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Re: Electroshocking survey on Little "J"
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From Dallastown, PA
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Quote:

TroutBoomer wrote:
The PFBC began their long awaited survey today on the "j". The first stretch surveyed was from the Barree bridge (currently being replaced) upstream for approximatrely 300 meters. Over 400 trout were caught measured and marked. They ranged from 3 inch YOY to several over 18 inches. Many fish were in the 14 to 15 inch range, all with broad shoulders and very healthy! Now for the good news....out of the 400+ only 6 were adipose fin clipped hatchery stock! Of the 6 only 2 were from last May's stocking the rest were 3 to 5 inches and from this May's release!

In the afternoon we went upstream to the Pemberton Quarry stretch. This time we surveyed apptroximately the same length of water with similar results. Again over 400 trout caught and measured, this time there were 16 fin clipped hatchery fish, all but 4 of which were from this May's stocking. The 2nd stretch surveyed is just below the tailout pool which held more than 40 redds when we surveyed last November, so we expected lots of wild fingerlings and we found them! We'll wait for the final results, but based on the preliminary info, it is fair to say that "what we have here is a "Wild Trout Fishery".

The survey will continue for two more days with tommorow afternoon at Shoenberger's bridge around 1 pm for anyone interested in observing. A confirming count will be made in each area (9am tommorow back to Barree stretch) which will provide statistical data allowing an estimate of total population numbers and distribution. Many thanks to the PFBC biologists who participated. This was really hard work made more difficult by the large numbers of trout that were handled. I was there watching the entire time and I did not see a single trout that did not swim away apparently unharmed. I will place lots of pictures on the LJRA website Gallery. littlejuniata.org

Bill Anderson
Little Juniata River Association


Bill,

I am confused over these assertions.

"Of the 6 only 2 were from last May's stocking the rest were 3 to 5 inches and from this May's release! "

What does this Mays release mean? I assume you mean NOT from this Mays release?

Again in the Quarry survey you use similar language but this time it indicates 384 were wild fish.....(non fin clipped)

Again over 400 trout caught and measured, this time there were 16 fin clipped hatchery fish, all but 4 of which were from this May's stocking.

I do not doubt your assertions or the findings...I have been saying it all along, just trying to clear up the language used to describe them.

Maurice

Posted on: 2010/8/4 8:38
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Re: Electroshocking survey on Little "J"

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From On the banks of the "j"
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The electroshocking being carried out by PFBC this week on the "j" is part of an overall study, spanning three years, to determine the survivability of hatchery fingerlings that have been stocked in the "j" since 1977 without it ever being determined whether they were contributing (more than protein) or not. The study began May of last year with the permanent marking of all 30,000 domesticated hatchery fingerlings by clipping off the adipose fin, the small fleshy fin just in front of the tail on the top. The study continued this year with the marking of all 30,000 fingerlings released this May. Of particular interest is the numbers of surviving yearling (7 to 9") hatchery fish versus the numbers of wild born (unclipped) yearlings. For example if there are 2 Yearling Hatchery fish and over 100 wild yearlings captured in a stretch, it is pretty convincing evidence that hatchery browns contributed little to the year class of 2009. In addition, if there are 15 young of the year (born spring 2010, 3 to 5") captured out of 100 total YOY, then the Biologists gain more evidence that wild trout make up most of the population. The plan as stated by PFBC biologists is to mark all fingerlings stocked again next year and to once again do an electroshocking survey next August. They will then have statistical data from which to draw conclusions about the need for any future fingerling stocking in the "j". It is quite right that we learn nothing from older trout captured that are not part of a marked year class except some remarkable information about how many trout are really in the "j" by size range. Another part of this study was the conduction of a redd survey last November by PAFBC and LJRA . We found more than 300 redds (trout spawning beds) in a 7 mile stretch. Most redds had trout actively engaged in spawning behavior on them. Now we know that many of these redds were successful, even though last winter had two very severe high water events which some had presumed would eliminate the eggs residing in gravel until spring hatching. I hope this helps! There is more info on the LJRA website, including a similar study conducted in Wisconsin which led that state to create "wild trout" hatcheries. In which trout eggs are stripped from genetically wild fish from the watershed into which the fingerlings are eventually released. Their results are amazing. We applaud the new PFBC for doing this very difficult and costly work. It's money better spent on solid science than high priced trout food (i.e. hatchery reared fingerlings). Note that all of the above represents my opinions and may differ from the eventual conclusions by PFBC biologists. However, after seeing their thorough and professional efforts these last two days, we will believe and trust what they recommend based on science not opinions, which is all any of us had before.

www.littlejuniata.org

Bill Anderson

Posted on: 2010/8/4 10:11


Re: Electroshocking survey on Little "J"

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Thanks for your efforts.

Posted on: 2010/8/4 13:10
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Re: Electroshocking survey on Little "J"

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2007/3/6 10:54
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All great info and appreciate all of the effort!

One question: Does an adipose clipped fingerling eventually grow that fin back?

