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Re: using bedrock geology info to fish in acidrain areas

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[quote]
duckfoot wrote:
Interesting that Muncy Creek is a Catskill drainage basin.

I would argue that headwater geology matters more important for water pH because the majority of these freestone streams have rain as their primary source. Rain falls onto the long-eroded (via plants and trees) ground and rock, and seeps those acidic qualities into the water.

Bedrock further downstream has much less surface area over a stream's water capacity than does the ground that the rain made first contact.

Groundwater sources (usually come from limestone) are more suited for supporting trout populations.[/quoteMuncy Creek is not in the Catskill Drainage Basin, it's a geologic formation the 2 are very different.
For instance many streams flow off of infertile headwater geology and when they flow down below certain formations, they gain PH, particularly when they flow over the Catskill Formation, which is more fertile. Many NC streams start in less fertile geology and then as they flow through lower elevations cross over the Catskill Formation. Once they flow through the Catskill they become much more fertile as a stream and fishing can be quite good.
You'll see this in the rocks, many of the streams in the Anthracite regions start on the Plateau where there is pink white and pale gray rock, these streams are very infertile, Northkill is one like this, as well as many of the streams going north from there into Schuylkill County. Northkill has a T Alc of near 0, and is infertile. Even though it is it has a good brookies population throughout. It never crosses the Catskill Formation, but is does cross the limestone valley south of Blue Mountain, and is fed by many limestones spring, large and small and so becomes fertile from around the crossing of I78 south.
In NC PA streams in the Pine Creek Drainage can have very infertile headwaters, but flow through the Catskill Formation and are eventually very fertile. You can see it in the sediment on the stream bottoms, there is a lot of red rock in the streams indicating fertility.

Posted on: 6/27 9:00


Re: using bedrock geology info to fish in acidrain areas

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Quote:

Chaz wrote:
Muncy Creek is not in the Catskill Drainage Basin, it's a geologic formation the 2 are very different.

Thank you, that's what I meant to say.

Posted on: 6/27 14:12
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Re: using bedrock geology info to fish in acidrain areas

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just to clarify, the map linked in the OP can show the bedrock geology of PA.

http://www.gis.dcnr.state.pa.us/maps/index.html

for several parts of the state, four books by taylor have tables of the median chemical analysis of groundwater, including pH, by bedrock:

*Groundwater resources of the Lower Susquehanna River Basin, Pennsylvania / by Taylor, Larry E.

*Groundwater resources of the Upper Susquehanna River Basin, Pennsylvania / by Taylor, Larry E.

*Groundwater resources of the West Branch Susquehanna River Basin, Pennsylvania

*Groundwater resources of the Juniata River basin, Pennsylvania /
Published 1982 Taylor, Larry E


here's a map showing taylor book coverage ... all 4 taylor books can be downloaded via link below (note W54 etc number on image. takes a while). look for table of "median chemical analysis of groundwater":

http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/topogeo/p ... ns/pgspub/water/index.htm

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Posted on: 6/28 7:12

Edited by k-bob on 2014/6/28 7:32:24


Re: using bedrock geology info to fish in acidrain areas

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below is my "eyeballed across tables" look at some common NC/NEPA bedrock types and relative buffering capacity -- note, this is very quick and dirty, NC/NEPA info is all I looked at, and there are no doubt local/regional differences:

Juniata, Clinton, Lock Haven: VG buffering,
Catskill, Bloomsbug/Mifflintown: G,
Mauch Chunk, Pottsville: G-,
Alleghany, Burgoon, Pocono and Tuscarora: low buffering

so other things (drainage area, access, gradiant, state listings) being equal, I'd rather hike in to an unknown stream starting in Catskill than Tuscarora or Pocono bedrock, for example.

none of this is a substitute for fishing experience, but first you have decide where to go....

