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Re: Class A stocking proposal by the PFBC

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2013/8/6 21:44
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Off the top of my head, according to the use reports, those of us targeting only wild fish account for $18 million in revenue, where those only targeting pelletheads account for $65 million.

I figured I'd share my letter to the PFBC...

I’m writing this to inform you I am against the proposed legislation to allow stocking in Class A Wild Trout waters. I find the idea of a department whose motto is “resource first” even proposing such a legislation preposterous and, quite frankly, idiotic.

Stocking over a sustaining population of wild trout can do nothing but harm the established wild trout population. I don’t believe a resource as important as wild trout need any more interference from humans than they’ve already had in the past. Have we not learned anything from this state’s history regarding the displacement of native brook trout due to the stocking of non-native trout? I’m not writing this from only a native brook trout standpoint; I don’t think we need to hinder a wild brown trout population by introducing inferior genetics, and more competition for resources, by stocking. Did we not learn anything by the study on Montana’s Madison River on the effects of stocking over wild fish? A study which ultimately led them to cease stocking over wild trout in 1974, and their wild trout recovered exponentially once stocking ceased.

If you are worried about a currently stocked stream that receives too much angling pressure for wild trout, being reclassified as Class A, why not put in catch and release regulations? Why not protect the wild trout instead of putting them in jeopardy?

Ultimately I have a sneaking suspicion this proposed legislation comes from an idea of a loss of license sales if the public does not receive their “instant fishery” provided by throwing stocked fish where the anglers can easily get to them. There is a flip side to that coin; how about the loss if myself, and like-minded anglers, would quit buying a trout stamp if we knew that our trout stamp money was going to fund stocked trout being used to inhibit naturally sustaining wild trout populations? Why not put in a wild trout stamp for those of us that want to support wild trout fisheries? This stamp could go to wild trout habitat management, further studies to determine wild trout fisheries, and to educate the public about the valuable resources that are wild trout.

Thank you for your time.

Posted on: 2013/10/7 13:07


Re: Class A stocking proposal by the PFBC

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Quote:
We're the minority - angler surveys have shown that we're a SMALL minority. You'd be surprised how many people think that trout in our streams only come from the white truck fleet. The concept of a wild, naturally reproducing, self sustaining trout population is a concept not understood by many anglers.


This is true. IMO, it is THE problem. I'm not overly concerned about 1 particular stream. I mean, I'd like to manage it right and all. But in a bigger picture sort of way, it's not as important as we'd like to think. What is important is educating the public on the angling opportunities this state has to offer. i.e. getting rid of a truck chasing mentality and into a mentality more akin to many western and some eastern states.

We live in one of the best wild trout states in the east. Though many of the streams are small, by pure wild trout miles, we rank up there with many of the more famous western states. And we have plenty of medium and large stream opportunities as well, as most of these particular streams show. It's a GREAT state for trout fishermen even without trucks. In an ideal world, the trucks would serve to supplement the trout opportunities by providing trout fisheries in additional waters, beyond what nature is able to provide.

But somewhere along the line we lost our way. The trucks became the primary source of trout opportunities, not merely supplemental, and many actual fishermen don't even realize wild trout exist. What a shame!

To make things worse, in the face of declining hatchery space, we're wasting a huge gift. Many streams are recovering from pollution. Acid rain is decreasing. Anglers of all types are releasing more fish than ever. Various industries have better standards. Stream protection is better. And as a result of all of this, wild trout streams are generally improving. Many of which are traditionally stocked. They are an opportunity to highlight wild trout fishing to the public by REMOVING them from the stocking list and showing that they do indeed still have quality fishing. Meanwhile, those extra fish can be used to stem the tide of stocking reductions on the streams that need stocked.

What an opportunity to show that fairly large, heavily used streams can be fishing destinations without white trucks!

Posted on: 2013/10/7 13:34


Re: Class A stocking proposal by the PFBC

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2007/4/8 20:43
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Mike was nice enough to write the most important reason behind this suggestion in his post, however it appears no one picked up on it.

"In urban parks."

Urban parks have high use, which generates not only direct revenue (liscense sales) but also indirect attention ("how come they don't stock this stream anymore, I'll complain to my representive," which in turn means that attention is given to the PFBC, "my constituants are bitching, give them fish or don't expect me to approve a fee hike," etc).

Frankly, allowing only coops and official PFBC fish into a stream does wonders when otherwise you can have people throwng troot rodeos on the stream and throwing in a ridiculously out of proportion of biomass and really throwing it off.

Sometimes, people, you gotta make exceptions for the greater good.


Posted on: 2013/10/7 18:22
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Re: Class A stocking proposal by the PFBC
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Good point gfen, particularly in that many people don't appreciate that anyone can stock trout in any stream where they are already unless the stream is restricted as, for instance, by a designation of Class A.

Posted on: 2013/10/7 18:28
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Re: Class A stocking proposal by the PFBC

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I see at least 3 streams on that list that are not in urban parks.

Posted on: 2013/10/7 18:48
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Re: Class A stocking proposal by the PFBC
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This is a "door opener" policy designed to Rationalize or Justify the current conundrum of the Commish stocking over Existing Calss A streams. On its surface you may see it a rational to continue a common practice that is currently against the very rules they have in place. If enacted in Jan '14 not only these streams will be covered under the rulemaking. But future streams as well.

