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Spring creeks in Carlisle area--stocking question

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2009/9/4 20:33
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My wife recently had some health issues and we're recovering at her parents house in the Carlisle area. I usually hit Letort when we're visiting, and have a few good spots. But with more free time I decided to hit Big Spring. Had a decent afternoon picking up 2 brookies and 1 18" bow. But later I read that the stream is stocked (!?) is this true? I generally only fish for wild fish. Is Letort my only option? There are native brookies in BS, but how do I avoid the stockers?

Posted on: 2013/9/1 12:39


Re: Spring creeks in Carlisle area--stocking question

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2008/8/24 20:26
From Mount Joy, PA
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Yes, BS was stocked with rainbows...at least once. All kidding aside, it is a wild rainbow fishery with the only stocking occurring south of Nealy Road. The rainbows and brookies are all streambred. There has been extensive discussion on this board about the history of that stream, so just do a search and you'll find it.

Posted on: 2013/9/1 14:02

Edited by wgmiller on 2013/9/1 14:26:53


Re: Spring creeks in Carlisle area--stocking question
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Quote:

Wildfish wrote:
But later I read that the stream is stocked (!?) is this true? I generally only fish for wild fish. Is Letort my only option? There are native brookies in BS, but how do I avoid the stockers?


The rainbows in BS are all wild. The only fish stocked in BS are brookies and only downstream of the FFO area (Nealy Rd as WGMiller pointed out) although some fish may migrate up into the FFO. Past studies have revealed that the survival of stocked brookies in BS, both the adults as well as the fingerlings a few years ago, is very poor. The likelyhood that you will catch stocked fish in BS this time of year is very low, esp in the popular FFO. If you like wild fish, you should love Big Spring as it is one of the few public streams in PA where you can catch large wild brook and rainbow trout in the same pool.

Posted on: 2013/9/1 14:09


Re: Spring creeks in Carlisle area--stocking question

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I had read about the brookie stocking program, and that is indeed what had me curious.

For those familiar, the ditch area is part of the FFO section, correct? I think I was basically at the mouth of the stream below the protected "nursery" section. Anyway, its such great water. Can't wait to get back out there. I was hoping to avoid the crowds, however, so maybe I'll explore a bit further down stream. Goal for the next week is a BS hat trick (bow, brown, and brookie).


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Posted on: 2013/9/2 11:45


Re: Spring creeks in Carlisle area--stocking question

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Quote:

Goal for the next week is a BS hat trick (bow, brown, and brookie).


I haven't seen a brown in BS in years, and I'm reasonably sure there aren't any.

Posted on: 2013/9/2 12:06


Re: Spring creeks in Carlisle area--stocking question
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Quote:

Wildfish wrote:
For those familiar, the ditch area is part of the FFO section, correct? I think I was basically at the mouth of the stream below the protected "nursery" section. Goal for the next week is a BS hat trick (bow, brown, and brookie).


Yes, the ditch is part of the FFO at the upper end of the stream (this is at the source of BS, not the mouth). The entire FFO tends to be crowded these days and be aware that a construction project is currently underway in the lower part of the FFO so you should avoid that area for the next month or so.

Brown trout are pretty scarce these days in BS. Until a few years ago, they were still common and some browns are still around (mostly very large fish) but if you are hoping for a BS grand slam, you might find the brownie tough to catch. Personally, I love the bows and brookies in BS and don't worry much about the browns. Why the browns are disappearing from BS is a matter of some debate. Recent studies have turned up a few brown trout YOY but they are clearly not having much success in BS these days. Fortunately, the brookies and rainbows are thriving.

Posted on: 2013/9/2 12:10


Re: Spring creeks in Carlisle area--stocking question
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Chaz was right all along. Brown Trout are inferior.

Posted on: 2013/9/2 12:23
_________________
Peace, Tony


Re: Spring creeks in Carlisle area--stocking question

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Sorry--source, not mouth. And grand slam, not hat trick. 2 sleepless months have eroded my language skills. We're here for physical therapy for my wife post-brain surgery, and mental therapy for me (which has historically taken the form of a brook trout).

I'm not overly concerned about hooking a brown. Plenty to be had from the Letort. And while I'm not sure any trout is inferior to another, I've venture to say that the native brook trout is superior to them all...

Posted on: 2013/9/2 12:51


Re: Spring creeks in Carlisle area--stocking question

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Historically, (going back to the mid-1970's) wild browns did not do well at Big Spring. There was some reproduction (minimal), but hatchery escapement was a big source of the Big Spring brown trout. Once they had a start and then got into the stream, they appeared to survive well, grew well, and produced some impressive fish.

Posted on: 2013/9/2 16:34






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