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Walking Very Marginal Stocked Streams in Fall

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2007/11/21 18:54
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I always enjoyed this. Its cool to see the survivors that lasted the floods and drought. I grew up on Middle Creek (Lancaster County) and would always see a dozen survivors in a 1/4 mile stretch. One year a friend caught a 24 inch brown in the fall. I took a short walk this past weekend and didn't see anything but I wasn't wading and the sun angle was tough. Even the bridge pools usually had a couple left. Speaking of bridge pools, upper Middle Creek has had most of its bridges replaced and all the nice holes are gone. Most of these bridge holes could take 5-6 buckets and accommodate 10 anglers with good water on both sides of the bridge. I'm not sure if its new methods. It is true that some of these holes had fairly small dams built on the downstream side.

Posted on: 10/31 19:19


Re: Walking Very Marginal Stocked Streams in Fall

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2016/1/14 13:03
From Blair County
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Interesting observations.

The 'natural' history of these marginal stocked streams is actually kind of interesting to me. What happens ecologically once a few buckets of fish make it into the stream? It makes good food for thought. There's not too much info out there.

Posted on: 10/31 20:02


Re: Walking Very Marginal Stocked Streams in Fall

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Quote:

JeffP wrote:

Speaking of bridge pools, upper Middle Creek has had most of its bridges replaced and all the nice holes are gone. Most of these bridge holes could take 5-6 buckets and accommodate 10 anglers with good water on both sides of the bridge. I'm not sure if its new methods.


I've also noticed the general pattern that old bridges generally have better bridge pools than new bridges.

I think the main reason is that the old bridges had narrower spans and the new bridges usually have much wider spans.

With the narrower spans the flow of the water was much more concentrated during floods, so the velocities were high, so deeper pools were scoured down into the streambed substrate.

It's a similar scenario with replacing old school culverts with wider box culverts. It's better for fish passage. But not as good for pool creation.

Here's a design challenge for all you civil engineers out there. Design bridges and culverts that meet these criteria:

1) Good fish passage.

2) Good pool creation.

3) Good grade control on the upstream side. (Very often streams are highly incised upstream from bridges.)







Posted on: 10/31 21:45


Re: Walking Very Marginal Stocked Streams in Fall
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2016/1/24 14:30
From Gettysburg
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Quote:

troutbert wrote:
I've also noticed the general pattern that old bridges generally have better bridge pools than new bridges.


Yep, me too.
Lots of bridges have been replaced lately in my neck of the woods and they all were better (for fishing) before the changes.

Posted on: 10/31 22:00


Re: Walking Very Marginal Stocked Streams in Fall
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Walking local stocked trout streams was something I used to do and have got away from. I'd like to return to this and have been hoping to walk some local streams sometime this fall.

Most of the ATWs where I've done this are very marginal and often no trout are visible at all in the fall. During early to mid summer, they can be loaded with stockies as local angling pressure on these trout streams just about vanishes by Memorial Day and a lot of fish survive. By October, however, they have usually all but disappeared due to the low and warm conditions in late summer.

Hopefully some folks will read this thread, go walk their local stocked streams, and report back what they have seen.

Posted on: 10/31 22:05


Re: Walking Very Marginal Stocked Streams in Fall

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I have seen several holdovers above a delayed harvest area that gets too warm to fish at times. Lately I have scouted a small stream that flows into a lake- looking for spawners with these rains.

Posted on: 11/1 10:04
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Re: Walking Very Marginal Stocked Streams in Fall

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2006/9/13 18:28
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Great discussion here on several fronts. Regarding the pool structure as a function of old vs. new bridges: might the very age of the old bridges be a factor? Over time, there would be high water and flood events, and hard structures like huge rocks and bridge supports would have bed erosion below them. This erosion would deepen the pools.

Posted on: 11/1 10:34
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Re: Walking Very Marginal Stocked Streams in Fall

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2007/5/29 14:32
From SE PA - Montgomery County
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Bridges are something I know a little bit about.

In a nutshell; widened Bridges and Culverts are necessary where the increased storm runoff has caused, or may cause, upstream flooding events. When excessive water backs up at a bridge or culvert it will restrict the water flow in flood events and the upstream properties will be flooded or it may over top the road surface in some cases. Therefore most new structures need to be widened to meet the hydraulic requirements of the DEP.

