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Improved Regs = Crowded Streams?

Joined:
2006/10/25 12:30
From York
Posts: 450
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Hi all. I was thinking back over my outings this year and it occured to me that my "home" stream has become overrun with anglers. I have fished Codorus Creek for the last nine years and this year was the most crowded ever, even into the summer and fall. In the past, most anglers would stop fishing the stream by mid June and I would have it to myself for the rest of the year. But since they change the regs on this stream it seems that everyone and their brother are fishing it. In the 1 1/2 mile long open water, there are five pull offs. I have seen as many as fifteen cars parked at the pull offs and some had more than one angler. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind sharing this gem of a stream and I embrace the new regs, but will the increase in fishing pressure brought about by these new regs have a negative impact on the stream and fish? I have seen an increase in poaching as well. Is this to be expected when regs are changed and will fishing pressure return to a "normal" level next year or near future? I don't think this stream can handle the constant pounding by anglers.

What are your thoughts?

Steve

Posted on: 2006/10/30 7:42


Re: Improved Regs = Crowded Streams?
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2006/9/9 19:16
From Dallastown, PA
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I would say that the recent posting which closed 30% of the crik is a greater reason for the crowds than the regulations. Eight years ago when I started fishing there the reg area was double the current length. Plus its a little more popular than before because of the growth in the number of fly anglers and their enthusiasm toward wild trout.

This is not meant to you directly Steve but to all readers in general.

We have to remember that most of our wild trout waters (and stocked trout waters) are on private property and open through the grace of the landowner. Many, many anglers feel that their license is a "passport" or right to use these areas when it is NOT. Your right to fish through purchase of a license without the privilidge of using private property makes for a weak prospectus toward trout fishing in Pennsylvania.

Furthermore, many, many of the of the stream miles are "kept open" to the public for fishing through landowner relations by watershed groups like Trout Unlimited.

The bottom line is if you are passionate enough to read and contribute to this board you should probably be actively involved in a watershed group. All levels of participation are appreciated by the "few" who do most of the work. Once you get involved you begin to realize how important this is and your perspective begins to change toward approaching a stream to fish.

You ask whether Codorus can handle this pressure...well, I can tell you that without equal support the stream corridor cannot handle it. The trout will be there as long as the dam keeps releasing cold water. But as the properties continue to be posted because of disgruntled landowners and disrespectful anglers, fishing for them will be more of a challenge.

Rural land use is changing in this century and anglers need to realize that it takes more than a fishing license to go fishing.

Maurice

Posted on: 2006/10/30 9:50
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Re: Improved Regs = Crowded Streams?

Joined:
2006/9/13 10:18
From LV
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Well said Maurice, this is the biggest reason for me to fight for more regulated water, because there are far to few miles of it. It is also why I'm in the fight to preserve our currently open water and I'm trying to get more opened to the public. It is also why I fish primarily public land.

Posted on: 2006/10/30 17:09


Re: Improved Regs = Crowded Streams?

Joined:
2006/10/25 12:30
From York
Posts: 450
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Chaz/Maurice,

I agree with you both 100%. Stream access is constantly changing and not necessarily for the better. I was just noting that with the introduction of the trophy trout designation the number of anglers has increased ten fold in one year. And it continued through late September. It used to be crowded through say the end of May to mid-June. Those that I had the chance to talk to streamside had a common theme, "I used to fish here years ago." I was wondering/concerned that with the new regs the increase was due to "trophy" fishers trying to catch the big one? It will be interesting to see if the number of anglers diminishes next year.

Thanks guys,

Steve

Posted on: 2006/10/31 7:23


Re: Improved Regs = Crowded Streams?

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2006/11/2 8:50
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A bit about the history of this regs area. This stretch used to operated the typical way, stocked with trout and state-wide regs. The landowners were getting upset with littering etc that accompanied the opening season melee. Access was shutting down. The PFBC approached the landowners and asked them what they thought about the idea of a special regs area (DH), saying that angler behavior would probably improve. The landowners agreed.
With restricted harvest, the wild trout population improved, and went over Class A. So stocking was ended and the regs were changed to trophy trout. A high wild trout population attracts anglers, so it can be busy. As Maurice says access is getting restricted again, and that's happening all over as rural PA becomes suburban PA. That good old rural tradition of letting people fish on your land is going bye-bye, as land ownership changes.

Posted on: 2006/11/2 9:21


Re: Improved Regs = Crowded Streams?