I know this seems like a question that would be answered by state officials before they conduct such a survey, but I work at the state level and have seen more obvious things go by the wayside...:)

Posted on: 2010/8/4 14:01


Re: Electroshocking survey on Little "J"

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From blair county
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They say it will not grow back

Posted on: 2010/8/4 14:08


Re: Electroshocking survey on Little "J"

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The adipose is clipped because it is the only fin that doesn't grow back. The other fins do grow back slowly, so after 2 or 3 years you'd lose the ability to see a clip on the other fins.

That said, the adipose may technically grow back to some extent, just slower than the others. But an adipose clip should be identifiable through a fish's normal life span.

Posted on: 2010/8/4 15:22


Re: Electroshocking survey on Little "J"

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2010/6/30 14:13
From Lehighton, PA
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Quote:

jayL wrote:
I am curious about the reason why this survey was done in mid summer. I am assuming that the survey would not be done unless stream temps were low enough to safely handle the fish, but I'm curious if this was a big concern. I would have expected the water to be too warm.

Nevertheless, it's great news!


Probably should've read thru the thread to see if your question was aanswered but the reason they do all of these types of trout stream surveys in mid-summer is to test its ability for natural reproduction vs. holdover. Finding YOY in mid-summer is the best indicator.

If you go on the PFBC website and looke for these biologist reports you'll find that survey work is done in mid-summer as a rule. That's true too with other states.

As far as when this report will be available, I'd expect a month before the report is finished, depends upon the workload. I think that was the timetable when they did our Bushkill last year (and this year.)

BTW, that's great to hear about the health of the Little J's wild trout fishery. I never even knew there was a question as to its existence to be honest.

The fingerlings on the Lehigh are surviving but like LR said you have to check the angler survey #s more so than the shocking results, this is due to the fact successful shocking surveys on the Lehigh are very difficult to conduct. On the other hand, anglers are catching them up and down the system, along with adult holdover trout and wild brown trout.

Posted on: 2010/8/4 16:14
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Re: Electroshocking survey on Little "J"

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2009/3/31 7:00
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The new evidence from the survey that the Little Juniata is primarily, or in fact wholely, a wild trout fishery is very important. We see this as a prerequisite to getting everyone focused on managing the resource i.e. cold water tributaries for wild reproduction. The recent approval of the PFBC for the purchase of Sandy Run and its springs combined with the focus on wild trout reproduction is very exciting. LJRA has big plans. Watch for Mark Nale's article on Sandy Run coming soon in area newspapers...CDT, Alt. Mirror, Tyrone Herald, etc.

Bill Anderson

Posted on: 2010/8/4 16:53


Re: Electroshocking survey on Little "J"

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Sounds like it is worth the trip out there . Thanks much for the info.

Posted on: 2010/8/5 14:09
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Re: Electroshocking survey on Little "J"

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Quote:

TroutBoomer wrote:
The new evidence from the survey that the Little Juniata is primarily, or in fact wholely, a wild trout fishery is very important. We see this as a prerequisite to getting everyone focused on managing the resource i.e. cold water tributaries for wild reproduction. The recent approval of the PFBC for the purchase of Sandy Run and its springs combined with the focus on wild trout reproduction is very exciting. LJRA has big plans. Watch for Mark Nale's article on Sandy Run coming soon in area newspapers...CDT, Alt. Mirror, Tyrone Herald, etc.

Bill Anderson


Bill,

I hope the same is true for the Lackawanna R. now that the word is out. Both streams are very valuable.

Posted on: 2010/8/5 16:36
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Re: Electroshocking survey on Little "J"

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The actual facts when out on paper is going to surprise alot of people i can't wait for them its going to be great for the lil j and the fishery. The population of trout per mile is going to surprise alot of people. There is alot more fish in there then people believed.

Posted on: 2010/8/6 0:37


Re: Electroshocking survey on Little "J"

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2007/3/23 18:10
From Chester Co., PA
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That's exciting news. It would be wonderful to see the "Little J" reach its potential. Haven't fished it much since college days in the mid 80s (fond memories of the Espy stretch pre SRC), but when work and child-rearing eases up a bit, I hope to get reacquainted.

Posted on: 2010/8/7 8:45


Re: Electroshocking survey on Little "J"

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2006/9/9 11:22
From New Castle, PA
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TroutBoomer,

Can you give us an update/summary on how the second day of the survey went?

Thanks,

Kev

Posted on: 2010/8/7 9:44


Re: Electroshocking survey on Little "J"

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LR: The LJ survey was very effective at catching a representative sample of the fish that were present...large or small. There will be no magical appearance of fingerling stocked trout at some later date.

I was very impressed by the abundance of trout from Grier School vicinity to Barree. If anglers can't catch trout on any given day in that stretch, then they can be certain that it has nothing to do with fish abundance, at least not in 2010!!!

Posted on: 2010/8/7 15:01


Re: Electroshocking survey on Little "J"

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2009/3/2 14:45
From Souderton, Pa
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They should do the survey around Spruce Creek, while Donnie looks over their shoulders and thretens to press charges for trespassing.

Posted on: 2010/8/7 17:18



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