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Class A Streams below Approved Trout Water

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The easiest example of this is the Bush Kill in Easton. In the headwaters it is a Natural Reproduction stream, In Jacobsburg Park it is stocked. Below the park it is not stocked for several miles and holds trout at least part of the year, and I've never seen anyone fishing there. Here is where it gets complicated; in the Park and below the Park for this same distance it holds a good population of warm water fish.
In and around Tatamy there are limestone springs that feed the creek with a shot of icy water that makes it a wild trout stream from the end of Bush Kill Drive to the mouth at the Delaware River. For about a mile below Tatamy it is stocked, from the point where stocking ends to the Penn Pump Park it is not stocked. From Penn Pump Park to the C & R section it is stocked several times a year, from the upper end of the C & R Section it is Class A Unstocked water for approximately 3 miles, nearly to the river. I'm not sure if it is stocked further down or not.
I often go to the Bush Kill during the winter and fish the unstocked waters, but I was never sure if it is legal to do this or not, except in the C & R section. Of course being a limestone stream from Tatamy on down to the river, if it were not stocked it would all be wild trout water and could be fished all year, with the exception of March 1 to Opening day. But then I ask why should I not fish it from March 1 to Opening day? If it's not stocked.

Posted on: 2006/12/14 10:53


Re: Class A Streams below Approved Trout Water
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Quote:

Stone_Fly wrote:

...I often go to the Bush Kill during the winter and fish the unstocked waters, #1 - but I was never sure if it is legal to do this or not, except in the C & R section. Of course being a limestone stream from Tatamy on down to the river, if it were not stocked it would all be wild trout water and could be fished all year, with the exception of March 1 to Opening day. #2 - But then I ask why should I not fish it from March 1 to Opening day? If it's not stocked.


#1 Sure it is legal under extended season regulations. You can even kill three fish. except in the C&R section.

#2 Because it is illegal to fish downstream areas of stocked waters during that period....period!

Now there is a principle that speaks volumes about trout management...Class A or wild trout streams (stocked or not) are subject to regulations of stocked fish if there are fish stocked upstream of them.

Posted on: 2006/12/14 12:46
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Re: Class A Streams below Approved Trout Water
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Quote:

Maurice wrote:

#2 Because it is illegal to fish downstream areas of stocked waters during that period....period!


This is true to the extent the "downstream area" is on the same creek, but this prohibition does not extend beyond the ATW creek's mouth.

Also, it is illegal to fish in the March 1-opening day period even in "upstream areas" of officially stocked (ATW) creeks, as stated below:

58 Pa. Code § 63.3. Fishing in approved trout waters.
It is unlawful to fish in approved trout waters regulated under § 61.1 (relating to Commonwealth inland waters) from 12:01 a.m. on March 1 to 8 a.m. on the first Saturday after April 11 and in approved trout waters regulated under § 65.12 (relating to Regional Opening Day of Trout Season Program) from 12:01 a.m. on March 1 to 8 a.m. on the first Saturday after March 28. As used in this subpart, the term ‘‘approved trout waters’’ means designated waters that contain significant portions that are open to public fishing and are stocked with trout. A listing of approved trout waters is published in the Commission’s ‘‘Summary of Fishing Regulations and Laws,’’ which is available from the Commission at Post Office Box 67000, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17106-7000. The Executive Director or a designee may, from time to time, supplement or modify the list of approved trout waters, and additions or deletions will be published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.



I can think of two examples in my neck of Penn's Woods, Bob's Creek and Shaffer Run. Both have good wild trout in the headwaters, are on public land for a good stretch and are ATWs. I would have a hard time arguing that I have a right to fish there between March 1-opening day, even if I am well upstream of the stocking limit.

Posted on: 2006/12/14 13:11
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Re: Class A Streams below Approved Trout Water

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This is typical of the Lehigh Valley streams. They have wild trout in the headwaters and because of development, mostly agriculture, they get too warm in the mid-sections to support trout, then further down they have springs that make them trout streams again, it happens on the Bush Kill, Monocacy, Saucon, Little Lehigh and several others. All are wild trout fisheries that are stocked.

Posted on: 2006/12/14 14:17


Re: Class A Streams below Approved Trout Water

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What has been said is correct.

