not a great tool in this area. Almost all streams have a handful of wilds in their upper ends. But there's a big difference between low class D and a respectable wild stream. There's also a big difference between having fish way upstream and having them inhabit the lower areas.

As RLeeP said, the Clarion drainage is the weak stepsister in the area. That doesn't mean there's no wild trout fishing. It also doesn't mean there's no good fishing. And, simply on account of being bigger water, the upper Clarion itself has an earned reputation for big fish. It's merely weak in comparison, as in % of water in the system that is good for wild trout. The Tionesta drainage is even borderline. It has plenty of smallish, infertile brookie streams, especially from the north. The streams are cold with good structure. But in terms of water chemistry and fertility, it doesn't hold a candle to the waters to it's W and NW. Direct Allegheny tribs like the Hemlock system, even Sandy, East Hickory, etc. Oil Creek drainage, Brokenstraw drainage, French Creek drainage. Those streams are much, much richer than the Tionesta system.

Though, as was said, water chem is only part of the equation. Those richer streams to the west and NW are in flatter country, and while water chemistry is better, siltation is worse, structure is often worse, and all through this region temperature plays a big part. French Creek, for instance, is ridiculously fertile, semi-limestoner fertile. Water chemistry is ideal, and it translates to good fishing, just not always for trout, and comparatively speaking, there aren't many wild trout streams in the system. Parts of the Brokenstraw system fit that description as well, and parts of the Oil Creek drainage are very fertile as well. What wild trout streams there are tend to be very good, but the density of them is certainly lower.

Salmonoid, thanks for the maps. When I get a chance I'll pour over them a bit. I've had that idea as well. The maps can be difficult to find and it requires some work that I simply haven't got around to doing. I too am convinced geology plays a huge role. Sorting it all out is complicated, tedious, and time consuming, and to my knowledge noone has really given it a go for the purpose of enabling fishermen.

Posted on: 2013/2/22 8:09


Re: Spring Creek Allegheny NF Fishing Info

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Quote:

pcray1231 wrote:
Troutbert,

I don't know of a single tributary to the Tionesta which is NOT on the natural repro list. Upwards of 40, at least. The natural repro list is not a great tool in this area. Almost all streams have a handful of wilds in their upper ends. But there's a big difference between low class D and a respectable wild stream. There's also a big difference between having fish way upstream and having them inhabit the lower areas.

As RLeeP said, the Clarion drainage is the weak stepsister in the area. That doesn't mean there's no wild trout fishing. It also doesn't mean there's no good fishing. And, simply on account of being bigger water, the upper Clarion itself has an earned reputation for big fish. It's merely weak in comparison, as in % of water in the system that is good for wild trout. The Tionesta drainage is even borderline. It has plenty of smallish, infertile brookie streams, especially from the north. The streams are cold with good structure. But in terms of water chemistry and fertility, it doesn't hold a candle to the waters to it's W and NW. Direct Allegheny tribs like the Hemlock system, even Sandy, East Hickory, etc. Oil Creek drainage, Brokenstraw drainage, French Creek drainage. Those streams are much, much richer than the Tionesta system.

Though, as was said, water chem is only part of the equation. Those richer streams to the west and NW are in flatter country, and while water chemistry is better, structure and temperature can be worse. French Creek, for instance, is ridiculously fertile, semi-limestoner fertile, and it translates to good fishing. Just not always for trout. Parts of the Brokenstraw system fit that description as well, and parts of the Oil Creek drainage are very fertile as well.

Salmonoid, thanks for the maps. When I get a chance I'll pour over them a bit. I've had that idea as well. The maps can be difficult to find and it requires some work that I simply haven't got around to doing. I too am convinced geology plays a huge role. Sorting it all out is complicated, tedious, and time consuming, and to my knowledge noone has really given it a go for the purpose of enabling fishermen.


If there are wild trout in the headwaters and the tribs, then the reason for lack of wild trout further downstream is not geologic infertility. That possible cause is eliminated. The real causes are something else.

The water from the headwaters and tribs flows down and form the waters of the lower section. Since the water chemistry in the upper areas and tribs is fertile enough to support trout, that is also the case in the lower end.

Posted on: 2013/2/22 8:51


Re: Spring Creek Allegheny NF Fishing Info

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From Brookville, PA
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Its really hard to say that Clarion is weak when compared to the Tionesta. The main stem of the Clarion is 10 times better for trout and hatches than Tionesta. Also you are not giving the Clarion muh credit when there are some good quality wild trout streams in the upper reaches of Elk County and along the southern side of the river. If you take the streams with mining issues out of the equation on the Clarion its really a good wild trout fishery. There are also a lot more streams that are not surveyed in the Clarion watershed that I know for a fact hold some decent wild trout populations.

I am sorry but other than a few streams Tionesta is no better and I would argue worse to some extent.

Posted on: 2013/2/22 10:08


Re: Spring Creek Allegheny NF Fishing Info

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Quote:
If there are wild trout in the headwaters and the tribs, then the reason for lack of wild trout further downstream is not geologic infertility. That possible cause is eliminated. The real causes are something else.


