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Native Brookie Stream - "Upgrade" or Leave Alone?

Joined:
2013/3/28 20:10
From Stroudsburg (Poconos)
Posts: 170
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I recently acquired 11 acres of property of which contains a small unnamed tributary to Tunkhannock Creek in Monroe County. Typical Pocono tanic brookie stream. This first order stream has a brook trout population. The length of the stream on my property is roughly a half mile. The banks are choked with mountain laurel. There is one stretch about 50 yards in length that has some openings for fishing. I'd love to fish more of this stream but I don't know if making changes will provide more harm than benefit. Basically, I'd like to selectively cut some laurel so I can fish more of the stream. Any suggestions or should I just leave it alone as is?
Yes, I'm aware of bow/arrow casting, dapping, etc... for tight quarters fishing.

Also, there are some log jam pools (as pictured below) that have occurred naturally over time. Is it a good/bad idea to man make some additional holes with hopes of creating better fish habitat?

The pictures below shows the small "open" section and one of the log jam holes where I've picked up brookies.

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Posted on: 2013/11/4 11:28


Re: Native Brookie Stream - "Upgrade" or Leave Alone?

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2007/6/19 21:49
From Lancaster County
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I'd be happy to fish the stream for you and provide advice based on my experience

My opinion is if it isn't broke, don't try to fix it, meaning if it is producing nice brookies as is, find a way to fish around whatever is there. Your attempts at stream improvements might end going the other way. Nothing like opening up some more water, only to find that the herons can now prey on the fish, for instance. I'd definitely leave the log jams intact and let nature take its course there - it may remove some of them at some point but will definitely create more. And brookies love log jams. Rhododendron can be a scourge of fishing those types of small streams, but cutting it down somehow doesn't seem right. I've often found that in the tunnel of rhododendron that forms over a stream, the bottom branches are dead. If you are going to remove anything, maybe pruning out those dead branches might be the way to go, which would open up a little bit more of a casting lane.

Ultimately, it depends if you want to manage the stream for the fish or the fisherpeople.

Posted on: 2013/11/4 12:08


Re: Native Brookie Stream - "Upgrade" or Leave Alone?

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2006/11/2 8:50
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The 2 photos show good pool habitat.

Is there a long section that does not have good pool habitat? If so, you might show photos of that.

And if there is a long section without pools, try to analyze why that section does not have good pools, of the type shown in the photos.

Posted on: 2013/11/4 12:19


Re: Native Brookie Stream - "Upgrade" or Leave Alone?

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2009/7/29 10:25
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I think the only realistic harm that removing some branches/cutting some laurel could do would involve higher summer water temps. Do you know how warm the water gets in a heat wave? If there are some beaver dams upstream it could be more of an issue. Unless this little steam goes right up to marginal temps for brookies - high 60s or above in aheat wave - I don't think removing branches will do any harm to the fish.

Posted on: 2013/11/4 12:36


Re: Native Brookie Stream - "Upgrade" or Leave Alone?

Joined:
2013/3/28 20:10
From Stroudsburg (Poconos)
Posts: 170
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Water temp stays below 70 all summer. The laurel doesn't aid in sun protection as there is a thick canopy of hemlocks above the stream.

I would never remove any of the current log jams b/c that is where the brookies hold but I would possibly like to create additional log jams in other sections of the stream that lack pools. Is there a good/bad way to do such task? Should I use downed trees and rocks or does a different material work better and/or last longer? I'll take some more pics next time I check my trail camera.

Bottom Line: I want to manage the stream for the fish but I want to make the fishing a little easier as well. These brookies only see a human 2-3 times a year currently. That will likely change though once I build my house there.

Posted on: 2013/11/5 12:10


Re: Native Brookie Stream - "Upgrade" or Leave Alone?

Joined:
2010/6/9 12:35
From down the block from the Letort.
Posts: 902
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I don't see any harm in pruning some of the streamside shrubbery if you're looking for easier access here and there....but I wouldn't advise doing any in stream structure on your own, pretty sure you need permits for that sort of thing. And there's a good chance you'll do more harm than good.