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2006/9/23 0:52
From Lock Haven, PA
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This is a little off the topic of the post but I figured I'd say it anyways. I'm not a big fan of special regulations. In a good quality stream I've found out that the special regulation areas seldom have big fish and often I can catch more and bigger fish outside the regulation areas. I feel a lot of this is due to the fishing pressure in the special regulation areas along with no enforcement of the rules. There is very very little reenforcement of the regulations in the streams I fish. I'm out on the water well over 100 times a year and I'm lucky to run into a fish warden once or twice. I know there's a lot of water out there for a warden to cover but it does make one wonder how especially in the more popular areas that a fish warden seems to be non existent. Anyone else feel the same way I do about the fish wardens? There is a lot of poaching on special regulation waters and many other popular spots. I've taken the responsibility to stop people numerous times on Kettle Creek, Bald Eagle Creek, and Fishing Creek from breaking regulations. It shouldn't come to this though. Many anglers just don't have respect for the natural resources. That goes hand in hand with the littering and land owners having to post their property because of that. I know on this site there are very few who come to this board that break the rules when it comes to fishing but who knows maybe someone will read this and think twice.

Posted on: 2006/11/3 23:46


Re: Improved Regs = Crowded Streams?
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2006/9/13 12:42
From Altoona, PA
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Quote:
There is very very little reenforcement of the regulations in the streams I fish. I'm out on the water well over 100 times a year and I'm lucky to run into a fish warden once or twice.



I used to say the same thing until I forgot to transfer my license from one vest to the vest I was wearing. Just as I released my first trout, out comes a warden from the trees. I tried to find the FBC jeep on the way back to my car, but for the life of me I couldn't.

IMHO there's a lot more enforcement out on the streams than you are aware of.

And by the way, I left the encounter with a great impression of the WCO's. The guy was forceful enough to grab control of the situation, but professional. As it became apparent that I simply made a mistake and wasn't going to be a jerk or try to weasel out of anything, he became "almost" friendly. I wasn't fined, I just had to mail him my original license to prove I had one. I got it back promptly, before the next weekend's fishing. If there's one thing the FBC has been doing right, it's the enforcement.

Posted on: 2006/11/4 8:05
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Re: Improved Regs = Crowded Streams?

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2006/9/23 0:52
From Lock Haven, PA
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I remember one time several years ago when we saw them crouched behind some bushes with binnoculars watching some people people on the Potter County portion of Kettle. Thats the only time I've ever seen them away from the vehicles. I'd like to hear more stories like the one you just told me but I would enjoy seeing their presents more even if it is just a friendly hello along the stream or even in the pull off areas. If you see them around then you know your money is being put to use and just by seeing them it gives people a tendency to follow the rules more. I know one fish warden that is actually more interested in reptiles then he is with the fish in the area. When I see him we talk but I don't think he does a good job in the area I live in. He even told me one time that he hates fish so I don't know how you can protect something you hate. I'm sure its not like this all over the state and I'm sure there are some very good wardens out there just I'm not overly impressed with the ones here in the central part of the state.

Posted on: 2006/11/4 12:06


Re: Improved Regs = Crowded Streams?

Joined:
2006/9/14 10:34
From Southeast PA
Posts: 521
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In the past 6 years I think I've seen only 2 WCOs along the stream. The last one I saw was a couple months ago. He was very friendly, was a fly fisher, and we had a nice conversation. I have heard the stories of WCOs going unseen in the bushes while they check for licenses with binoculars, but even if this is true, I think they would be more of a deterrance to poaching if they were more visible. But whether they are hidden or visible, they can only be effective against poaching if they are frequently present at any given stream.

Posted on: 2006/11/6 9:53


Re: Improved Regs = Crowded Streams?

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2006/9/13 12:37
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I saw one this year and he didn't even ask to see my license, which he couldn't have seen unless he asked to see it. Because I keep it on the underside of my vest so it doesn't get pulled off and lost, he'd have to ask for it. Anyway I get out 100 times a year or more and never see them, even on opening day.

Posted on: 2006/11/6 10:12


Re: Improved Regs = Crowded Streams?

Joined:
2006/10/25 12:30
From York
Posts: 450
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I believe that bigjohn sees the point I was trying to make. Improving the regulations , although intended to be a good thing and could be, tends to have the opposite effect. In the years that I have been fishing Codorus creek I have only seen a warden once. It was this summer and it was because someone had called the because a couple of anglers were bait fishing. I think the changing of the regulations leads people to believe that there are large trout stacked up in every pool just waiting to be caught. This is definately not the case here. Yes, there are some large trout in this stream, but not that many. You can not say that the increase in anglers is from their desire to pursue wild fish. I believe Codorus has had a class A designation for quite a few years so the increase experienced has to be from the change in regs. Hopefully the game wardens will not spend all their time cruising the lake and make a presence along the creek.