Posted on: 6/28 7:20

Edited by k-bob on 2014/6/28 7:37:25
Edited by k-bob on 2014/6/28 7:38:11
Edited by k-bob on 2014/6/28 7:40:03
Edited by k-bob on 2014/6/28 7:40:29


Re: using bedrock geology info to fish in acidrain areas
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This topic is fascinating. I have for the past several years scouted stream by looking at topography and trying to match new waters with ones I know are productive. I never considered that topographically similar streams may have different bedrock formations and qualities that could be used to locate an even better match to know productive streams.

Posted on: 6/28 9:44
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Re: using bedrock geology info to fish in acidrain areas

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Jack Some parts of PA have large areas of the same bedrock, so geology wont send you to one stream or another. But in other places, for example just south of Penns, nearby streams start in different bedrocks that are associated with lower or higher buffering capacities.

For example, Swift Run south of Penns has bad acid-rain impact, and it originates in low-bufferin Tuscarora bedrock. Coral Run, a mile or two north of Swift, starts in Reedsville bedrock, which the Taylor tables suggest are higher buffering than Tuscarora. (there is pH info on about 20 bedrocks in the taylor Juniata book, the pH levels range from 6.-8.0, and Reedsville is in there @ 7.6. I have seen Tuscarora cited as low buffering.) Coral Run had some nice brookies for such a tiny little stream the one time I was there. Geology may be worth a look.


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Posted on: 6/28 10:35

Edited by k-bob on 2014/6/28 11:02:32
Edited by k-bob on 2014/6/28 11:19:47


Re: using bedrock geology info to fish in acidrain areas

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Here's a caveat to the entire thing, the streams low in buffering are likely to be all brookies if that's what you're fishing for, and a lightly populated brookies stream is likely to produce some larger brookies, if there is sufficient food base. If brookies are not the only fish in the streams there will be some larger ones, because in infertile streams the brookies prey on fish at an earlier age than in more fertile streams.
A densely populated stream is likely to have mostly fish of 8 inches or under.
If I were looking for a good brookie stream with a good food base I'd look for a stream with a PH between 6.0 and 6.5, because if there are browns in it there won't be many, and the food base will assure growth, making larger brookies posible.
I like the idea of correlating the chemistry of the stream to the bedrock.

Posted on: 6/28 18:19
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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: using bedrock geology info to fish in acidrain areas

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here's a table of well water ph by region (Juniata, wst brnch susq, Upper Susq, Lwr Susq) from the taylor books ... Clinton or juniata bedrock might be better than Pocono or burgoon...

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Posted on: 7/1 21:57


Re: using bedrock geology info to fish in acidrain areas

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Here's one I've been pondering.

Over the last 30 years or so, the PH of the rainfall has improved. It's still not good by any stretch of the imagination, but the addition of scrubbers on a fairly high % of coal plants has helped.

Now, we're in the midst of a massive coal plant shutdown, in favor of gas. Many have already shut down, and I think around 30 more in PA and Ohio are planned to close shop in the next couple of years. I would assume the pH of the rain will rise further as a result.

Obviously, this is a good thing for streams. But how much effect it'll have, I'm not sure. As was mentioned, acid rain is a cumulative effect. You progressively use up the buffering capacity. Hence, rather than say it's a good effect, you might say it's "less bad", meaning streams will get worse at a slower rate?

That said, I have trouble believing that higher pH in the rainfall will not raise the pH of any streams. It's got to. And I think I've seen it in some streams in the NW PA. Acid rain affected streams getting a bit better over time, and in many cases, the appearance of browns where there were none or only a few. It's likely especially true during massive runoff events. The most acidic time in a stream is when you have surface runoff, for instance in the early spring when the ground is frozen, and unbuffered rainwater is pouring directly into the stream. Hence, your groundwater sources in freestoners may not be higher in pH, but your low pH spikes associated with these events should be less severe on account of the rainwater being higher in pH. No? And are not these events perhaps the true limiting factor of acid affected streams?

