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Illegal? Definitely immoral activity by sportsman's club

Joined:
2007/1/2 11:55
From Bozeman
Posts: 19931
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All,

I've always been bothered by this, but since I've began to exclusively chuck feathers, it's moved to the back of my mind.

But, while it's there, I'll see what everyone thinks.

I grew up in Birdsboro, right on Hay creek. I still fish this creek 20-30 times a year because it's so special to me. It's not particularly great, but I know the water like my own living room.

When I was a kid, the birdsboro "sportsman's" club would have a fish rodeo in the creek some time in may. This was just for kids 15 and under, and I can credit it with getting me and most of my friends into fishing. The ugly parts were many though:

-The group puts up barriers in the water, both rock dams and chain link fences to keep fish segregated. The fences cause major silt and the rock dams are never taken out. This essentially turns the lower section into a bass pond for the remainder of the year, and it isn't fixed until the first good rain.

-TU did extensive work by changing the waterflow and bottom contours. All of this was destroyed.

-Many remaining fish (after it was over) were herded and snagged by those who they "belonged to".

-Brook trout, which have 0 survival rate in this stretch were stocked.

All of this was ignored since it was enjoyed so much by the children. However, a few years ago, there was a change.

Now the club:
-Posts public water for the weekend, charging $80 for ADULTS, not children, to fish. This happens right during prime fishing time, and usually within three or four days of a state stocking.

-Has begun to put up bigger dams, and has gone as far as to widen the stream with front end loaders.


I've gotten into verbal altercations with them before (they told me I couldn't cross to get to my car), but never felt like getting jumped by all these idiots.

Can they use public water in this way? Is there some way to protect the stream from this? The stream runs through a park.

I'm thinking that it's time to do something about it, but I was never really sure where to go or what to do. Can any of you TU guys provide insight? Perhaps band together to do something about it?

I don't live in the area anymore, but it's always eaten at my conscience.

Jay

Posted on: 2007/2/23 10:07


Re: Illegal? Definitely immoral activity by sportsman's club
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Joined:
2006/9/9 9:29
From Monessen, PA
Posts: 22355
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The activities you describe are probably regulated by the PFBC and DEP. I would contact both to discuss your concerns.

Posted on: 2007/2/23 10:18
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Peace, Tony


Re: Illegal? Definitely immoral activity by sportsman's club

Joined:
2006/9/10 21:53
From Greensburg, PA
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nevermind

Posted on: 2007/2/23 10:30


Re: Illegal? Definitely immoral activity by sportsman's club

Joined:
2006/9/10 21:53
From Greensburg, PA
Posts: 13624
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Hay Creek
Another excellent Berks County trout stream is near and within the town of Birdsboro. Hay Creek is a classic example of a stream with cold springs and tributaries that help keep it cool. Stocking begins at the state Route 82 bridge near Geigertown, and continues downstream along state Route 2031 to its mouth. Pre-season stocking included 900 brown trout and 2,100 rainbows.

Sounds like brook trout would do well, but are not stocked...however from rt 82 upstream is listed as a class a wild trout stream.

If the club doesn't own the land on both sides of the creek and between you and your parking spot...you shold be able to fish without hassle. If you get hassled, call the cops. I don't take that crap from anyone.

Posted on: 2007/2/23 10:37


Re: Illegal? Definitely immoral activity by sportsman's club

Joined:
2007/1/2 11:55
From Bozeman
Posts: 19931
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The creek supports wild brookies and browns about a mile or two upstream from Birdsboro. The stretch in Birdsboro holds wild browns, but isn't classified as having them.

Here's the possible catch...

The park has pavilions which can be rented privately for periods of time. I'm unsure if the park is rented out for this purpose, but I still don't see how they can rope off an approved trout water like this. If it's private AT ALL, even during one weekend, can the state stock it?

It's really just mob rule. There really are HUNDREDS of guys standing around just waiting to hassle anyone not wearing an $80 yellow tag. They also threaten you if you wade at all. If I find that it's illegal to do this, I'm really thinking about raising holy hell about it.

I know I can research all of this for myself... just looking for any low hanging fruit before I do so. Also curious if anyone else has had to deal with anything similar.

Posted on: 2007/2/23 10:46


Re: Illegal? Definitely immoral activity by sportsman's club

Joined:
2006/9/9 20:09
From Harrisburg
Posts: 2192
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Dear jay,

Legally, you need to secure a permit to run a machine into a creek though many times that rule is ignored.

Contact the local WCO and tell him about your concerns. If he doesn't seem impressed contact the Regional Fisheries manager and complain to him.

Regards,
Tim Murphy

Posted on: 2007/2/23 12:34


Re: Illegal? Definitely immoral activity by sportsman's club

Joined:
2006/9/14 10:34
From Southeast PA
Posts: 521
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I fish Hay every now and then, and was there 2 or 3 years ago (maybe it was more?) when there was a kids fish rodeo going on. I'm pretty sure it was just kids. Maybe the adults are at another time. Anyway, this was just at the lower end, In the small park and maybe a little above it. Is that where the "adult rodeo" is now, or does it go further upstream? I would find it very hard to believe that a public stream that gets stocked with fish that the public pays for could legally be privitized for a few days to earn money for a private club. That's ridiculous. And then to hassle members of the public who are passing through is doubly ridiculous. All I can say is to ask the PFBC about it. And ask about the stream alterations too.