Not true at all. I'm in dangerous water here as I don't know enough to give an accurate picture. But the geologic situation is not constant throughout the watershed, and of that I am certain.

1. There are tribs which enter. As was said, quite common that some streams are better than other, nearby ones. There are a few cases I know of where the cutoff from "good" to "poor" wild fisheries is pretty abrupt and obvious, and occurs where a tributary flows in. I've seen it the other way too, where a GOOD stream flows in, and apparantely dilutes the bad water enough that the fishery improves. There seem to be certain areas, where all streams that originate are pretty bad, but streams originating from other, relatively close area's aren't so bad. An example is the S side of the Tionesta, which we mentioned, the streams tend to be pretty poor. There are exceptions. The very short watersheds, or those that turn parallel to the Tionesta, are often pretty good. Perhaps they do not reach far enough south to encounter the bad area?

2. The valleys were cut by streams, unlike central PA, where the valleys pre-existed and the streams fell into them. Thus, the uppermost headwaters flow through higher elevation rock, which is fundamentally different than it is lower in the valleys/watershed. It could be that the "buffering" is added at the source, but not continuously added after you reach a certain point. With more and more acid being added as you go downstream, you eventually exhaust the buffering capability and the stream turns more acidic.

2b. To the point of the previous one, the uppermost part of watersheds have a much greater % of their flow from springs. As you go downstream, runoff makes up a greater and greater % of the flow. Also, large runoff events, which correspond to the worst water chemistry issues, are much more severe the farther you go downstream. That is magnified by the fact that the snowpack generally melts much more abruptly in the valleys, and hangs around for a long time in the high areas.

3. It is obviously a combination of factors. Water chemistry only being one of them. And perhaps you cannot look at them as independent variables. If water chem is borderline, perhaps a fishery can be sustained as all other factors are nearly perfect. But as other factors become more borderline, the borderline water chemistry is more damaging.

Posted on: 2013/2/22 10:14


Re: Spring Creek Allegheny NF Fishing Info

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Thanks to everyone for the great posts and tons of excellent information! I have been fishing SC for over 20 years, and this post has opened my eyes to some things I never thought of, or would have even began to think of. It's a great stream with both it's pros and cons. I have to agree MHanes though, BAD FISHING, Go to Tionesta! jk
The question I haven't seen addressed, (possibly because its a moot point), what about wildlife influence? In the past few years, I have noticed an increase in otter activity in the lower portions of Spring Creek(slides, scat, etc) Mostly from the Hill farm(FR130 bridge) to the confluence of the Clarion. I have also noticed more mink, blue heron, and eagles over the past few years. Is it possible that they could be putting a dent in the stocked and native populations?
As Bearfish posted earlier, I have also noticed a decline in the past few years. The only correlation I have seen, or could attribute it to is the increase in mining activity, not to point any fingers.

Posted on: 2013/2/23 13:13


Re: Spring Creek Allegheny NF Fishing Info

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2006/9/18 8:28
From Attitudinally, one mile south of Lake LeBoeuf
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>>Its really hard to say that Clarion is weak when compared to the Tionesta. The main stem of the Clarion is 10 times better for trout and hatches than Tionesta. Also you are not giving the Clarion muh credit when there are some good quality wild trout streams in the upper reaches of Elk County and along the southern side of the river. If you take the streams with mining issues out of the equation on the Clarion its really a good wild trout fishery. There are also a lot more streams that are not surveyed in the Clarion watershed that I know for a fact hold some decent wild trout populations.

I am sorry but other than a few streams Tionesta is no better and I would argue worse to some extent.>>

Since I was the one who made the original "weak sister" observation regarding the Clarion watershed. I feel I should point out that my original remarks were limited to the existing thread subject and as such, were made in regards to the ANF portion of the Clarion watershed. They did not attempt to weigh the relative values of the main stems of the Clarion River and Tionesta Creek. Nor did they expand to include those Clarion tribs which are outside the boundaries of the ANF, whether these be streams that enter the Clarion from the south like Cathers, etc. Nor do they include the tribs of the EB of the Clarion that have (or have had) decent wild trout populations, like Crooked below the dam or the Straights that enter the EB Dam, etc.

They were limited to the portions of the Clarion watershed that flow through NF lands. They also stand as expressed. As a watershed within the ANF, the Clarion tribs are the weak sister.

Thanks..

Posted on: 2013/2/23 14:03


Re: Spring Creek Allegheny NF Fishing Info

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2010/6/23 21:57
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The otter population in the Clarion has exploded in recent years. We have been seeing them for years, but they have just taken off recently. We see them paddling the main stem, and when fishing in many of the larger tribs. Very neat to see, until they get mad and start barking at you when you are in a fishing spot they want...

Posted on: 2013/2/23 14:48


Re: Spring Creek Allegheny NF Fishing Info

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2012/2/15 16:35
From Butler, Pa
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I believe that the Clarion is one the best fisheries for trout, I've caught them in and around the East Branch all summer long in cold flows, the fish in my profile pic is from a stream that is neither listed as an ATW or Class A around that area.

Posted on: 2013/2/23 21:33



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