The bottom line, stream closure-wise with Class A is if they are part of ATW no matter where they are they are closed when the ATW is closed. If you see the stream name on the ATW list that means the WHOLE stream so any Class A sections no matter how far from the areas they stock are closed after March 1.

I once specifically asked the PFBC about the Class A section of the Little Lehigh sandwiched between two stocked sections. I was told what I related above. The same deal applies with the upper Class A section of the Monocasy while of course the lower TT area is open for business.

In the winter I just avoid all non-special reg areas of Class A sections of ATW rather than try and figure out where I am and what day of the year it is. I either fish the Class A tribs or special reg areas.

So what's the deal with the W Br of the Perk on March 1? The WB isn't ATW, the E Br and the Perk are. I would assume it is open since the "branch/fork" phenomena occurs in lots of places. It technically should be a different stream. I just don't know what the WCO thinks.

Posted on: 2006/12/14 20:07


Re: Class A Streams below Approved Trout Water

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Quote:

JackM wrote:

Also, it is illegal to fish in the March 1-opening day period even in "upstream areas" of officially stocked (ATW) creeks, as stated below:

58 Pa. Code § 63.3. Fishing in approved trout waters.
It is unlawful to fish in approved trout waters regulated under § 61.1 (relating to Commonwealth inland waters) from 12:01 a.m. on March 1 to 8 a.m. on the first Saturday after April 11 and in approved trout waters regulated under § 65.12 (relating to Regional Opening Day of Trout Season Program) from 12:01 a.m. on March 1 to 8 a.m. on the first Saturday after March 28. As used in this subpart, the term ‘‘approved trout waters’’ means designated waters that contain significant portions that are open to public fishing and are stocked with trout. A listing of approved trout waters is published in the Commission’s ‘‘Summary of Fishing Regulations and Laws,’’ which is available from the Commission at Post Office Box 67000, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17106-7000. The Executive Director or a designee may, from time to time, supplement or modify the list of approved trout waters, and additions or deletions will be published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.


I may be missing something, but I don't see were this says you can't fish upstream of ATWs during the closed season. In any event, it seems that that's the case.

So this would mean that everything upstream of an ATW section is closed from March 1 to opening day (except tribs?). So you could be 30 miles upstream of an urban stocked stream, in the mountain headwaters of a small pristine Class A stream, and you can't fish here March 1 to mid-April because they are stocking lousy water 30 miles away? What kind of sense does this make? Are they afraid some of their precious stocked mutants ( ) might swim that far upstream and be "disturbed" by a C&R fisherman?

Bamboozle, you said "In the winter I just avoid all non-special reg areas of Class A sections of ATW rather than try and figure out where I am and what day of the year it is. I either fish the Class A tribs or special reg areas." But this is only an issue after March 1st, isn't it?

Posted on: 2006/12/16 13:14


Re: Class A Streams below Approved Trout Water

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Wulff-Man:

I figure the PFBC considers the whole stream as ATW if any portion of it is ATW just to close the loopholes. But if you don't believe me, call them on March 2nd and ask them if you can fish Pine Creek above Route 6, which is Class A. Believe me, I've asked before I knew the rules.

It's sort of like the rule that says you are considered fishing if you have any tackle in your possession. It keep people from dropping their fishing rod and saying; "I wasn't fishing Mr. WCO.

Many Class A sections of ATW butt right up the stocked areas so I can imagine lots of folks would be standing on the non-stocked section and casting into the stocked section. It just keeps folks honest. Also, I spent considerable time mapping all of the Class A water in PA and there aren't many places where the wild stretch is separated from the stocked area. In almost all cases they butt right up to one another.

The closure issue is only an issue for those non stocked sections from March 1 to the opener. Like I said, I avoid them except during the regular season. There are plenty of other legal Class A waters to fish.