The stream bed and channel are most times not affected with bridge replacements. The new structure requires rip-rap to be added around the base of the structure to prevent further erosion of the abutments, piers or culvert openings.

The existing pools and scour areas are not changed, but surely over time the scour will be lessened as was stated above. Streams constantly change and new pools are being created and filled in with every storm event every year. If anyone has fished any stream long enough you will recognize how much it changes over the years and not necessarily from any new structures, just the forces of nature.

Creating a scour hole can be as easy as having a large tree fall in the water. They don't need to be designed. Mother nature does that just fine.

As engineers, we need to consider the safety and well being of the human population over the little fishies, but rest assured that they are taken into consideration. Probably more so than you would think.

Posted on: 11/1 11:06


Re: Walking Very Marginal Stocked Streams in Fall

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2012/2/7 12:42
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I too often walk "stockie" streams in my area come fall. I'm always surprised the number of holdovers I see. It's a wonder why the Fish Commission doesn't stock a better strain of trout whereby natural reproduction may occur. Many of these local stream are very fertile and have great habitat. Obviously there must be plenty of thermal relief for the trout over the summer.

Posted on: 11/1 12:37


Re: Walking Very Marginal Stocked Streams in Fall

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

foxfire wrote:
It's a wonder why the Fish Commission doesn't stock a better strain of trout whereby natural reproduction may occur. Many of these local stream are very fertile and have great habitat. Obviously there must be plenty of thermal relief for the trout over the summer.


Virtually ever watershed in the state already has wild trout were conditions and habitat allow. The lack of wild trout indicates, to me, a deficiency in habitat that may not be apparent to casual observation.

Holdover fish, in my experience, are not a reliable indication of habitat suitable for reproducing wild populations. I know of streams that will holdover fish for two or three years, and then the next two years will be particularly dry and hot and have virtually no holdovers. Even if a wild population were to take root, it would likely be wiped out or perhaps so suppressed so that trout are only a niche species.

A trout stream is only as good as it's worst day/month/year.


Posted on: 11/1 13:10


Re: Walking Very Marginal Stocked Streams in Fall

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2012/2/7 12:42
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A trout stream is only as good as it's worst day/month/year.

The point was In the past 10 - 12 years I've never seen these streams as low and/or warm as they have been the last two years and yet the trout survived.

One such stream has had much habitat improvement as well as elimination of most headwater septic systems. Perhaps it's on the mend.

Posted on: 11/1 16:25


Re: Walking Very Marginal Stocked Streams in Fall

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Quote:

PennKev wrote:

Virtually ever watershed in the state already has wild trout were conditions and habitat allow. The lack of wild trout indicates, to me, a deficiency in habitat that may not be apparent to casual observation.



I agree. If the conditions are right for wild trout, the wild trout are already there.

There may be exceptions to this, but those are probably extremely rare.

Posted on: 11/1 17:39


Re: Walking Very Marginal Stocked Streams in Fall

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So I couldn't resist. I drive past the bridge over Middle Creek on Clay Road every day. I've thought about stopping every day but haven't done so yet this year. 1st peep over the downstream side of the bridge and a nice stocker brown right in plain site. Old narrow bridge and deep whole on both sides. A spring runs in just upstream. May have to go try to catch him!

Posted on: 11/2 15:51


Re: Walking Very Marginal Stocked Streams in Fall

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1/18 18:38
From Southeast, PA
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Get out there! Whaddya waitin for!

Posted on: 11/2 22:04


Re: Walking Very Marginal Stocked Streams in Fall

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Quote:

lestrout wrote:
Great discussion here on several fronts. Regarding the pool structure as a function of old vs. new bridges: might the very age of the old bridges be a factor? Over time, there would be high water and flood events, and hard structures like huge rocks and bridge supports would have bed erosion below them. This erosion would deepen the pools.


No, it's not a matter of time.

Many of these wide span bridges have been around for 30 or 40 years, and pools have not formed. And they won't form, for the reason already explained.

Posted on: 11/3 19:29



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