Posted on: 2013/11/5 12:58


Re: Native Brookie Stream - "Upgrade" or Leave Alone?

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If you show pictures of the stretches of the sections with poor habitat, it might be possible to figure out why those sections have not developed pools, while the ones in the photos have.

There is usually a reason, involving some sort of alterations / disturbances.

And once you figure out the cause of the problem, that leads to a possible solution.

I think people should be cautious about recommending fixes, when you have not even seen what is going on in the poor habitat stretches.

For example, it might be possible to drop some trees and create more large woody debris pools. If the conditions are right.

But if the channel has been straightened and channelized, dropped trees may not "stick", i.e. they may just get blown out in a flood. In that case you'd be sacrificing a tree and gaining nothing.


Posted on: 2013/11/5 13:25


Re: Native Brookie Stream - "Upgrade" or Leave Alone?
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2006/9/9 17:32
From Gettysburg
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Although I'm a fan of stream improvement projects where they're appropriate......based on what I can see in the pics, I'd probably be inclined to leave this one alone.

Posted on: 2013/11/5 13:33


Re: Native Brookie Stream - "Upgrade" or Leave Alone?

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2006/9/13 10:18
From LV
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I'm prettygood at figuring out why a stream doesn't have more pools, if you want to show it to me sometime, I'd be glad to help. I know that area pretty well and there are geological reasons whythose streams don't have more pools, but only a look at it will tell why, but even then it may be difficult.

Posted on: 2013/11/6 9:04


Re: Native Brookie Stream - "Upgrade" or Leave Alone?

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2010/7/18 7:23
From Lansdale
Posts: 959
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"It's not nice to fool with Mother nature".
Unless someone threw something there that's not supposed to be in a stream, I wouldn't do anything.

Posted on: 2013/11/6 9:06
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Re: Native Brookie Stream - "Upgrade" or Leave Alone?

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2012/2/7 12:42
From Ligonier
Posts: 156
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BTW, congratulations on owning a beautiful piece of trout habitat. I'm sure those woods are loading with grouse and other game as well!

Posted on: 2013/11/6 9:14


Re: Native Brookie Stream - "Upgrade" or Leave Alone?

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2007/3/24 2:29
From Luzerne County, PA
Posts: 361
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Beautiful stream, take your time carefully whatever you decide to do

Posted on: 2013/11/11 16:57


Re: Native Brookie Stream - "Upgrade" or Leave Alone?

Joined:
2010/2/15 19:09
From Ohio
Posts: 734
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Quote:
if it isn't broke, don't try to fix it


+1. Leave it alone and challenge yourself to find ways to fish the stream. Hone your small stream skills. I would be happy to have a first rate "training facility" like that beutiful stream.

Posted on: 2013/11/12 7:31


Re: Native Brookie Stream - "Upgrade" or Leave Alone?

Joined:
2009/4/1 21:52
From Johnstown, PA
Posts: 4469
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I own about 6 acres along Breastworks run in Somerset co (any of you are welcome to fish it) i have found that a gentle touch doesn't hurt anything. I talking about a few well placed rocks , planting a few things to stabilize the banks during floods etc. Kinda like a GOOD woman gentleness is greatly appreciated. They stop stoking well below me but there are natives and some of the stockies make it up , mostly brookies. There are still remnants of a dam/diversion we built in about 98 that has formed abour 50 yards of great native brookie spawning area. TIGHT LINES ALL

Posted on: 2013/11/12 8:06


Re: Native Brookie Stream - "Upgrade" or Leave Alone?

Joined:
2011/6/29 9:38
From Philadelphia
Posts: 2137
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You can also contact US Fish and Wildlife. They have grants available and they'll plan and perform the work if you qualify. We have a stretch of Elk Creek in Centre County that they are trying to get approved for funding. Not sure if you have enough land to qualify, I'm not even sure there is a minimum but it certainly can't hurt to inquire.

Posted on: 2013/11/12 18:41






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