Posted on: 2006/12/16 16:07


Re: Class A Streams below Approved Trout Water
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This is a perennial issue that PA fly fishermen always ponder and there never seems to be a clear answer. Where can we fish - on a C&R basis - during the closed season? I am not convinced the PFBC is clear on this themselves and I would bet that different WCOs would give different answers. It has always been my understanding that Class A and Wilderness sections were open to fishing. I have been told this by WCOs and also via email from the PFBC. Designated Trout Waters are specified with upstream and downstream limits where they're described in the regs booklet. I have always considered areas upstream of these limits to NOT be DTW. Some of the posts on this thread refer to areas downstream of the stocked section. I don't know about this situation but think that there are probably many more examples of Class A sections above DTW. For example, I frequently fish a section of stream that is both Class A and Wilderness water - it is upstream from the section of the same creek that is DTW. Of course I don't keep fish here and have always thought that this was legal as the section is not stocked and is outside of the section of stream that is DTW and that is clearly closed. Perhaps I have been breaking the law. The PFBC needs to clarify this issue. I don't think they are being deliberately vague about this so as not to encourage closed season fishing on wild trout populations. I think it's just an oversight.

Posted on: 2006/12/16 20:00


Re: Class A Streams below Approved Trout Water
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Approved Trout Waters are identified by stream name, not by section of stream. The stocking schedules identify sections, but I don't think this constitutes a limitation on the ATW designation. Otherwise, the regs would have no need to say that ATWs are "designated waters that contain significant portions that are open to public fishing and are stocked with trout." The regs say ATWs are closed to fishing Mar.1-opening day. This is the only time and place you cannot fish C&R.

The "downstream areas" concept is only relevant during the extended season, when you can harvest up to 3 trout, because those regs say the extended season applies to ATWs and "their downstream areas."

During the extended season and even the Mar 1-opening day period, I think it is unwise to admit that you are targetting trout if you are questioned by a WCO while fishing "non-ATWs or downstream areas," since trout are "out of season" in these periods. The PFBC has remained ambiguous on this point, stating that no streams are "closed to fishing" but on "non-ATWs or downstream areas," fish caught out of season must be release immediately unharmed.

Posted on: 2006/12/16 21:12
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Re: Class A Streams below Approved Trout Water
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JackM,
My 2006 regs book does indicate up and downstream limits for Approved Trout Waters (pp27-30). What is confusing is that not all streams on the county lists have limits. Some are in fact identified only by name. Presumably, those without limits are considered ATW for their entire length in that county(?). The PFBC website indicates up and downstream stocking limits which are the same as the up and downstream limits for ATW. This makes sense but some of the waters in Adams County for example have limits on how far upstream they're stocked but on the ATW list they don't have limits. HHmmm. I'm still confused. You're probably right that, just to be safe, one ought not fish in these areas where it's unclear.

Posted on: 2006/12/16 23:25


Re: Class A Streams below Approved Trout Water

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I fish the WB Perky all the time in the early spring between March 1 and opening day, never was cited. The WB doesn't connect to the Main Branch anymore accept through the reservior so it's in my opinion another gray area stream. But then it does flow into the MB below the stocked section.

Posted on: 2006/12/17 7:40


Re: Class A Streams below Approved Trout Water
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Go into the PFBC site and click on county maps. The streams in red are the aprroved water. If the stream or stream section is not highlighted in red, it should be open to fishing. The west branch of the Perkiomen is green - wild trout water. It should be open to fishing. If you get a violation from the WCO, just hire JackM to defend you.

Posted on: 2006/12/17 8:49


Re: Class A Streams below Approved Trout Water
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Quote:

Fishidiot wrote:
JackM,
My 2006 regs book does indicate up and downstream limits for Approved Trout Waters (pp27-30)....


I have come to rely on the website and don't read the regs book so closely any more. If the ATWs is defined by limits as you state, it makes a better argument for fishing on a C&R basis outside the designated area during the prohibition period.

Posted on: 2006/12/17 9:48
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Re: Class A Streams below Approved Trout Water

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JackM wroteQuote:
Approved Trout Waters are identified by stream name, not by section of stream.


Absolutely correct. There is no gray area. If the stream is on the ATW list by name, it is closed after March 1 regardless of whether it has Class A or Wilderness sections. Only Class A streams that are either tributaries or non-tributaries to ATW are open (with harvest restrictions) all year long. Forget the stocking limits too. If you compare the stocked sections list to the ATW listed water you will find that large sections of unstocked creek are included in the definition of the ATW AND marked on the maps.

And DON'T take the WCO word for what's absolutely the legal definition. I have been given more incorrect info from WCO's than you would believe to the point that I now carry copies of rulings and definitions that I have received from the PFBC Law Enforcement Division.

Posted on: 2006/12/17 10:50






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