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Big Spring Creek, Cumberland County, 9-14-09

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2008/6/29 10:45
From newville PA
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Hello everyone,

I haven't been on here in a while, been chasing bass mostly at raystown.

Hit big spring for about an hour last night, and didn't do anything. I saw some tire marks in the grass next to one of my favorite spots and..imagine that, there wasn't any where near the number of fish in that spot now. I spotted a few under the brush but nothing like there was earlier in the year. It was a perfect spot, cover, good depth etc. Lots of prints inthe mud though.

Also went over to greenspring in the same area and managed one 8 inch stocked brookie and missed 2 other trout. Also caught three rockbass of all things in that little stream. This is another stream that must have been pounded lately. There are some rather well worn paths through the tall grass and brush. Oh well it was a nice evening to get out. I may head over to Mountain Creek tonight for some little wild brookies.

Great site with great info, thanks.

Mike

Posted on: 2009/9/15 11:59


Re: Big Spring Creek, Cumberland County, 9-14-09

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Sorry to hear about Big Spring.

I fished it late July.. Extremely surprised at the lack of depth in many places.

Managed 3-4 wild rainbows, though.

Posted on: 2009/9/15 16:35


Re: Big Spring Creek, Cumberland County, 9-14-09

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Can't even begin to get into the damn removals. They held trout. Now hopefully it is leave it alone so the trout don't move lower and taken out.

The "so-called" plan is to see the stream makes a channel and the brook trout come back. That ain't happening with a spring creek. So we will see. Hope someone gets the smarts and starts throwing in some limestone rock, lunker structrues and establishes a stream channel. Otherwise, may be lost!

Probably will stir up a hornets nest with this post. I have seen great stream improvements and bad ones. Heck I will say even the FSTU did some OK ones, but we fixed them ASAP. I did study this at PSU under my Forestry and the PFBC is taking the wrong approach.
Mike

Posted on: 2009/9/15 18:44


Re: Big Spring Creek, Cumberland County, 9-14-09
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I'm a bit more optimistic regarding BS. Friends and I have fished it pretty extensively this summer and the results have, for the most part, been very encouraging - lots of wild brookies in the upper reg water and increasing numbers of wild 'bows throughout the reg water but esp downstream of the old fish barrier site. We have seen many brookies over a foot long and several in the 14-17" range. Rainbows in the 15-20" class are downright common. The return of wild brookies to BS in the last 3 years or so has been wonderful. While I agree that some man made cover would improve this creek, the shallow nature of the stream combined with fine gravel and upwelling springs and current are the reason for the brookie's spawning success. I would describe BS these days as approaching a world class wild brookie fishery - maybe returning to the quality that it was back in the 1960s and earlier. I'm really excited. The stream was electroshocked by the PFBC a couple weeks ago and the results have not been posted on the PFBC website yet but I'm looking forward to seeing the results. Frankly though, I already know what a great stream this has become.

Posted on: 2009/9/16 8:04


Re: Big Spring Creek, Cumberland County, 9-14-09

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Big Spring is a tough little brook trout fishery again...I welcome it..

Posted on: 2009/9/16 9:54


Re: Big Spring Creek, Cumberland County, 9-14-09

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From newville PA
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Don't get me wrong, I love the stream the challenge it presents. I am just reporting on some of what I noticed on this evening. I love to fish anywhere that isn't the ditch, just not my cup o' tea. I have been able to find fish and catch fish or at least get a strike just about anywhere below it. Never big numbers but I feel much better when I have to work to outsmart those wiley critters. I moved to this area 3.5 years ago and realized that I am in close proximity to some of the most famous water in PA. The closest I came to fishing limestone water was Litte J. and Spring creek. All other streams I fished were freestone in western and northern PA.

Posted on: 2009/9/16 10:18


Re: Big Spring Creek, Cumberland County, 9-14-09
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I'm far from an expert on Big Spring, but for a long time now I have fished it every so often when I fished the Cumberland Valley streams. In years past, other than "the ditch", I've found that most of the water below was devoid of any kind of fish.

A few weeks ago I fished it with Dave Weaver (Fishidiot) and was pleasantly surprised that we caught a few nice brookies in the sections below the ditch.

The ditch doesn't hold near the big rainbows as when the hatchery was there, but that's okay by me. The brookies have begun to inhabit the lower sections of BS. While they seem to be invisible, they are there tucked in tight to the cover and weeds. Dave sure knows the way to root them out! Very tough fishing, but very rewarding....that's really the way I like it.

From what I've seen, I too believe that Big Spring is on the mend.

Posted on: 2009/9/16 10:50


Re: Big Spring Creek, Cumberland County, 9-14-09

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Guys don't get me wrong. Big Springs is dear to my heart. Dad would take me there as a kid so like the Falling Springs, I kinda feel that is another place I learned to fish spring creeks.

