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More "highway brookie" streams, even in SE Pa.

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The PFBC unassessed waters sampling program in SE Pa just located two more wild ST streams along routes traveled by thousands of drivers each day or week. One was along RT 322 in Chester Co near a well-known town and the other was along RT 10 and under RT 176, south of Reading. We had a tip from a former WCO about the first...he stocked ST fingerlings there in the 1960's, although it is unknown whether they were the source of today's fish. The second stream was found on our own wild trout sleuth work, as finding these streams is getting harder since we have already located most of the low hanging fruit east of the Susquehanna. No matter where you are in much of the state, you may be overlooking wild trout streams that you cross or drive along on a daily basis. They may not be pretty, but they may hold wild trout.

Posted on: 10/7 8:58

Edited by Mike on 2017/10/7 9:54:31


Re: More "highway brookie" streams, even in SE Pa.
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More good news.

And the fact that these are STs showing up in SEPA along areas with impermeable surface (rather than BTs) is also highly encouraging.

A study of STs vs BTs in urban streams controlling for a variety of factors such as water temps, acidity, stocking and other "social" issues, permeable surface area, gradient, presence of pollutants, etc....would make a great project for a graduate student, state agency, or non-profit biologist. Such a study could shed some light on trout species in urban watersheds.

Anyway, continued kudos to the PFBC staff for this valuable work.

Posted on: 10/7 9:09


Re: More "highway brookie" streams, even in SE Pa.

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What is the explanation of these exceptions?

What is different about the geography, land use, vegetation or whatever, that allows these streams to still retain brook trout, while most of the streams in the region no longer do so?

Does the PFBC generally do any sort of analysis of these things, and include that in the reports?


Posted on: 10/7 9:32


Re: More "highway brookie" streams, even in SE Pa.

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Awesome news!

Troutbert, speaking from experience in Ches co...groundwater inputs are pretty good, at least in the southern half of the county, and many of those brookie streams flow through small, narrow valleys. Development occurs on the hilltops and the valleys remain forested. The geology also has a lot of rock slabs which provide cover for trout even in very shallow streams. Most of these streams have erosion issues due to increased stormwater but no matter how wide the channel gets the rock slabs remain. For the less rocky streams I'd say the forested valley buffers are key.

Posted on: 10/7 15:45
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Re: More "highway brookie" streams, even in SE Pa.

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Quote:

sarce wrote:

Troutbert, speaking from experience in Ches co...groundwater inputs are pretty good, at least in the southern half of the county, and many of those brookie streams flow through small, narrow valleys. Development occurs on the hilltops and the valleys remain forested. The geology also has a lot of rock slabs which provide cover for trout even in very shallow streams. Most of these streams have erosion issues due to increased stormwater but no matter how wide the channel gets the rock slabs remain. For the less rocky streams I'd say the forested valley buffers are key.


Sarce, thanks for the reply. Are the good groundwater inputs due to limestone geology?



Posted on: 10/8 8:51


Re: More "highway brookie" streams, even in SE Pa.
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Quote:

troutbert wrote:
Quote:

sarce wrote:

Troutbert, speaking from experience in Ches co...groundwater inputs are pretty good, at least in the southern half of the county, and many of those brookie streams flow through small, narrow valleys. Development occurs on the hilltops and the valleys remain forested. The geology also has a lot of rock slabs which provide cover for trout even in very shallow streams. Most of these streams have erosion issues due to increased stormwater but no matter how wide the channel gets the rock slabs remain. For the less rocky streams I'd say the forested valley buffers are key.


Sarce, thanks for the reply. Are the good groundwater inputs due to limestone geology?




Just a sliver and a smattering of limestone in Chester County:

http://www.water-research.net/Waterlibrary/geologicdata/map15.pdf

It's easy to see on the map the limestone rich counties in PA that have the most limestone influenced streams.

The interesting thing is most limestone streams are inhabited by brown trout. Many/most brookie in PA have no limestone influence. As you know, brookies are mostly found in headwater mountainous streams of PA.