The F&BC has been on a surveying push and have been finding streams capable of reaching class A status while currently being stocked. I presume they find it precarious to designate them as Class A (which they want to do for the protections) when it will cause them to have to quit stocking them. I know of a few in my area that are being "held up" because if it goes A it will cause public outrage when the white trucks stop coming.

This "door opener" will if passed will find a rush of Class A's being added in 2014 that can continue to be stocked based on the language of the rulemaking.

This is where I think its going. And it will go through. The only restrictions will be those "Certain Criteria". This way they can just change stocking frequencies from preseason/inseason to just preseason. It will reduce inseason stockings currently taking place. So there is that. You will basically have the opening weekend slaughter and then a dieoff of pressure due to the lack of inseason stockings.

Here is the proposal again for those coming in late.

Proposed a change to the stocking policy for Class A wild trout which would permit stocking to continue on certain Class A waters that meet specific conditions. Currently, stocking is prohibited on all Class A waters, which represent the best of the naturally reproducing trout fisheries. The PFBC has identified nine waters which meet Class A standards, but are currently stocked and receive heavy angler use.

The proposed policy amendment would allow stream sections which are designated as Class A after 2013 to remain eligible for fingerling stocking or preseason-only stocking of adult trout by the PFBC or cooperative nurseries as long as certain conditions are met. The stream section must have been stocked during the year immediately prior to its Class A designation, and angler use in the stream section must equal or exceed the 75th percentile, statewide, of angler use for the opening weekend of trout season as documented by PFBC staff.

The PFBC is soliciting public comment on the proposal for 90 days. If adopted, the amended statement of policy would go into effect on Jan. 1, 2015.


Pay particular attention to the language in the second paragraph.

I find the language in the first paragraph to be a violation of the PA Code and should be addressed legally if necessary to rectify the current violation of Pennsylvania law.

Posted on: 2013/10/7 20:38
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Re: Class A stocking proposal by the PFBC

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Ultimately this comes down to a mentality. The question is will the agency bow to said mentality and go back on their trout management goal of "resource first"?

I feel I already know the answer.

Posted on: 2013/10/7 21:25
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Re: Class A stocking proposal by the PFBC

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2012/9/30 21:12
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Thanks for finding the list of streams

the stream i immediately thought about beinf on the list is the Po I and must say, I would love for it to stop being stocked...

Posted on: 2013/10/7 21:27


Re: Class A stocking proposal by the PFBC

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i do (gasp) tend to agree with gfen though that pfbc may need some flexibility to keep all the different segments of the fishing public satisfied.


I wonder, in the specific case of a popular opening day stocked trout stream... is it better to have that truckload of stockies to spread out the opening day pressure and harvest?


Posted on: 2013/10/7 21:54


Re: Class A stocking proposal by the PFBC

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Maurice, I had wondered the same thing earlier when I first read this thread. Will this be a one time exception only for these listed streams, or will this be used later to justify doing the same thing in more streams that should be class A?

Posted on: 2013/10/7 23:27


Re: Class A stocking proposal by the PFBC

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I am kind of outraged at the fact that there are only nine streams that are getting bumped to class a that are being stocked, I think that are many many more streams that needed to be added to class a and have stocking cease.

Posted on: 2013/10/7 23:59


Re: Class A stocking proposal by the PFBC

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2010/7/18 7:23
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There probably are more than 9 streams. PFBC doesn't have the money to survey the whole state. I also agree that we are a small minority. You don't run into a lot of flyfishers outside of our usual haunts. Unfortunately for us, money talks and I'm sure there are more opening day licensees sold than flyfish all year licensees
.
Hopefully, our voices will be heard by PFBC.

Posted on: 2013/10/8 6:00
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Re: Class A stocking proposal by the PFBC

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"Ed is right that we (the wild trout fishers and TU types) are in the minority."

Yup. The people posting here are the people who decide to post here. Not typical of PA fishermen overall. Some kinda wild trout support group/TU stocking atrocity tale echo chamber. :)






Posted on: 2013/10/8 7:40


Re: Class A stocking proposal by the PFBC

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The "very small percentage" thing is highly exaggerated.

Around here the biggest complaint about the unstocked Class A wild trout streams is that they are TOO CROWDED.

And the idea that few people fish for or catch wild trout isn't true. On Spring Creek, it's heavily fished by flyfishers, but also by spinfishers. There are plenty of days in the cooler months of the year when there are more spinfishers on the creek than flyfishers.

And also, when they quit stocking Spring Creek and went to C&R, many of the people who used to be early season, spin fishers, switched to flyfishing and now fish it through the season. They are the same people, they are just using different tackle now.

Also, about 50% of the stream mileage that is stocked also holds wild trout. So the people fishing those streams catch wild trout, and enjoy catching them, and those wild trout are part of what brings them back out every year and induces them to buy a license.

There are loads of people who do the early season type fishing for hatchery trout, both for their enjoyment and for taking their kids out fishing, who then also go fish native brookie streams.

Probably more than half of PA trout fishermen have caught some wild trout.

Posted on: 2013/10/8 8:46

Edited by troutbert on 2013/10/8 9:02:38


Re: Class A stocking proposal by the PFBC

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"The "very small percentage" thing is highly exaggerated."

right PAFF posts are sooo typical of the trout fishing public. for example, there were 487,000 trout&salmon stamps sold last year and there are 10 PAFF members logged in right now.

not only a small percentage, but a self selected and atypical small percent of the states trout fishers.

for even 10% of the states trout fishermen to be eligible to post here, PAFF would need 48,700 registered members. is the real number public?

Posted on: 2013/10/8 8:58



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