Thoughts?

Posted on: 7/2 9:33


Re: using bedrock geology info to fish in acidrain areas

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Further, another good question is that IF we were able to improve the acidity of the streams, would it really help the brookie?

I know that there are some very acidic streams with few or no brookies due to acid. And these streams would likely improve, to where they may hold relatively healthy brookie populations.

But alongside those, I think there are some streams with currently stable brookie populations that would switch over to primarily browns. Generally speaking, your brookie populations may merely get pushed even further to the headwaters, while browns take over the lower reaches of what are currently inhabited by brook trout. In some cases, slightly acidic streams could be regarded as the last bastion of brookie habitat, in that it holds off the onslaught of brown trout.

More trout is good, so I'm not suggesting we try to stop this from happening. Just musing out loud.

Posted on: 7/2 9:45


Re: using bedrock geology info to fish in acidrain areas

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interesting questions about the reduction in rainfall acidity over recent decades, and lately as well. one quick point: the data for the pH of well water in the table above was gathered about 25-30 years ago, so I don't assume things would be the just the same today. instead I think about relative buffering capacity of A vs B bedrock.

I sometimes find brookies in streams not on the natural repro list and wonder if the streams were never surveyed, or maybe if brookies came back to some just-below-threshold streams in recent decades. (we have lists where trout were found in surveys, but no lists of streams where trout were not found in a survey in some specific year). (yes I tell the state about the brookies)

mike are you out there? anyone know if brookies are sometimes found for the first time in previously assessed streams?

Posted on: 7/2 9:47


Re: using bedrock geology info to fish in acidrain areas

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another thought pat: at least in NE PA (eg sgl57, ricketts, sgl13, meehopany tribs), many of the mountain ridges seem to have low buffering bedrock (burgoon Pocono potsville). since brookies are good at living in tiny steep streams and better tolerate acid, it might be a long time before BT can live up there :) if BT spread further with less acidic rain, so may brookies, as some of these small steep streams are too acidic for ST now (sgl13 east branch fishing tribs)

Posted on: 7/2 9:54


Re: using bedrock geology info to fish in acidrain areas

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Yeah, and I said as much.

Browns would likely take over some areas now inhabited by brookies. Brookies would likely take over some areas now inhabited by nothing. How it all balances out, I dunno.

Though, as I said, it was more an interesting thought than a call to action. Overall, more trout water = good. This would be a "good problem" to have, I suppose.

Posted on: 7/2 10:18


Re: using bedrock geology info to fish in acidrain areas

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Here's a map of announced retirements. This is complete plant shutdowns between 2012 and 2016.

Many more individual units are being taken offline that aren't shown on the map. And it's projected that many more will shutdown that haven't been announced yet.

Note that many are upwind of us. And these are the remaining plants WITHOUT scrubbers, so by and large, the ones that affect our rainfall pH the most. Generally, when the Clean Air Act went into effect, the plants in which it was economical to install scrubbers, did. Now the EPA regs have been strengthened, and the remaining ones, where it was not economical to install scrubbers, are shutting their doors.

I'd also note, that in regards to the Marcellus debate, Marcellus shale is WHY these coal plants are shutting down. Gas got cheap. And the EPA is now able to increase it's requirements without making the price of energy skyrocket. So they did. I've never claimed that Marcellus doesn't have some environmental concerns. But the proper comparison isn't Marcellus vs. nothing. It's Marcellus vs. coal.

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Posted on: 7/2 10:38


Re: using bedrock geology info to fish in acidrain areas

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think we were writing at same time, pat. by using > 2 fingers, I suspect, you type faster than I do :)

probably just aren't enough repeated surveys on the same streams to see gradual effects of less acidic rain?

yeah, interesting retirements map.. a step down in PA rain acidity may be coming our way, and its effects on ST BT etc may be fun to watch


Posted on: 7/2 10:39



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