Posted on: 10/8 9:14


Re: More "highway brookie" streams, even in SE Pa.

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No limestone in the ones I'm thinking of but lots of spring seeps. Some have isolated areas with aquatic vegetation in the headwaters and you could easily mistake those for limestoners. The thing I've noticed around here compared to the rest of the state (not including limestone valleys) is that the drainage area doesn't have to be very large to produce a stream big enough for trout. Upstate it seems like huge areas produce a tiny trickle of a stream.

Posted on: 10/8 17:20
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Re: More "highway brookie" streams, even in SE Pa.

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2006/9/13 18:28
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Yo sarce

I attended a very interesting WCFGW meeting about West Valley Creek just above West Chester. It has been having large sink holes, some of which have dewatered the creek. One of the speakers was a limnologist, and he made the point that the streams that we see is what is left over from the subterranean flow underneath. Since the stream we saw is essentially at bed rock, I guess there is no underground acquifer there.


Posted on: 10/8 21:28
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Re: More "highway brookie" streams, even in SE Pa.

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Streams still get inflow from springs when they run on bedrock, water will run across bedrock until it finds an outlet sometimes between layers other times through the floodplains. Streams are always at a point that is at the lowest point in a watershed when viewing the stream at a particular point. How much inflow there is, is related to the geology, i.e. sandstone, limestone, granite, or whatever. Each has its own density and its own ability to allow the flow of water. The thing that changes is how much substrate is present within a reach. If a stream is running on bedrock most of the flow is on the surface whereas if there is substrate most of the flow is in the substrate. They are dynamic systems.
That's off topic though, the bottom line is PFBC is finding more trout streams and water that can be protected under DEP Guidelines.

Posted on: 10/11 15:25
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Re: More "highway brookie" streams, even in SE Pa.

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Still another sleeper along RT 209 in Schuylkill Co last week...a Class A equivalent ST biomass ( preliminary calculation) at a Schuylkill R site. No trout were present at that site in the early 2000's.

Posted on: 10/23 9:59

Edited by Mike on 2017/10/23 10:53:01


Re: More "highway brookie" streams, even in SE Pa.

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Isn't there already a class a stream near rt 10 and 176?

Posted on: 10/23 13:16


Re: More "highway brookie" streams, even in SE Pa.

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I have an old issue of a magazine from the 70's that has an article called "Turnpike Trout". I need to dig that up again. Wonder how much guff you get from a trooper for hopping the fence while parked on the Pike?

Posted on: 10/23 19:51


Re: More "highway brookie" streams, even in SE Pa.

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I can't comment on the first stream, but in the case of the second, there is relatively intact riparian buffer. The geology is such that does not seem to have been much farming as there is little in the way of a large fluvial floodplain. More rock than not, but deciduous trees for leaf litter. My theory on these undiscovered gems is that most people think that trout come from white trucks and in some cases, remnant populations expand as habitat reverts to conditions that allow populations to multiply (i.e exclusionary fencing).

Posted on: 10/24 1:57


Re: More "highway brookie" streams, even in SE Pa.

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"No trout were present at that site in the early 2000's."

very interesting, thanks.

Posted on: 10/24 9:31


Re: More "highway brookie" streams, even in SE Pa.

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Quote:
Lestrout wrote:
Yo sarce I attended a very interesting WCFGW meeting about West Valley Creek just above West Chester. It has been having large sink holes, some of which have dewatered the creek. One of the speakers was a limnologist, and he made the point that the streams that we see is what is left over from the subterranean flow underneath. Since the stream we saw is essentially at bed rock, I guess there is no underground acquifer there.


Hey Les,

Just saw your reply. I think that's correct regarding the stream we looked at. It gets flow gradually from a bunch of small seeps on the valley sides and a few wetland areas. I'd have to believe with all the development around there those sources can't recharge the same as they once did. The upper 1/3 of that valley has houses right next to the stream (built 40-50 years ago).

The streams that are contained in valleys too steep to develop are faring better, though still impacted by the ridge top development.

Posted on: 10/24 13:22






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