I too see increased trout in the stream. Our fears are if they do not create some deeper riffles soon then many of those trout may move out of the catch&release section. We all know what will happen if the get below Nealy Rd. bridge. I have seen two nice wild rainbow taken for the pool just below the bridge.
Is this do some work and then wait for a few years the right move? Don't know only time will tell. I do know the stream won't make its own channel like they anticipated. Spring creeks do not have the flow and gradient to do so. Let all hope and pray. I hope to see and fish the once best stream east of the Mississippi like it was many, many years ago.
Mike
Mike

Posted on: 2009/9/16 12:32


Re: Big Spring Creek, Cumberland County, 9-14-09
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Mike,

I'm unclear what you would like done on the stream, dredge a channel? I agree that given the steady flows of a spring creek, it is unlikely that a high water event will carve out a channel in the stream. But, while the stream is not deep, it has plenty of cover to hold fish.

Mike, I'm far from an expert on creating or improving stream habitat, but if it is possible to improve the stream and bring it back to a more natural state I am all for it. You've lived and fished in the area for a long time, was the stream deeper back in the day?

Posted on: 2009/9/16 13:14


Re: Big Spring Creek, Cumberland County, 9-14-09

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I can't say for sure just how deep the stream was. I know of others who know more, but I think brook trout liked the shallower waters. The last plan I heard was to remove the two damns and wait and see if the brook trout would restablish themselves in 5-10 years.

There are plans after that if they need to revaluate their first plan and then see if the creatation of deeper channels is needed. This is simply done by bringing in limestone rock and filling in the stream in a precise manner which will create a channel. Can also create twist and turns to make the stream look natural. Look on http://www.ecotoneinc.com/ and see what they have done to spring creeks which were very wide. One was the Falling Springs.

Posted on: 2009/9/16 13:24


Re: Big Spring Creek, Cumberland County, 9-14-09
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Thanks for the info Mike. From your link, here is Falling Spring:

http://www.ecotoneinc.com/portfolio_falling_spring_watershed.html

WOW!

Posted on: 2009/9/16 13:33


Re: Big Spring Creek, Cumberland County, 9-14-09

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2008/11/19 20:57
From Hagerstown, MD
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Based on the replies to this stream report, the main question that surfaces in my mind is "What is the most logical battle? To fight for manmade structures in order to keep the fish in the special regulation area from moving downstream, or to fight to extend the special regulations area." I do not have enough knowledge of the history of Big Spring or the politics surounding Pennsylvania's special regulation waters to give a real educated response to that question, but my opinion would be to leave the stream alone and to fight to extend the C&R regulations downstream. Sorry, if this post takes the tread outside the realm of a stream report, but I think these are important issues to address.

Posted on: 2009/9/16 16:02


Re: Big Spring Creek, Cumberland County, 9-14-09

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See there are certain things that much happen to re-classify a stream. The biomass of insects has to be there as well as trout. So with that said, stream data we have and continue to get looks good to get a reclassification. They are trying to get the PFBC to make the stream catch and release all the way down to the arched bridge!! That is one long sectiopn of stream. As for manmade sturchures. If you look at work done like ecotone the stream looks natural. They use only what would be found in a stream like rock, boulders, fallen trees with the exclusion of say a lunker sturcture wich is hedden by natural grasses.

Again, I told you it was going to be a hornets nest, but that shows you just how many concern anglers we have here. Which is a great thing.

Mike

Posted on: 2009/9/16 16:35


Re: Big Spring Creek, Cumberland County, 9-14-09

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Quote:

3wt7X wrote:
Based on the replies to this stream report, the main question that surfaces in my mind is "What is the most logical battle? To fight for manmade structures in order to keep the fish in the special regulation area from moving downstream, or to fight to extend the special regulations area." I do not have enough knowledge of the history of Big Spring or the politics surounding Pennsylvania's special regulation waters to give a real educated response to that question, but my opinion would be to leave the stream alone and to fight to extend the C&R regulations downstream. Sorry, if this post takes the tread outside the realm of a stream report, but I think these are important issues to address.


I could not agree more, I think it's time this issue is moved to stream locatoin topic?

Posted on: 2009/9/17 11:49


Re: Big Spring Creek, Cumberland County, 9-14-09

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Quote:

afishinado wrote:
Thanks for the info Mike. From your link, here is Falling Spring:

http://www.ecotoneinc.com/portfolio_falling_spring_watershed.html

WOW!


WOW is right. Anyone interested in stream restoration should check out that link.

I agree that the habitat in Big Spring is poor. And that simply removing the old mill dams and expecting that the stream will simply form good habitat on its own is not likely to be successful.

I think they should take a more active approach. And spend the money to hire some very good consultants before doing so.

Posted on: 2009/9/17 12:40



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