Posted on: 2007/2/23 12:57
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Re: Illegal? Definitely immoral activity by sportsman's club

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2007/1/2 11:55
From Bozeman
Posts: 19931
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The adult rodeo has been happening for about two years.

It used to be that there was a kid's rodeo saturday morning through sunday night... now, it's kids friday night, adults saturday and sunday. They walk the creek and snag/ kick up dirt so that the public can't really fish it for a day or two until everything settles.

I'm going to contact my WCO and see what the deal is. Even if I find that I'm allowed to fish it, I won't... the crowds are large and beligerent, and the fish are all fresh from the hatchery.

Ironically, I've had some of the best fishing on caddis hatches a few hundred yards upstream during all of this. It just makes me mad when I get threatened for going back to my car through this area.

them: YOU GOTTA PAY TO FISH

me: I don't think that's true, but regardless, i'm just passing through

them: I'll blank your blank blank blank you little blank

at which point i realized that my 6' ish frame was about twice the size of his... I just moved on anyhow.

However, when the annual sulphurs didn't come off in the park last year because the water was too warm/still, I developed a problem with all of this.

Edit:
Yeah, it's just up to where the first washed out bridge was (at the parking area)... Down to the first pavilion.

Posted on: 2007/2/23 13:08


Re: Illegal? Definitely immoral activity by sportsman's club

Joined:
2006/9/14 10:34
From Southeast PA
Posts: 521
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That's not that big of an area, and there's much more and better water upstream, but it still ain't right. I'd be sure to let the PFBC know how they try to intimidate people, too. It sounds like a mini Little J.

Posted on: 2007/2/23 13:27


Re: Illegal? Definitely immoral activity by sportsman's club

Joined:
2007/1/2 11:55
From Bozeman
Posts: 19931
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To be honest, I only fish that area when I'm out for a quick session or during the sulphurs.

Almost all of the better water is upstream... that's true. That aside, it's still not right. The year that TU did their work, there were stockers holding throughout the summer. The years that the front end loader digs it all out, you can smell rotting fish by june.

Also, wulff man... Have you fished very much up at and above Geigertown? I drove through one day, but couldn't find too much public land. The creek looked very small above Scarlet's Mill.

Posted on: 2007/2/23 13:49


Re: Illegal? Definitely immoral activity by sportsman's club

Joined:
2006/9/14 10:34
From Southeast PA
Posts: 521
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A little while ago you posted a question about Beaver Run, and the discussion turned to upper Hay, and I responded:

"I explored and fished upper Hay once, but don't have much to add to govtmule's comments. The stream is small, and goes through a lot of farm meadow which I wasn't sure if I could/should fish. I ended up fishing a small stretch in the Joanna Furnace area in a more wooded location along the road. This was a few years ago, I belive in the colder part of the year, and I think I only caught one small brownie. But that doesn't mean that there isn't better fishing. Could have been me or just one of those days."

That's about all I can tell you. I think I parked along Route 10 (Reading Road) at Joanna Furnace.

Posted on: 2007/2/23 15:14
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Re: Illegal? Definitely immoral activity by sportsman's club

Joined:
2007/1/2 11:55
From Bozeman
Posts: 19931
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That's right.

sorry about repeating the question. I went that weekend and saw much of the same.... was just wondering if any of that private land is open for fishing, and thinking maybe someone had some more info.

Thanks for the refresher!

Posted on: 2007/2/23 15:45


Re: Illegal? Definitely immoral activity by sportsman's club
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2006/9/9 19:16
From Dallastown, PA
Posts: 7051
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JayL

1. If it a public park, they can't close the fishing off to the public. Unless they have a special event permit.

2. It it is approved trout water, They cannot close it off to a private derby without a special event permit. Which is only good during the period of time indicated on the permit.

3. No work is allowed to be done to the stream channel or banks without a permit from the DEP.

4. If these are Co-op fish they cannot be put where the public cannot fish for them without a special event permit.

I'd contact the local WCO, Area Fisheries manager and Regional law enforcement supervisor for the F&BC, DEP Rep, Park jurisdiction authority,(township, boro, county?) and let them know what is going on and when.

Also, if these fish are public fish from state stocking or Co-op or even wild fish they are not allowed to "round them up" after the event. Capturing these fish is considered fishing and muyst be done by rod and reel according to the F&BC fishing regulations for that water.

No matter the size of the area this is a clear abuse of the public fishing regulations laws we must ALL abide by. If I got no support from the above governing bodies, I'd go public with the abise through local papers, news and legislators.

There are ways to have these derbies through the F&BC without breaking the law. These people need to be held to the fire for appropriate behavior.

Maurice

Posted on: 2007/2/23 20:26
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Re: Illegal? Definitely immoral activity by sportsman's club

Joined:
2006/9/11 10:32
From Berks County
Posts: 484
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Jay,
I have heard about this at Hay Creek. I heard about the "fish drive" to get those fish out of the creek. I am wondering how many state stocked fish are caught when they wrangle up "their" trout. Let us know what the fish commission says.

Troy

Posted on: 2007/2/26 8:35






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