Steve

Posted on: 2006/11/6 12:15


Re: Improved Regs = Crowded Streams?
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2006/9/9 9:29
From Monessen, PA
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Quote:

Stone_Fly wrote:
I saw one this year and he didn't even ask to see my license, which he couldn't have seen unless he asked to see it. Because I keep it on the underside of my vest so it doesn't get pulled off and lost, he'd have to ask for it. Anyway I get out 100 times a year or more and never see them, even on opening day.


Then your encounter was with either a lazy or stupid WCO, or both, because he could have fined you for not displaying the license as required by the regulations, and he should have at least warned you verbally or in writing (if it was the first offense). Then again, since you fish an average of 5 days a week, he may be so familiar with you that he knows you have a current license. This latter scenario would actually trump my lazy or stupid estimation.

§ 63.2. Display of fishing license and verification of license purchase.

* * *

(b) Display on outergarment. It is unlawful for a person required by Chapter 27 of the code (relating to fishing licenses) to purchase a fishing license to fish in the waters of this Commonwealth or in boundary waters unless the person displays the license certificate on a hat or outer garment while fishing. A warning will be issued for a first violation of this section if the person has a valid fishing license in his possession and about his person and shows it upon request. An institutional license issued under section 2708 of the code (relating to institutional licenses) may be displayed or maintained by the person fishing or by the person attending the person who is fishing.

Posted on: 2006/11/6 12:38
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Re: Improved Regs = Crowded Streams?

Joined:
2006/9/21 0:02
From Pittsburgh
Posts: 4357
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I am kind of torn on this issue.
Of course it's great to see more sections of streams come under special regulations.
But I also have to admit that my best fishing spots are mostly on open water. Now , these places are pretty well off the beaten path, and I rarely see other people fishing them - so they receive little fishing pressure.
I remember one guy lamenting on a website not long ago about the fact that one of his secret wild trout streams was under consideration for special regs - I can certainly understand where he's coming from.
Making a stream flyfishing only certainly draws a lot more attention to it

Posted on: 2006/11/6 13:03


Re: Improved Regs = Crowded Streams?

Joined:
2006/9/14 16:53
From New Castle, PA
Posts: 85
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I was stopped by a warden on Neshannock Creek several years ago and when he approached I realized that my license was on my waist pack that I use for steelhead. After asking, I explained what had happened and he told me that " something wearing and fishing with thousands of dollars of tackle is hardly likely to not buy a license" and he let me go. He did say I had to leave the stream right away though.
Jim Kearney

Posted on: 2006/11/7 16:54
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Re: Improved Regs = Crowded Streams?
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2006/9/9 19:16
From Dallastown, PA
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I had an old codger pop me on the little J...lef my license at home and figured I was two hours away, I'm fishin. Trouble was I was 80 ft across the river when he yelled out to me....."hey, how they bitin'. I responded "Good" Then he said, "What are you gettin them on" (with his hands cupped around his mouth). I didn't even turn around and said, "Ants". Then he said "why don't ya just turn around and show me yer license". I said..."I can't, I don't have it." He responded..."Then yer gonna have to come over here."

I said..." come git me ya old codger!" No really, I went over to the bank but I did say a few words to myself though.

On the bank he took my name, address, phone number, mothers maiden name, last dentist appointment, Name of my wifes first husband, (this confused him cuz his name was Maurice too) and a number of other things important to societal colapse when fishing without a license.

He then gave me his business card and said to send in my license within a week or he would fine me. I said, "what will I do til then?" He said, "iffin' ya git pinched agin, show them my card."

He explained that college students often times will git caught and send in a copy of their buddies license with the name whited out and written over.

All kidding aside, I am glad he took the itme to stop and talk to me while I was into some fish. It showed me that they are out there. But he is now retired I understand.

Paul and I laughed pretty hard about it on the way home. He got stopped too. but had his in Bino range.

Maurice

Posted on: 2006/11/7 18:51
_________________
Don't hit me with them negative waves so early in the morning. Think the bridge will be there and it will be there. It's a mother, beautiful bridge, and it's gonna be there. Ok?



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